Tag Archives: Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa

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Duk Soon Fwhang, a Korean born artist with a deep respect for Mother Teresa who will be soon be canonized by the Catholic Church, has painted the Albanian born woman a number of times. The one above I find particularly moving.

“She is a world hero as well as a Catholic saint,” Duk Soon told me recently, “We need more world heroes like her today when there are too many poor.” She showed me a prayer for the recognition of Mother Teresa as a saint. I think it says it all:

“Jesus, you made Mother Teresa an example of lively faith and burning charity, and an extraordinary witness to the way of spiritual childhood, and a great and esteemed teacher of the value and dignity of every human life. Grant that she may be venerated and imitated as one of the Church’s canonized saints…

May we follow her example by heeding your cry of thirst from the Cross and joyfully love you in the distressing guise of the poorest of the poor, especially those most unloved and unwanted.”

Water and Wine

A woman at the church where I go on weekends stopped me recently and asked for the pope’s address; she wanted to write him about something. I was curious and enquired what it was about.

 “The prayers at the offertory of the Mass are so beautiful,” she said, “and I want him to tell all the priests to recite those prayers out loud so we can hear them.”

 I’ve heard comments like hers lately; people are listening to the prayers at Mass and elsewhere and want to know more about them. There’s criticism of the present translations of our Mass texts, of course, but still the prayers and actions of the Mass remain the best ways we have to understand the mystery we celebrate.

The woman was especially touched by the mingling of water with the wine that takes place after they’re brought to the altar. As he pours a little water into the wine, the priest says:

“By the mystery of this water and wine

may we come to share in the divinity of Christ

who humbled himself to share in our humanity.”

The wine represents the humble Christ who comes into our world that we may share in his life. The water, so insignificant, represents us who become sharers in his divinity in this mystery.

A priest I know helped out in one of Mother Teresa’s missions in India for awhile and when he was leaving, he told her he was going to pray for her and her sisters. “Just remember us when you put the little drops of water into the chalice at Mass,” she told him.

We’re the water mixed with wine.

Seeing the Least

 

We know Jesus Christ in the Gospels, but today’s reading tells us to find him where it’s hardest to see him–in “the least.” They would be the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the stranger, the sick, the prisoner. The least are hard to see. Mother Teresa called them “Christ in disguise.” Like the blind in the gospels, we ask that we may see.

Lord Jesus Christ,

may I see you in my neighbor,

especially in those in need, who seem so unlike you.

with little charm or response,

sometimes ungrateful for interest or care.

May I love you in my neighbor, the neighbor hard to love

and find you in the least of them.