Neither are the souls of the pious dead separated from the Church which even now is the kingdom of Christ. Otherwise there would be no remembrance of them at the altar of God in the communication of the Body of Christ. -- Saint Augustine of Hippo from “The City of God

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Blessed Cyprian Michael Iwene Tansi

God was to touch the heart of Iwene Tansi very early in his youth, but as always God's Ways are not always mans way! Iwene Tansi was born in Nigeria in a village called Onitsha, in the year 1903. His parents, Tabansi and Ejilowevi were not Christian, but when his father was arrested this had a profound affect on the Tansi family, in that the father vowed that none of his children would be subject to such humiliation!

So though both Iwene's parents were not Christian they sent their children to Christian schools to be educated, so that they may prosper more than their parents and have a good start in life. This Christian education would affect the young Iwene profoundly, as he developed a very high and intense form of prayer, which often left him in tears, when he contemplated the Lord's suffering. This would often lead other young boys his age to beat him up, as they thought him a cry baby.

But the young Iwene took no note and continued his prayer life as he knelt each day in front of the Tabernacle in solitude and meditative prayer. Tears of joy and also of sorrow would fall down the face of this holy young boy as he sought to try and alleviate the pain that our Lord had suffered on behalf of sinners. The depth of his prayer life was also followed by his deeply humble behaviour towards all who knew him; Iwene never held grudges and treated all with respect and kindness in his simple manner.

In the year 1912 Iwene is baptised and given the Christian Michael, after this Michael would continue his schooling at Holy Trinity primary School. After completing his studies there he went on to gain his school leavers Certificate at St. Josephs School which allowed him to teach professionally. Many of his fellow teachers and students noted Michaels Iwene's love of prayer and how often he could be found kneeling in deep prayer often having open conversations with Our Lady, when he thought he was alone. Michael had a deep devotion to the Blessed Mother and always carried a Rosary on his person.

But even though Michael’s prayer life was intense, he was not a dour or downhearted man, but one of quiet manner, gentle humour and a generous spirit towards all. If anybody needed help it would be Michael who would lend a hand at whatever needed doing, with a cheerfulness that lifted the hearts of all who knew him. But even though Michael Iwene displayed a cheerful countenance he also undertook severe personal penances for love of God and sinners. He also was very strict with his students and encouraged all to lead a more ascetic lifestyle, and to rise to the challenge of their studies. Perhaps Michael understood that the only way out of poverty was to be educated, and so he wasted no time in instilling the virtues to his young students, sometimes with the rod, which was acceptable discipline in that particular Era.

So it was in the year 1925 Michael entered the Seminary and upon completing his studies at St. Paul's he was Ordained a Priest in 1937, and though he was not a theologian, which would trouble him, he fully understood what it means to live and spread the Good News to all he met. He served as Parish Priest in Eastern Nigeria for the next 13 years, serving the people in the area with great devotion and tirelessness and making sure that all knew the Catholic Faith.

For in this particular part of Nigeria many pagan customs were still kept such as living together before marriage which was described as 'trial marriages', Father Michael fought vigorously to re-educate the people into accepting the need for Holy Matrimony before becoming one in flesh. So it was that Fr. Michael would often walk miles in order to teach the young people the importance of all the Sacraments of the Church while emphasising the Sacrament of Penance and the Sacrament of Marriage.

But deep in his heart, Father Michael longed for a more secluded life, even from a child he had shown a predilection for solitude and a longing for Monastic living. And so it was that in 1950 Fr. Michael left for England to study the Monastic spirituality in order to return to his own homeland and begin one there. This fuelled Fr. Michael’s zealous nature of love toward God but it also challenged him in that back in his homeland he had obtained a certain prominence whereas in England he became another brother Monk with a new name, Father Cyprian.

