St. Teresa of Calcutta’s radical love and care for the poor caught the attention of many religious and non-religious people, who were all in awe of the way she lived her life and the dedication she had to serve those not only poor materially but spiritually poor as well.
In 1950, Mother Teresa and a small community of 12 came together to form the Missionaries of Charity, a Catholic order tasked with the mission of caring for “the hungry, the naked, the homeless, the crippled, the blind, the lepers, all those people who feel unwanted, unloved, uncared for throughout society, people that have become a burden to the society and are shunned by everyone.” While it is common for religious sisters to take vows of chastity, poverty and obedience, the Missionaries of Charity also profess a fourth vow: to give “wholehearted free service to the poorest of the poor.”
While the Missionaries of Charity didn’t have much, they gave everything to serve their communities and share the love of Christ with all whom they encountered. What began as small things, done with great love, became revolutionary.
As a woman committed to service and prayer, many would have assumed Mother Teresa’s relationship with God was always cheerful like her outward demeanor displayed. However, her letters, which were collected and published in 2007, revealed that for the last 50 years of her life, she did not feel God’s presence in her soul. She disclosed that she experienced great suffering in fearing that God had abandoned her at the start of her mission.
Despite her great suffering and what she considered to be partaking in Christ’s passion, Mother Teresa remained dedicated to her work and prayer, staying faithful to the point that those who worked closest with her were shocked to read of her many years of spiritual desolation.
Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta Rosary with Murano Glass, $91.20
The Rosary was St. Teresa of Calcutta’s favorite and constant prayer. She would pray the Rosary anywhere, but she particularly loved praying it before the Blessed Sacrament. Her example taught those who witnessed her prayer to cling to Our Lady through the Rosary and to say “yes” to God just as our Blessed Mother so radically did.
“Cling to the Rosary as the creeper clings to the tree — for without Our Lady we cannot stand.”
– St. Teresa of Calcutta
The Rosary became a hallmark of the Missionaries of Charity’s way of life. They would pray the rosary in haste as they went to serve the people of Calcutta with Our Lady’s help and guidance.
We too must cling to the Rosary as we go out into the world and fulfill the mission the Lord has placed on our hearts. It is not about the work we do, but rather the love and intention that is behind our every action. When we pray the rosary, we invite Our Blessed Mother to assist us in our work, and we grow in love for her son, Jesus Christ.
“You and I have been created for greater things. We have not been created to just pass through this life without sin. And that greater aim is to love and be loved. Give yourself fully to God, who will use you to accomplish great things on the condition that you believe much more in his love than in your weakness. Never think that a small action done to your neighbor is not worth much. It is not how much we do that is pleasing to God, but how much love we put into doing it.” – St. Teresa of Calcutta