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Mother Theresa, Valient Woman

On September 4, 2016, Pope Francis canonized Blessed Mother Theresa of Calcutta and on September 5 each year we celebrate her feast day. Let us take a quick look back at her life.

Mother Teresa 1Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu now known as Mother Theresa, was the youngest of three sisters in her Albanian family. Her father was a a successful business man and her mother a devoted Catholic. Agnes was filled with fervent love of God, thanks to her fervent mother, and at the age of twelve believed she had a deep calling to belong entirely to God and had a burning desire to serve the poor. When she was eighteen, Agnes entered into the Loreto Sisters community, and took the name Theresa. Many might suspect that she took her name after St. Theresa of Avila, but she actually took her name after St. Therese of Lisieux. Theresa was drawn by St. Therese's “little way” in striving to love Jesus more than He could ever be loved. Following St. Therese's example, Theresa pushed onward in her religious life to put all the love she could muster into everything she did and to all the people she met, taught or cared for.

In 1946, Theresa had an exceptional experience in which she was asked by the Lord to leave the Loreto Sisters and to begin a new congregation-one that would allow thirsty souls to come to Christ. Theresa herself would soon share in the the great sufferings of the poor. People would always see Theresa smiling and sharing the love of Christ with the poor of Calcutta with positive energy, but what many couldn't see was what was happening in her soul. Theresa wanted so much to relate to the poor that she lived just like them in the slums of Calcutta facing the harshness of physical poverty. At the same time too, Theresa was facing the “dark night of the soul” or spiritual darkness which is described by many saints, especially by to St. John of the Cross. The dark night of the soul is a time when a soul may feel complete abandonment of God or total rejection by him with no consolations whatsoever. This continued for forty years in Theresa's life, but she continued to look at it in a positive manor, by which she could share the deepest pain of the poor of Calcutta. Theresa saw the face of the suffering Christ in the poor and experienced their emotional, physical and psychological pains of facing feelings of loneliness, isolation, forgotten and unwanted.

Today Mother Theresa's legacy lives on through the Missionaries of Charity and through her life long teachings continues to shows us that each one is loved by God and possesses great dignity. We are children of God no matter what our social or economical status is in life. As was celebrate Mother Teresa today, let us ask for her prayerful intercession that we may learn to grow in charity toward all who are poor whether physically, emotionally or spiritually.

St. Theresa of Calcutta, pray for us.