Though he struggled with a few issues, still he knew that this was where God wished for him to be and so Father Cyprian took to this new Monastic Rule of life like a duck to water. Though he strove hard to study and learn in order to bring the Monastic Rule back to his beloved homeland, this unfortunately did not eventuate as those in authority ruled that a Monastic Order would begin in Cameroon. This was a disappointment to Father Cyprian, but he humbly accepted it, for from his early years, as Iwene he knew God did indeed work in mysterious Ways!

And though Father Cyprian longed to join his fellow Priests in Cameroon this was not to be as he fell ill and was unable to recover.

Father Cyprian died in 1964.

Blessed Father Cyprian was beatified in 1998 by Pope John Paul II.

Peace of Christ to ALL

Copyright © 2006 Marie Smith. All rights reserved.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Blessed Alojzije Stepinac

Alojzije was born in the year 1898 in the village of Brezaric, near Zagreb. His parents were devout Catholics and raised all their children with a deep devotion to their Catholic Faith and heritage. Alojzije attended school at the Classical Gymnasium where he shined in his studies and took the first steps of trying to join the Priesthood.

Unfortunately the First Word War interrupted Alojzije longing to become a Priest and he was sent for officer training. Upon completing this course Alojzije was sent to fight in the Italian front. During the course of many battles Alojzije was captured by the Italians and gained release in 1918. After demobilization Alojzije, he went on to study agriculture but his heart was not truly involved with this course and he became more interested in the Catholic youth in his area, whom he encouraged to grow in their Faith and to become strong Catholics.

So it was that in 1924 Alojzije finally listened and followed his heart into the Priesthood, he studied at the Pontifical Gregorian University and in 1930 he was finally Ordained as a Priest, his quest was over, but his mission had only just begun.

He served the Church as Priest in many capacities and in many parishes where disputes were taking place due to social and political upheavals. His abilities to calm stormy waters on the political and religious levels led Pope Pius XI to appoint him coadjutor Archbishop to assist Archbishop Bauer, in a pastoral capacity. He was to be the youngest Bishop at that particular time in history. He proved himself a worthy leader through his hard work and his willingness to be of help to all who needed him.

So upon the death of Archbishop Bauer, Bishop Ajojzije immediately took on the responsibility of the archdiocese of Zagreb. He did so with a zealous zeal to promote the Faith and in particular to focus on the Eucharist and to honour Our Lady through Eucharistic and Marian devotions. He tried to instill in the youth of the region how important the Eucharist is so they could grow strong in their Faith and be more faithfilled Catholics. He also relayed this message by using and at times instituting the press such as the Catholic daily paper Hrvatski Glas, in order to instruct the people of his dioceses and other Catholics in other regions to maintain a deep love and devotion to all elements of our Catholic Faith and to participate in the Sacraments of the Church as often as possible.

Archbishop Alojzije seemed untiring as he encouraged the Catholic laity to become more involved in parish life and to not leave it totally to the Priests or Religious the heavy burden of evangelising the Catholic Faith. He taught through the press and his own involvements how integral it was to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ through the Catholic Church to all people.

The love Archbishop Alojzije Stepinac had for the Catholic Church was enormous and he wished to share this fervent and zealous love to all so that they too could enjoy and share in the abundant fruits of the Church. The Archbishop also established a Carmelite Convent in Brezovica, Croatia, for he grasped the fundamental importance that prayer must play in each persons life and also in the life and spiritual health of the country.

It was just as well that this wonderful Archbishop laid such good ground work for Croatia would soon be swallowed up by the terror of the Second World War, which would leave its mark on generations to come. During the war Archbishop Alojzije kept up his pastoral duties and tried to instill in the people to remain faithful to Church teachings irrespective of political ideology, a formidable undertaking when one was confronting the diabolical ideology of National Socialism! The Archbishop was careful in keeping a distance from all political ideologies and influences, and though he loved his country he did not approve of the persecution of entire people due to their race or religion.

