A Mother Teresa Miracle: Thankfulness

morning-air-bannerTomorrow morning at 7:45 on “Morning Air with John Harper,” I’ll be chatting with John (of course) about Advent with Saint Teresa of Calcutta.

Although Mother Teresa and Advent go very well together — her life was all about walking toward the light, even while in darkness — I’m especially thankful to be talking about her the day before Thanksgiving. Because when I think of Mother Teresa, the first word that comes to mind is “thankful.” No matter what, she always found reasons to be thankful for the merciful hand of God, who provided for her every need.

In one of my favorite stories about Mother Teresa and the Missionaries of Charity, the Sisters came to Mother wanting to know how they were to feed the hungry poor their breakfast that morning. The larders were bare, and they had nothing to cook.

“Just pray,” Mother reminded them. Moments later, large trucks pulled up to the children’s home. For some reason school had been canceled that day, and the bread for the children’s lunches was no longer needed . . . so the school send the food over.

It’s a lesson we can find woven into the life stories of many great saints like Mother Teresa and Solanus Casey: When you have need of something, start by thanking God for it. The answer might not come exactly the way you’d expected … but it can be a source of Thanksgiving all the same.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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8 Ways Mother Teresa Changed My Life

mother-teresa-13In celebration of the canonization of Saint Teresa of Calcutta (Mother Teresa) on September 4, I would like to share with you eight lessons and prayers that I discovered from reading Mother Teresa’s writings. Feel free to share some of your favorites as well!

I’ve posted these lessons at the “Extraordinary Moms Network.” It was such a privilege reading through dozens of books by and about this great lady. I found myself relating to her in surprising ways! (Like me, she became “Mother” in her middle thirties, and like me she HATED getting her picture taken.)  Here are links to the eight lesson in the post series, which will run from September 4 through September 11.

Lesson #1  The Power of Loving the “Other.” How I “met” Mother Teresa while on a cross-country bus in Mexico, trying to discern my own vocation.

Lesson #2: Always Take Mary with You.  What would you do with an unlimited train pass? If you’re Mother Teresa . . . you take Mary with you.

Lesson #3: God Works Miracles When We Make Ourselves Small. The sole survivor of last year’s murderous attack of the Missionaries of Charity in Yemen remembers the miracle.

Lesson #4: God Enjoys the Simplest Prayers. Do you feel self-conscious about praying in public? Let this encourage you!

Lesson #5:  Faithful Love Sweetens Life How prayer is the “secret ingredient” of a peaceful life.

Lesson #6: God Transforms Our Pain Have you ever wondered what God was thinking when he allowed this or that to happen? Seeing how God used the pain of Mother Teresa’s life to bring healing to others spoke to me about this.

Lesson #7: God Measures “Success” Differently One day when we stand before God at the end of our lives, God will measure the value of our actions very differently than we have a tendency to do here on earth. How will you measure up?

Lesson #8: Joy, Like Love, Is a Choice. From broken hearts to natural disasters to national tragedies, how we choose to respond can be life-giving for ourselves and others.

Saint Teresa, thank you for the gift of your life to the whole world. Pray for us, your children, as we continue to follow your example of joy in suffering, trust in darkness, and humble service to all. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.

 If you are enjoying this series, you might also enjoy my two new books on her life and writings: Advent with Saint Teresa of Calcutta (preorders ship 9/16) and Lent with Saint Teresa of Calcutta, (preorders ship 1/17), both available through Servant Books/Franciscan Media.

Thanks for reading!