Thursday, December 10, 2015

Loving through Suffering like Mother Teresa

I took the plunge last week and consecrated myself to Our Blessed Mother on her Feast of the Immaculate Conception (December 8). Together with other bloggers from CatholicMom, I prepared by using the book 33 Days to Morning Glory by Fr. Michael E. Gaitley, MIC. Here's my reflection on Day 31, which summarized the Marian approach of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, better known as Mother Teresa.

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Today's Reflection:

Today, we review the three elements of Blessed Mother Teresa's devotion to Our Lady: 1) thirst, 2) heart, and 3) covenant. A good way to sum up what Mother Teresa beautifully expressed is: "Jesus, I yearn to satiate your thirst for souls with all the love and suffering of my heart, through the total gift of myself to your beloved Mother." Our Lady knows better than anyone how much her son thirsts for souls. If we let her, she will inspire us to love Jesus with her own perfect love. If we give her our heart, she will give us her own. If we give her everything and become wholly hers, she will possess, protect, enlighten, guide, and transform us.

Mother Teresa is famous throughout the world for her good works with the poor. But very few people knew, until her death, that she labored cheerfully through an intense spiritual darkness that caused her immense interior suffering. Cheerfulness does not come easily to everyone. Most days, I would rather growl than smile. It is hard for me to serve anyone when I am suffering. I would rather curl up into a ball and cry bitter tears far away from any prying eyes. The strength to serve others the way that Mother Teresa did in the midst of her own suffering is truly strength from God.

We know that Our Lady, Mater Dolorosa, Mother of Sorrows, found the strength to stand -- not collapsed in grief and pain, but upright on her own two feet -- at the foot of the Cross that bore her son, crucified, bloody, and dying. By consecrating ourselves to her, we receive her ability to pray, to love, and to serve despite suffering, sadness, and worry.

To Ponder:

Do I sometimes allow my own sadness to prevent me from serving those whom I love?

Let Us Pray:

Our Lady of Sorrows, give us the same strength that you displayed at the foot of the Cross and that Blessed Mother Teresa displayed throughout her ministry to the poorest of the poor. Teach us to satiate the thirst of Jesus with the total gift of our hearts.

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