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Looking for Love in All the Right Places
There is a terrible hunger for love. . . . The poor you may have right in your own family. Find them. Love them.
Saint Teresa of Calcutta
When I was nineteen years old, I spent fifteen minutes alone in the chapel with Mother Teresa of Calcutta. I was a seminarian in her congregation of priests, the Missionaries of Charity Fathers, in Tijuana, Mexico. She was in town for an ordination. As part of her visit, each seminarian had the opportunity to meet with her privately to talk and to pray.
I walked into the chapel to find Mother Teresa seated close to the tabernacle, quietly passing her Rosary beads through her fingers. I sat facing her, and she took my hands in hers and looked into my eyes. She smiled and asked my name.
I expected to talk about my vocation and holy things. But she wanted to talk about my family. Mother Teresa—a woman recognized the world over for her faith and her service to humanity, a woman who had picked up countless people from the streets and cared for them so that they could die with dignity—wanted to talk with me about my family.
At the time I didn’t understand it. But today I do. Family is where we learn to love.
On Valentine’s Day, let’s look for love where we know it can be found. Love is usually right there under our noses in the messiness and awkwardness of family life.
Jesus, help me to recognize you truly present in the members of my family, and help me to love you in them.
To Ponder: Sometimes those we are closest to can be the most difficult to love. How can you practice learning to see Jesus in the members of your family?
Copyright 2016 Jeff Young for The Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion.
Reprinted with the kind permission of Ave Maria Press. All rights reserved.
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