Through watching the viciousness of the Axis powers Archbishop Alojzije became an outspoken opponent to what he could see happening and criticized all those involved in the persecutions of the Jewish people and other crimes against humanity, he outright condemned all injustices done against the innocent. Not only was the Archbishop an opponent of the holocaust happening before his eyes he also took direct action in trying to save those most threatened including helping to save Jews, Serbs, Gypsies and other groups who were in the direct and rabid eyes of the Nazi's and their supporters.

This courageous Archbishop also stated to the people and those who were perpetuating a crime against the innocent these words, "Every nation and every race on the earth, has the right to a life worthy of a person and to treatment worthy of a person. All without differentiation, whether black or distinguished Europeans, despised Jews or haughty Aryans, have the same right to say: 'Our Father who art in Heaven!" He continued on and ended his speech with these ringing words, "And if God has granted this right to all, what human authorities can negate it?"

This man of great Faith and courage also disputed the efforts of some within the Catholic Church to impose 'forced' baptisms on those of a different faith but instead encouraged the Catholic laity and all peoples of good heart to save those in peril from a sense of human decency rather than religious coercion. Though he took this stance he also did not outlaw the Baptism of individuals if it meant saving their lives, while at the same time honouring the religious heritage of the Jewish people. In his own words the Archbishop said, "when this time of insanity passes, those who converted due to conviction will remain in our Church, while the others, when the danger passes, will return to their own".

This marvelous man of God was tireless in saving all people from all walks of life, even though he knew what such outspokenness could do to his own safety. He suffered many persecutions not only from the Nazi regime, but also his own people who wished to dissociate from someone so outspoken, but through the fire of his own dry martyrdom Archbishop Alojzije remained composed and strident in condemning such evil and on such a grand scale, he would not be quiet! This led the Nazi regime to try many attempts to assassinate this aggravating Priest who so strongly opposed their psychopathic genocide of whole races. And from within the Catholic community some also petitioned the Holy See to remove this worrisome Archbishop who could not and would not be silenced!

Unfortunately the tragedies that struck the people of Croatia was not over upon the ending of the Second World War, for once the Nazi's had gone they were soon replaced by the Communists. So it was in 1945 that Archbishop Alojzije Stepinac was arrested, and soon after had a reported conversation with the Partisan hero of the Communist Party, Tito, it was at this meeting that Tito made plain he wished to make a 'new catholic church' which would be renamed 'The National Catholic Church' which would maintain its independence from The Holy See, this was anathema to this devout son of the Church and he vigorously opposed it!

This stance set Archbishop Alojzije in direct opposition to the reigning Tito government, and it was through Communist propaganda waged against this most humble and courageous son of the Church that would eclipse the persecution he had faced when opposing the evil Nazi regime. This would become a clash of mammoth proportion to the peoples of Croatia as Tito set upon not only discrediting Archbishop Stepinac but the entire Catholic Church .

Let us look at the personal toll these horrendous years must have placed on Archbishop Stepinac, though he was not tortured physically one cannot discount the mental and emotional anguish this man suffered through as he watched whole peoples being extinguished from the face of the earth. He recognised from the first the evil intent of the Nazi regime and all those who embraced its evil intent, yet he continued to be outspoken irrespective of his personal safety. Not only this but he also encouraged Priests and Religious to do all they could to save those under persecution with full knowledge of what this meant to those courageous enough to heed the Archbishops call. Through all this Archbishop Alojzije Stepinac did not relent or give way to the incredible pressures that must have been placed on him. One can only imagine the hours of sleep he missed out on, the skipped meals, the hours of prayer he undertook to strengthen his own spiritual needs. The hours spent visiting and encouraging those who sought his help and intercession, the visits within his own Dioceses and the many speeches he made opposing the Nazi madness. We can only speculate the toll that this took on this great man who so vigorously and courageously spoke out against totalitarian regimes.

We should also not underestimate the power that Tito imposed on this country that had suffered through the Nazi persecution and would now suffer under his reign of terror! Tito was a master at propaganda so much so that he even opposed Russian interference and prevailed against Stalin himself! Tito was a law unto himself and so began the persecution and vilification of Archbishop Alojzije Stepinac, with the full co-operation of the Tito government.

