As it is for so many around the world, her story and life is just SO compelling to me. But Mother Teresa was no fluffy saint, of course. She did the hard work, the gritty work that most could never even imagine to try.
Whod’a thunk that even Mother Teresa could be controversial? Someone who literally changed the world for good. But even so, she is. Partly because she could be a bit difficult and would stubbornly move ahead with a project, despite all practical facets not being evident. Some have called her work and faith into question after her “dark night” was revealed. This is when she spent many years without the consolations in her prayer life that we all crave. It was a time of hanging in with her faith and prayers and work, despite the lack of sure comfort that is so often found in prayer (the consolation). Rather, she had those hard dark times of prayer where its like shouting into the dark. And even so, she kept going and held on to her faith, not letting go. This, to me, is all the more reason to marvel…..those times are when it’s so hard to hang on and not go seeking something, anything, else to provide that comfort once again.
But for me, look what this woman did. She loved, in action and emotion, the poorest of the poor. That’s a pat phrase, but in reality, it is a very tough thing to do, particularly if you are coming from a life of relative comfort and ease (and she was coming from a convent that she loved). And it was hard. She didn’t have any supernatural grace to not be repulsed by the sickness and the smells and the discomforts and difficulties. But she did them anyway. Because she was able to see Christ in them. And that perhaps, IS her grace. But that is ours for the asking as well….its just an awfully tough question to ask, eh?
All that said, she is one of my very very favorite saints (or, officially right now “Blessed”s). She has one of the faces that is just radiant with beauty. One of that that makes me exclaim “Oh, such a face!” And I love her. And I ask for her prayers, every day. And I am not graced with being able to SEE as well as she does, but some days, blessed days, I might catch a faint glimmer of what she saw.
Blessed Mother Teresa, pray for us!