"I love Him in the poor"
Excerpt from Lessons for Living: Blessed Mother Teresa
(an OSV pamphlet)
" I believe that we are not really social workers. We may be doing social work in the eyes of people. But we are really contemplatives in the heart of the world. For we are touching the body of Christ twenty-four hours. We have twenty-four hours in His presence" -- from Mother Teresa's Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, 1979
In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus tells us that when we meet those in need, we meet Him, and that when we serve those in need, we serve Him. Blessed Teresa is a living witness to the truth of Jesus' words, and to their power. The Christ she meet in the Eucharist each day revealed to her His presence in the poor.
Blessed Teresa also reminds us that if Christ is present in the poor, we have much to learn from them. They teach us about human dignity, patience, and wisdom. It is, as Blessed Teresa said, a priviledge to live with and serve the poor.
It is tempting to turn away from the difficulty of suffering, to let someone else handle it, to hope it will go away. Sometimes we are even tempted to take pleasure in the suffering of others or, at the very least, rest complacently in our belief that suffering was unavoidable or even deserved.
But when we listen to Jesus, when we see how Blessed Teresa put flesh onto His words and what joy it brought to the suffering, even if for only the brief moments before they passed from this life, how can we continue to think this way?
"In the Eucharist, I see Christ in the appearance of the bread. In the slums, I see Christ in the ... poor. Sometimes we meet Jesus rejected and covered in filth in the gutter. Sometimes we find Jesus stuffed into a drain, or moaning with pain from sores or rotting with gangrene, or even screaming from the agony of a broken back. The most distressing disguise calls for even more love from us."
"We can find Calcutta all over the world, if you have eyes to see. Everywhere, wherever you go, you find people who are unwanted, unloved, uncared for, just rejected by the society -- completely forgotten, completely left alone. That is the greatest poverty of the rich countries."
-- Mother Teresa
This pamphlet, written by Amy Welborn, is available from Our Sunday Visitor in packages of 50 for $14.95 plus S&H. Click here to order»
Request a single, sample copy by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelopes to Bl. Mother Teresa Pamphlet, Our Sunday Visitor Publishing Division, Our Sunday Visitor, Inc. 200 Noll Plaza, Huntington, IN 46750.