We live in a remarkable age to have so many saints canonized in our lifetime that we’ve gotten to know up close and personal.Because of public media, we’ve seen Pope John XXIII, Pope John Paul II, Padre Pio, and Mother Teresa on video, television, or social media, and heard them on the radio. Many people also have had opportunities to meet them in person.
Mother Teresa of Calcutta (1910-1997) is particularly fascinating. She set the bar for living as Christ taught much higher than most of us dream of approaching. No one doubts her sanctity. We’ve seen her down and dirty with the poor. We’ve read about her fight for dignity and the basic needs of the down-trodden. And we’ve heard from some of the lucky witnesses she touched.
Although a religious sister since the age of 18, it wasn’t until Mother Teresa was 40 that she established her congregation of the Missionaries of Charity. She worked tirelessly, side-by-side with her sisters to attend to the sick and love the unloved. She devoted her life to the Lord, through her own sickness and frailty of aging, and is an extraordinary example for us of being Jesus to Jesus in the street.
And yet, this impressive woman of compassion, felt abandoned by the God she served.Perhaps she felt her desperate prayers for the poor were unheard. Whatever the reasoning behind this curious perspective, no doubt she is at peace now, in the arms of the Lord.Now we can call on Saint Teresa to help us on our road to heaven.
We celebrate Saint Teresa of Calcutta’s Feast Day on September 5.