Though Tito threw all he could at Archbishop Stepinac this did not impede nor did it scare this great man with the heart of a lion as he once again opposed an ideology that was in opposition to God and the Holy Catholic Church. Through this new and ferocious whirlwind of hate Archbishop Stepinac faced off with the 'red terror' and did not shrink nor hide from its viscous tentacles even when he was physically attacked and his home stoned, still the Archbishop stood strong against that formidable foe who had helped defeat Nazism only to impose his own ungodly regime, that was Tito's communism!

This infuriated the Tito government who then re-arrested Archbishop Stepinac and in a 'kangaroo court' the Archbishop was sentenced to 16 years of enforced labor in a prison camp at Lepoglava,during his imprisonment, he was in total solitary confinement, was constantly humiliated by the inhumane guards and suffered poisoning, which led to a decoration in his health. Later he would also suffer interment, totally isolated from his beloved people but this did not stop, Pope Pius XII proclaiming Archbishop Alojzije Stepinac a Cardinal, this led the Tito government to sever all connections to the Holy See.

Through all this Cardinal Stepinac kept up a correspondence to the faithful and encouraged them all in writing to remain strong and faithful Catholics, despite their many sufferings. Though Tito may have imprisoned Cardinal Stepinac physically he had no power over the Cardinals spirit which remained united to his beloved Church and his Beloved Jesus and Him Crucified!

In the end the love and courage showed by this Saintly man gained him the recognition he deserves by the Church and the world, while those who opposed this great man of the Church remain indicted for their cowardice and malice. While communist statues would be toppled, and leaders overthrown, one man stood alone and led the cry...."Free my people".

Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac died in 1960.

Blessed Cardinal Stepinac was beatified in 1998 by Pope John Paul II.

Peace of Christ to ALL

Copyright © 2006 Marie Smith. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Saint Catherine Laboure

Catherine was born into a large and prosperous family of farmers in 1806 in France. Nothing in Catherine’s background would have distinguished her from her peers. Like many families, she was raised to love God and the Church, but her life would be touched by sadness early when her mother, Louise died when Catherine was only 9 years old.

The death of Catherine's mother would be the catalyst that helped this young girl reach out to our Blessed Mother, as she grieved the death of her own beloved mother. This started a deep devotion for our Lady as Catherine kept up a strong prayer life and helped her father, Peter, raise her siblings. During these difficult years Catherine when upon receiving her first Communion, then chose to rise at 4 AM in order to attend daily Mass, this included a long walk to get to her Church, through all kinds of weather. But even from an early age Catherine's heart was filled with a longing to serve her Lord, however He chose.

It was during this time that the young Catherine saw a vision of an elderly man who beckoned her to work with the sick, Catherine never forgot what she saw and would obey where God called her to be, which was to be a Religious. But it was when she visited the hospital run by the Daughters of Charity that Catherine recognised that man in her vision as St. Vincent de Paul, and as Catherine gazed in wonder at the picture the words of the 'man' came back to her, "My child, it is a good deed to look after the sick; you run away now, but one day you will be glad to come to me. God has designs on you - do not forget it." Catherine left the hospital grounds to ponder on many things.

This very practical young lady who helped raise her siblings after the death of her mother, was not one for fancies or anything whimsical, she seemed to have been born with a steady head on her shoulders, and had been a great support to her Father. But Catherine also had a deep and profound love of prayer and a great love for Our Lady; it was a love so deep that she could not ignore the calling she felt within.

And so in 1830 Catherine took her first steps into becoming a Religious with the Daughters of Charity. She worked diligently to help within her community, but her personality was such that she did not bring any untoward attention to herself as she went about her daily duties. This would be a hallmark to the extent of Catherine's personality and humility, in that no one ever saw anything special in this particular Sister.

