Today we celebrate the life of Mother Teresa, now Saint Teresa of Calcutta. She has always been one of my heroes.
For years it was my dream to meet Mother Teresa, but I missed the opportunity when she died on September 5, 1997. One of the most amazing women to grace the earth in my lifetime, Mother Teresa’s extraordinary legacy of love lives on in millions of hearts she touched around the world.
She continually impressed me with her humility and simplistic commitment to everyday needs and truths. With courage and faith Mother Teresa embraced the message of peace and love, turning power and violence upside down wherever she went.
Mother Teresa always valued life and the people she encountered, regardless of race, religion, wealth or position. In 1973 nine judges representing the world’s major religions awarded Mother Teresa the first prestigious Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion.
Motivated by faith she crossed mind-boggling barriers without fear. During the height of the Lebanese Civil War, Mother Teresa visited the Sisters of Charity in Beirut. Hearing from the Red Cross that a group of 37 children with severe disabilities were stuck in a bombed out building between warring Lebanese factions, she led a Red Cross caravan across the line of war to bring them out safely.
The Sisters of Charity in Gaza told me that when Mother Teresa crossed between East and West Beirut during the Lebanese Civil War, the Christian and Muslim factions stopped fighting for a few hours out of respect for her as an emissary of peace. When the international press pushed her for a statement about the war, Mother Teresa answered them with the peace prayer of Saint Francis.
That courage taking a stand on behalf of the poorest of the poor around the world qualified Mother Teresa as the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
I’m disappointed I never had the chance to meet Mother Teresa, but the legacy of the love of Jesus in her lives on: the light of Jesus Christ reflected in her eyes, His spirit of joy in her quick smile, and the presence of His love in her gnarled hands, bent from long hours of physical labor serving the poorest of the poor in Calcutta and all over the world.
“The Good News is that God still loves the world through you. You are God’s Good News. You are God’s love in action. Each time anyone comes in contact with us, they must become different and better people because of having met us. We must radiate God’s love.” Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta
grace, peace & Good News saints
Virginia : )