We are misunderstood, we are misrepresented, we are misreported. We are not nurses, we are not doctors, we are not teachers, we are not social workers. We are religious, we are religious, we are religious.
Today is the feast day of Saint Teresa of Calcutta, one of God’s torches he sends in His mercy to guide us in a dark world. I recall this story that I heard from a gentleman who worked with her sisters in New York. They were flying together on a plane and Mother Teresa asked the stewardess if she could have the money that would have been spent on her inflight meal as a donation for the poor. The stewardess agreed. The word spread on the airliner and every passenger followed her example, and a check for all the meals was made out to Mother. She then asked if she could have the meals that would have been eaten to contribute them to the poor. The captain of the airliner agreed. After she was on the ground Mother Teresa asked for a truck so she could drive the meals to her sisters in New York City so they could distribute the meals to the poor. Mother Teresa then got behind the wheel of the truck, she could barely see over the steering wheel, and drove the truck, with some hair-raising close calls in traffic, to her sisters to serve the meals to the poor. Almost certainly she did not have a driver’s license! The gentleman who related the story told me this was a typical day for Mother Teresa. She immediately brought forth the better angels of even the most hardened sinners she encountered, and even the most selfish of people eagerly joined her crusade to help the poor. The love of Christ shined forth from her and people responded. Her life was a prime example of the truth of Christ’s statement that if we had the faith of a mustard seed we could fling a mountain into the sea. With Mother Teresa mountains of indifference to the sufferings of the poor faded and people responded to her and her living out the Gospel literally. Saint Mother Teresa pray for us poor sinners and ask God to give us some small fraction of your faith and audacity in serving Christ.