Yet this very devout Nun would be the recipient of visits from our Lady which brought a message to the world and one of hope. For it was to Catherine that Our Lady asked that a medal be struck in her honour with these words written on them, "O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you." This would come to be known as the Miraculous Medal due to the many miracles to all who wear it in good Faith.

What is truly astounding is that upon being the recipient of several visits from our Lady, an Angel and St. Vincent de Paul, Catherine remained totally silent! This young novice understood that it was not her who was the important one but rather, our Lady and the salvation of sinners. So even though Catherine saw these miraculous events and even sat in the lap of our Blessed Mother, none of this changed her in the slightest, she remained a simple child of God.

Even after the Miraculous Medal had been struck, and the devotion spread to the four corners of the world, Catherine herself simply went about her daily duties of serving the sick and the poor. At no time did Catherine ever aspire to be 'famous' she simply followed our Blessed Mother wishes as a loving daughter should.

Catherine had a deep horror of becoming known, but due to her deep humility and meekness, the secret that Catherine carried in her heart, remained just that a secret. She never told any of her fellow Sisters that she had been Graced in such a way, and because of her quiet demeanor they never guessed that a Saint was in their midst.

It is to this Saint who lived her life in total obscurity that we recognise the virtues of prudence and temperance in that all Glory and honour was given to God and not herself, she exemplified these very qualities within her character.

Catherine's legacy is one of utter obedience and love for God and of fulfilling what was required of her while bringing no attention to herself.

The Miraculous Medal is still worn by many Catholics to this present day!

Catherine Laboure died in 1876.

Saint Catherine Laboure was canonized in 1947 by Pope Pius XII.

Peace of Christ to you ALL

Copyright © 2006 Marie Smith. All rights reserved.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Saint Juliana Falconieri

Juliana was born into a wealthy family in Florentine. Her father died when she was very young and was raised by her mother and her uncle Alexis. Alexis was one of the founders of the Servite Order and is now Blessed Alexis. Under his care Juliana grew up, as he said, more like an angel than a human being. Such was her modesty that she never used a mirror or gazed upon the face of a man during her whole life. The mere mention of sin made her shudder and tremble, and once hearing, a scandal related she fell into a dead swoon.

Her devotion to the sorrows of Our Lady drew her to the Servants of Mary. At the age of fifteen, she refused an offer of marriage. She consecrated her life to God, devoting her time to prayer and works of penance and charity. She received the habit from St. Philip Benizi himself. Her sanctity attracted many novices, for whose direction she was bidden to draw up a rule, and thus with reluctance she became foundress of the "Mantellate."

She led a life of apostolic charity, converting sinners, reconciling enemies, and healing the sick by sucking with her own lips their ulcerous sores. She was sometimes rapt for whole days in ecstasy, and, her prayers saved the Servite Order when it was in danger of being suppressed. She was visited in her last hour by angels in the form of white doves, and Jesus Himself, as a beautiful child, crowned her with a garland of flowers.

She became sick with a disease of the stomach, which prevented her from taking food. She bore her silent agony with constant cheerfulness, grieving only for the privation of Holy Communion. When, in her seventieth year, she had sunk to the point of death, she begged to be allowed once more to see and adore the Blessed Sacrament. It was brought to her cell, and reverently laid on a corporal, which was placed over her heart. At this moment she expired, and the Sacred Host disappeared. After her death the form of the Host was found stamped upon her heart in the exact spot over which the Blessed Sacrament had been placed.

Saint Juliana pray for us!

Monday, February 06, 2006

Blessed MotherTeresa of Calcutta

Agnes Bojaxhiu, was born in the city of Skopje no one could have known then that a truly remarkable woman was born to this century, a woman who would lead the way in the revolution of love in a world grown weary of it. This is a world which has become gluttonous for the impure, the immodest and the immoral, where the Sacred has given way to the 'gods' of prosperity and power in a consumer age.

