Undoubtedly, every day we live our life for ourselves first, without even thinking. It truly is a rare breed of individuals who ACT within their faith they practice on a regular basis. Mother Teresa is one of those very unique stories that inspires us to go out into the world to be a part of the change that is needed.
Can you BE FAITH IN ACTION?
We live in a culture today that has changed in drastic ways allowing us to be obsessively focused on not just materialism, but consistently ourselves. We allow ourselves to feel entitled. We allow ourselves to make excuses on why not to get involved with the greater issues going on around us. ‘I am just one person; how could I possibly make a difference?’
Can you imagine if our focus for this Monday, Mother Teresa, or as she is now known, St. Teresa of Calcutta, even for one second asked herself this question? Imagine the lives that would have been left untouched by her beautiful humility and service.
So very early on in her religious life, she knew deep down something was missing. She believed that she needed to be doing more than she was at that moment within her vows. She knew she had to find a way beyond her vows of obedience to go out and serve.
At the time, her service and ministry was not easily accepted from those she wanted to help, nor from the religious order whom she was a part of desiring her to stay within the community in prayer alone. Religious life is about obedience, something that I personally struggled with a great deal in my discernment days towards this life myself. I was drawn to a call, I could hear what God and Our Lady was asking of me, but it was clear that when you entered an order you must leave your will behind and do as your superiors ordered. I struggled with this greatly, for one I was older at the time of my discernment having lived a deep life of pain and awareness arguing that I was listening deep within my prayer life and knew that I was meant to be doing more. But, the answer was always, ‘instead do this for now.’
Mother Teresa would not back down no matter what opposition she faced. While we know better now in her letters and journals, nothing at the time seemed to be fearful to her. There was no one person too dangerous or too sick to be helped by her humble touch. She knew her purpose. Can you say the same? Can you pause within your day and within your journey to ask yourself beyond your fears if you are truly and sincerely living your greater purpose? Are you doing this mirroring the faith you claim to follow?
Mother Teresa knew there was no one she could turn away. When you walk down the busy city streets of where you live and work, do you glance away from the homeless person out of the corner of your eye with personal judgement thinking they could better their life if they really wanted to? When you read the endless stories of suffering and struggle across social media needing help in countless ways, do you simply keep scrolling and think, ‘well, someone else will help’ or ‘I just can’t afford to do anything that will make a difference’ as you go buy your $4 latte? $4 in a country like Calcutta can go such a long way…think about it.
My nine-year-old son is obsessed with food in a common youthful way, but when he is always saying to me, ‘but, mom I’m starving!’ I, now, can’t help but jump in and say to him as he can comprehend more, ‘really, are you starving? Maryn, starving is something so much more painful than you realize.’ And, yes, I am that mom who then does a little research to show him what starving really looks like for I want him to start being aware now, not in 30 years as some of you read this today hopefully being inspired to do more, to be more. I do believe we all have a responsibility to the person next to us in pain. I do believe we are never too young to start being aware to offer our hand to our neighbor.
Mother Teresa was a unique and blessed individual. For, as she was canonized, you have been reading the endless stories of her religious life, her ministry, her faith and…her darkness. I believe we all follow her words and ministry because deep down we relate in true and real ways.
It was discovered that the majority of her religious life and ministry was lived in a deep darkness. She began within the love of God and her call, but along the way silence and darkness consumed her. Did she question? Did she run away? Did she stop helping as she knew in her heart was her call? No.
Does fear cause you to turn away in areas of your journey where you know you could be doing more, where you could be more? Does doubt in your faith lead you to stay away from Church or prayer, rather than face it head on in uncertainty?
We have all truly been there, I believe no one can escape these questions and fear at some point along their journey. But, the challenge is what are you going to do with it?
Personally, I understand where she was coming from as I’ve known darkness as the great love of my life. Darkness allowed me to stay within the pains of life instead moving towards bigger steps like forgiveness of others actions, the greatest and most difficult act for many on a daily basis.
But, I also believe our lives and our experiences are meant to be used, lived deeply and offered to others. There is a reason and purpose for each of our journey’s and we must find it and offer it to another who is struggling at the moment. We must be FAITH IN ACTION to someone who’s faith may be darkened at the moment. We must do that thing so small to us we feel it isn’t enough, but to the person on the receiving end feels like the world of love has been offered to them.
We must BE FAITH IN ACTION as our dear Mother Teresa of Calcutta showed us on a daily basis.
How will you honor her life’s ministry of charity today?
How will you be FAITH IN ACTION?
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