Tuesday, 5 September 2017

St Teresa of Calcutta

St Teresa of Calcutta (1910-1997)
It was 20 years ago today that Mother Theresa was called to her eternal reward. Her liturgical feast day is today. She was born as AnjezĂ« Gonxhe Bojaxhiu on August 27, 2010 in Skopje, Albania. She left home in 1928 to join the Sisters of Loreto, based in Ireland. She learned English and then left for India a year later, arriving in Darjeeling and taking her final vows on May 14, 1937. On 10 September 1946, Teresa experienced what she later described as "the call within the call" when she travelled by train to the Loreto Convent in Darjeeling from Calcutta for her annual retreat. "I was to leave the convent and help the poor while living among them.” Thus started the new order, the Missionaries of Charity, known by their white sari and blue trim. She would open many homes, orphanages, hospitals, and convents all around the world. She received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979. Mother Teresa died on September 5, 1997. She was always recognized as a living saint, and was beatified by Pope St John Paul on October 19, 2003 and canonized by Pope Francis on September 4, 2016.
The banner at the Vatican, the day of her canonization.
I honor her today by sharing this prayer which she composed and read every day.
Dear Jesus, help us to spread your fragrance
everywhere we go.
Flood our souls with your spirit and life.
Penetrate and possess our whole being so utterly
that our lives may only be a radiance of yours.
Shine through us and be so in us
that every soul we come in contact with
may feel your presence in our soul.
Let them look up and see no longer us, but only Jesus.
Stay with us and then we shall begin to shine as you shine,
so to shine as to be light to others.
The light, O Jesus, will be all from you.
None of it will be ours.
It will be you shining on others through us.
Let us thus praise you in the way you love best
by shining on those around us.
Let us preach you without preaching,
not by words, but by our example;
by the catching force -
the sympathetic influence of what we do,
the evident fullness of the love our hearts bear to you.

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