None could have predicted the enormous impact this one woman had on the world, where Presidents would tremble at her words, where Queens would honour her with titles and awards and a nation which would grant her the title of Peacemaker, in a world torn apart by war. Mother Teresa herself took no note of the titles, benefits or other worldly accruements which came her way, she instead embraced the lowly, the impoverished and the diseased, not only did she embrace them, she lived with them as one of them, for to Mother Teresa they were the face of Christ in the poorest of disguises. Where many would spit upon the face of the diseased, Mother Teresa kissed them, where others threw money at the beggars to appease their conscience, Mother Teresa became a beggar, for there is no shame in being born poor, the shame lay with the hoarders of wealth. To the abandoned, Mother Teresa was their refuge, to the forgotten, Mother Theresa remembered them, to the diseased ravaged Mother Theresa was their step to dignity. To the wealthy Mother Teresa was their bane, to the powerful Mother Teresa was their conscience, to the despots Mother Teresa was to be feared. Though to the poor Mother Teresa was their face Many would try to emulate her, but there will only ever be one Mother Teresa, but what drove this remarkable woman? Where did her strength come from?

Before she took the name of Mother Teresa, she was first known as Sister Mary Teresa, after her favourite Saint, Terese of Lisieux and lived among the Religious community of the Sisters of Loreto. Here she lived for many happy years as she taught the children of the more wealthy and prominent families in India at St. Mary’s School for girls. This was a happy time for Sister Teresa a time of fulfilling God's Will by teaching the children of the future and Sister Teresa adored the girls and the community in which she lived, she showed no inclination to leave as she embraced her life and lived it with real joy and exuberance. This part of her life must not be underestimated for it is true that Sister Teresa felt complete as she taught the girls whom she had come to love and was loved in return by them. What then drove Sister Teresa to leave the community that she loved with every fibre of her being? How could she leave those in whom she had embraced for what and to where? Dare she give up the security of what she had known and walk out to the unknown?

One can only imagine the inner turmoil that Sister Teresa felt when upon leaving on a spiritual retreat, this remarkable Sister felt 'the call within a call', and then in absolute obedience she acted upon Jesus calling her to be with Him in the service of the poorest of the poor. But this action like many more cost Sister Teresa, and she mourned deeply for the life she was to leave behind, she would miss her beloved students, her fellow Religious Sisters and Priests...the pain of loss was real and deep.

So upon gaining her Superiors permission Sister Teresa left her beloved convent, where her future had been secure into the maelstrom of noise, smells, filth, tears, rage and violence which was the streets of Calcutta. All Sister Teresa had was the 'Divine inspirations' from her beloved Spouse Jesus to "Come be My light," but though Teresa took these words seriously, how could she, one woman alone succeed amidst such squalor? These thoughts tormented the young Sister Theresa as she tried to cope with such a change in her circumstances, where there was no longer a schedule of religious life to follow. How was she to begin such a massive order when all around her everyone was destitute and diseased, the thoughts swirled in her How? How?

To these questions came....silence! How Teresa must have longed for the security she had left behind, where everything was clean and orderly. Here she was in an inhospitable landscape to serve the poor, who were diseased, smelly, ungrateful, unhappy, and suspicious of this woman who was dressed in a blue and white Sari, and called herself Mother Teresa. Just as Mother Teresa had her doubts so too did the people she had come to serve, who was this woman in the sari? What was her 'real' motive? Was this woman mad? Did she not realise that there were murderers in the streets who would think nothing of killing a 'Religious' for they had no respect for anyone. Then finally many thought, this religious wont last long she will go back to her comforts as they looked upon her with disdain mixed with...hope? Just like Mother Teresa many thought what can one woman do?

The driving force that drove Mother Teresa was her love of God and the sufferings of Christ which she recognised in the poorest of the poor, but Mother Teresa was a teacher, she was not a nursing Religious. So in all practicalities Mother Teresa took a course on nursing, after which she returned to the streets of Calcutta, more resolute in heart, more steady in her mission and more in love than ever with her Lord and Saviour. But was her love returned? For in the heart of this devout nun lay such a barren landscape of no consolation that it tore at her heart ripping it to shreds as she endured the 'dark night of the soul'. Though Mother Teresa spent many hours in prayer, it felt as if her prayers were going into the air unheard and unloved, her every effort unappreciated by the one she so loved with all her heart and soul…why? Why such silence?

What Mother Teresa was experiencing was an aridity of soul that only a few Saints have passed through, let us not gloss over the enormity of the desolation that Mother Teresa felt within her soul as she worked and gave assistance to the poor and desolate. For the love that Mother Teresa gave to those who needed it, she herself felt her love was not returned, through the long nights of despair where her soul was deluged with doubts...not one word from her Divine and gut wrenching...silence.

Mother Teresa worked from sun rise to long into the night as she helped those around her, there were no clinical conditions as found in western countries. Here Mother Teresa picked up the elderly who had been abandoned in garbage dumps, and would sit and pick out the maggots that had infested the skin, the skin of those unwashed and unloved. She held dying babies in her arms who never had the chance to learn to smile, they too were abandoned to their fate, unloved and unwanted. Everywhere Mother Teresa looked was the ugliness of life at its most desperate and at the end of a long and arduous day where she had kissed and prayed for the dying, comforted the sick who would not last the night and held the children who did not recognise what it is to be cuddled. Mother Teresa turned to prayer to find no solace as her mind took in the sights and the affliction of all around her. How could this woman continue?

What kept Mother Teresa going was her love for God, for she loved God not for what He could give her, but how she could serve Him. Mother Teresa lived out the true meaning of love in all its rawness, for love is not about gaining but in giving. True love is to empty oneself for the love of others and not count the cost, it is to give when the well is dry, it is to share while your own soul feels it's own bareness. It is to give the very essence of yourself without holding back, it is to love with a passion that defies all logic, it is to love unto madness.

Mother Teresa was mad, yes! Mad with love for God, for who He is, despite her lack of 'feelings' Mother Teresa knew God, she saw her wounded Love in the face of the impoverished, in the eyes of the dying, in the unheard screams of the unborn, she saw her Beloved in everyone.

While her own spirit was undergoing its annihilation, she continued to love the unloved, irrespective of her own agonies, her own pain and her own loneliness. She would become the voice of the voiceless, the empowerment of the powerless, the conscience of the immoral and the indictment of the pro choice movement! Where others turned away, Mother Teresa embraced the ugliness that is life for many, where others compromised the truth, Mother Teresa stood firm, where some conditioned their love, Mother Teresa gave her love without need of a receipt. This woman of God would not turn away from the weak and the weary, the sorrowful and the diseased, the people who make us all uncomfortable, Mother Teresa was not a bystander of life, but instead leapt into life with all its ugliness, rawness and humiliations. For at the core of Mother Teresa's life was the words uttered by Christ Crucified.....'I THIRST'.

It is in Mother Teresa we see what we are all capable of and fail to do, one can no longer say, they cannot help the whole world....Mother Teresa showed us how. We can no longer hide our lack of caring, Mother Teresa showed us how to care. We can no longer stay silent on issues integral to our Faith where the unborn are murdered daily, where prisoners are executed in civilized countries...where children die of hunger and thirst as we water our gardens and throw away our left overs. Mother Teresa spoke up, she stood firm, she condemned the slaughter of the innocents, spoke out against the death sentence and she fed and gave water to the hungry and the thirsty.

Presidents listened to her, Princesses tried to emulate her, Queen's honoured her and the poor loved her. In Mother Teresa we see the Power of Love which had no eternity echoes with the words...."I Thirst"...

Mother Teresa died in 1997.

Blessed Mother Teresa was beatified in 2003 by Pope John Paul II.

Some Quotes

"Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat."

"Do not think that love, in order to be genuine, has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired."

"Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person."

"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."

"Everytime you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing."

"I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love."

"If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one."

Peace of Christ to you ALL

Copyright © 2006 Marie Smith. All rights reserved.
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