Mother Teresa is a woman recognized by nearly everyone I have met. Her name is often used to point to a kind of self-giving nature that most of us have only admired from afar. I am grateful for this beautiful woman and her gift to our world. In many ways she was inspirational for women who felt called into the ministry. She lived out a sort of love among those cast aside by their society that still inspires millions. I stand in awe of her life, love, and deeply counter-cultural faithfulness to the “Least of These”.
The Northumbria community remembers Mother Teresa on September 5th. The following is a passage out of their “Celtic Daily Prayer”.
Born in Serbia to Albanian parents, she became a nun and longed for permission to move outside the convent walls and work with the poorest of the poor in India. In later years she received great recognition and various ‘peace prizes’, but challenged all kinds of people to compassion and discipleship through her media exposure. ‘Do you know and love the poor?’ she asked. ‘If you do not know them, how can you love them?’
Working among the slums of Calcutta, she remained radiant. She commented pragmatically, ‘The surest way to preach Christianity to the pagan is by our cheerfulness, our happiness. What would our life be if the Sisters were unhappy? We would do the work, but we would attract nobody.’