This week, would have been the 103rd birthday of Mother Teresa. Next week is the 16th anniversary of her death, and her feast day. This is the perfect time to share my 2nd post of preparing for my daughter’s Confirmation.
About 4 years ago, I read my two oldest children a biography of Mother Teresa. We all enjoyed the story and when it was finished I asked them each to write a paragraph about what a beautiful person Mother Teresa was. My then-8-year-old son looked at me funny and made some comment about how she looked like a “shrively old woman” to him, not a “beautiful” person at all. My daughter, 11 at the time, understood though that Mother Teresa’s beauty went much, much deeper than her wrinkled skin or stooped posture. She could see, even at the age of 11, that Mother Teresa’s beauty came from within-- from her kind spirit, her obedient nature, her life of sacrifice, service, and love.
Not surprisingly, when asked to choose a Confirmation saint this past summer, Bl. Teresa of Calcutta was the first saint to come to my daughter’s mind. She said that as she thought about it, she just knew it had to be Mother Teresa. As soon as she shared her choice with me, I knew she had made the perfect choice.
There are so many reasons Bl. Teresa is beautiful. Her holiness, her simplicity, her love of the “least of our brothers”, her dedication to serving others all make her a wonderful Confirmation saint- even if she is not yet canonized.
But, there is another reason I am convinced that my daughter made the perfect choice in her Confirmation saint.
Mother Teresa was a symbol of goodness and holiness all throughout my childhood. I remember hearing about her charitable works and her humble way of life in my C.C.D. classes and watching clips of her on T.V. as she served the poor and met with world leaders to promote a greater respect for the plight of those in poverty. Mother Teresa was referred to as a “living saint” and, even as I child, I could see that she was.
When she died in September of 1997, I was newly married, just beginning my adult life. And three months after Mother Teresa’s death, my husband and I joyfully discovered we were going to be parents! My daughter was born just 10 days after the 1st anniversary of Mother Teresa’s death. That means, of course, that Bl. Teresa entered eternal life just a few months before my daughter’s life began.
How perfectly fitting, and how comforting to me as a mother, to know that Bl. Teresa has been watching over my daughter from heaven since the moment she was conceived.
And for more inspiration--here are a few quotes of hers that speak to her holiness better than any of my words ever could……
Photo credit-- from Wikipedia· "Keep the joy of loving God in your heart and share this joy with all you meet especially your family. Be holy – let us pray."· "Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin."· "Like Jesus we belong to the world living not for ourselves but for others. The joy of the Lord is our strength."· Little things are indeed little, but to be faithful in little things is a great thing.· Everybody today seems to be in such a terrible rush, anxious for greater developments and greater riches and so on, so that children have very little time for their parents. Parents have very little time for each other, and in the home begins the disruption of peace of the world.· “God doesn't require us to succeed; he only requires that you try”· “We cannot all do great things, but we can do small things with great love.”· “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”· "If you're too busy to pray...you're too busy"· "People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway. If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway. For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway."