Blessed Mother Teresa has been on my mind a lot lately. If Pope John Paul the II showed us how we were to approach dying to the world from a physical erosion of our selves, Mother Teresa’s nightly willingness to stand before the Eucharist, bearing the silence, revealed how one undergoes Purgatory while alive, having all that does not love and fully trust in Christ burned away by the silence.
She understood that even the smallest of sins makes us less worthy to receive Christ, less worthy of receiving God’s grace and being able to bear the great love that one experiences by entering Heaven. She had known Jesus’ voice. She had felt His presence for a time, and then, she had to “love Jesus in the night.”
Knowing something of what that intimate communion with God felt like, how painful the long wait until the final veil separating her from her beloved must have been! To continue to hold on to Christ even as she sat before the blessed Sacrament and felt the very real barrier between her and Jesus, (namely sin), was perhaps her greatest gift to 21st century. She stayed waiting for the bridegroom, wakeful and watching, joyously anticipating the one day union to come.
She also knew that loving Jesus meant seeing Him in the world, seeing the scourged Christ, the cross bearing Christ, the Crucified Christ and being there to wipe the face as Veronica, to assist with the cross as Simon, and to help take His body down as one of the disciples. Blessed Mother Teresa saw Christ’s face in the lepers and the victims of poverty and disease that sat untouched on the streets of Calcutta. Blessed Mother Teresa saw them, and did what Christ asked by picking them up, taking them in, and caring for them unto death.
What an example to all of us who sometimes want to demand from God, proof of his love. He has given us all of creation, all these people who surround us and all the gifts that we see, touch, taste, feel and hear every day. He gave us His son. He gave us the Holy Spirit and the apostles and the scriptures and the saints and still, we clamor at God as to what is the very least we can do and still edge our way into salvation. We all must be willing to be burned away. We must be willing to submit to what God wants of us.
How? Follow Blessed Mother Teresa’s example. Be a watchful faithful servant waiting. Harden not your heart, and when you see Christ waiting for you in the world, do as the Blessed Mother Mary would instruct, “Whatever He tells you.”