Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Never forgetting the roots

Today we celebrate the memorial of St. Teresa of Calcutta. Most of us remember her as Mother Teresa, but it is important to remember where she started.

She was born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, of Albanian parents in what is now the Capital of Macedonia. When she was born it was one spot in the Ottoman Empire. Her father died when she was 8 years old leaving her the youngest child of a widow.

Who could have looked at her then and guessed that she would become the world renowned religious leader that she became? Her willingness to allow herself to be used by God, to listen to the prompting of the Spirit and follow it was the key to her success. She stands as proof that with God all things are possible.

As we now know from her letters, she experience long periods of emptiness, and even doubting the existence of God but despite her feelings she kept moving forward. In a time when we are somewhat obsessed with how we feel about things, and some would set up feelings as the arbiter of truth, she reminds us that feelings are fleeting and often wrong. Even when she didn't feel the presence of God she continued to strive to do what was right, she strove to do God's will.

She was the model of the virtue of fortitude, the ability to confront fear and uncertainty. Through her intercession may this virtue be strengthened in each of us.