Blessings from Mother Teresa

silent watchingI’ve received two blessings from Mother Teresa. The first one took place June 22, 1982,when she received the Bellarmine Medal here in Louisville. I was one of 4,000 who heard her give her signature message. “Love is not a word. Love is life. People are hungry for more than bread. They are hungry for love.” Such words coming from one who lived them were a blessing in themselves, but, following her address, I was one of six persons privileged to meet briefly with her afterwards and to stand agape in her presence. She blessed us with her touch and her gentle, loving smile.

Awesome as that moment was, it was not Mother Teresa’s greater blessing to me. The second blessing came after she died September 5,1997. You may not count this kind of thing much of a gift, but it was a very great one for me. Her diaries and letters, which she intended never to see the light of day, revealed that this diminutive saint who embodied love and glowed with light experienced darkness and forsakenness not just now and then but throughout her life as she ministered in the slums of Calcutta.

How could that bless me? Would confession of the absence of God by such a saint not undermine whatever faith you had? Indeed not! In her candor this extraordinary Christian inserted a linchpin in something God has been trying to get me to see during roller coaster life of faith—that there’s a Presence in the absence but you have to persevere like Mother Teresa even when the eyes of your heart can’t see.

One Response to “Blessings from Mother Teresa”

  1. Ed Richardson says:

    I remember the Bellarmine event also. I was serving as Director of Housing thee while finishing up my M.Div work. I talked my way in as one of the “official” photographers for the college and also met her. Thanks for reminding me of this time and the wonderful lessons and model she provided in life and in death.

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