Blessed Mother Teresa was beatified on October 19, 2003. She was an icon of selfless care for the poor, sick, hungry and needy of the world throughout her life. At the age of 18, she committed to a life of prayer and service as a missionary with the Sisters of Loretto. She went on to found the Missionaries of Charity and open houses for the dying, leprous, and orphaned around the world.
Until her death in 1997, the world looked to Mother Teresa as a ray of hope in the most hopeless corners of the world. She brought with her the love of the Lord despite her own struggles with faith and belief.
Where did Mother Teresa find the strength and perseverance to place herself completely at the service of others? She found it in prayer and in the silent contemplation of Jesus Christ, his Holy Face, his Sacred Heart.
~Pope John Paul II
It’s hard to start even fathoming the life that Mother Teresa lead. She was called at an early age to the religious life, and then on to the service of the poorest, sickest, and neediest around her. In a way, it’s easy to look at that and say, “There is no way I could serve the way she did. It’s all just too big.”
But Blessed Teresa of Calcutta’s true service was in the individual encounter. She spent her time with the poor, with the ill, with the orphaned, and she brought them the love of Christ. She founded houses that helped many in some of the most destitute parts of the world, but she also spent her time walking the streets, experiencing the hunger of the poor, and reaching out to them, in person.
Mother Teresa knew what many of us often forget, and some of us do not know: We are a window to the Lord. Through us, the people around us can see the face of God. We must strive every day to remember that through it is when we are transparent, when we let the love of the Lord flow through us, that people can see not only us, not only the help and love and service we bring, but the all-encompassing love of He who sends us out to serve His people.
Be transparent to the love of God. Hear His call to serve those around you, and reach out to them with the full force of His love. And keep in the back of your mind this reminder from Teresa herself:
Each one of them is Jesus in disguise.
~Blessed Mother Teresa