Saturday, May 4, 2019

Retreat Thoughts - "Three Teresas" - Teresa of Calcutta - Mother Teresa, presented by Leelamma Sebastian (3 of 4)

For the first presentation about Mother Teresa, we watched this documentary of Mother Teresa. It is almost 1-1/2 hours long. Well worth it. What an amazing woman. Some quotes I wrote down.
  • A carrier of God's love
  • God speaks to us in the silence of our hearts.
  • Poverty is not caused by God. We humans cause it because we do not share.
  • God will not force us to do good; we must choose.
  • A Beirut military leader: "A saint was not what I needed most."
  • Small things with great love. It is not how much we do, it is how much love.
  • To God there is nothing small. The moment we give it to God it is infinite.
  • Jesus' last words from the cross, "I thirst." Not so much for water but for my love and your love.
  • Accept whatever he gives. This is surrender. Give whatever he takes.
In the discussion after the movie, Leelamma told us that she actually met Mother Teresa. Leelamma was born in India and at age 15 she went to Calcutta to join the Missionaries of Charity. Mother Teresa told her she needed to go back home and come back later, but Leelamma stayed for about 2 years, working with the sisters. She left at 17 but her brother is a priest with Missionaries of Charity and she has many cousins and relatives who work in it.

I said that the quote about "I thirst" being about Jesus thirsting for my love rather than the other way around was a new perspective for me. Leelamma said "I Thirst" has become a movement. Jesus thirsts for our love.

Dr. Pat Campbell said Therese of Lisieux also talked of Jesus' thirst. Therese saw a picture of Jesus on the cross with his blood dripping into the sand. She felt it was Jesus thirsting for souls.

Watching the documentary, I was moved many times. Mother Teresa said she was a pencil in God's hands, writing love songs to Jesus. I thought of that when the movie played the song "Make me a channel of your peace." How can I be an instrument in God's hands?

One of our handouts was a prayer written by Cardinal John Henry Newman named "Radiating Christ." The sisters say this prayer every day. They say "us" and "we" and "ours." The retreat leaders suggested substituting "me" and "I" and "my"
Dear Jesus, help me to spread your fragrance everywhere I go.
Flood my soul with your spirit and life.
Penetrate and possess my whole being so utterly
    that my life may only be a radiance of yours.
Shine through me and be so in me
    that every soul I come in contact with may feel your presence in my soul.
Let them look up, and see no longer me, but only Jesus!
Stay with me and then I shall begin to shine as you shine,
    so to shine as to be a light to others.
The light, O Jesus, will be all from you; none of it will be mine.
It will be you, shining on others through me.
Let me thus praise you in the way you love best,
    by shining on those around me.
Let me preach you without preaching, not by words but by example,
    by the catching force, the sympathetic influence of what I do,
    the evident fullness of the love my heart bears for you. Amen.

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