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Posted by on Sep 5, 2011

Laboring in Love – Blessed Mother Teresa of  Calcutta

Laboring in Love – Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Blessed Mother Teresa, photo by Túrelio

Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta (feast day September 5)  worked for decades in India, first as a teacher in schools run by the Sisters of Loreto and later caring for the homeless and dying on the streets of Calcutta. Though controversies exist regarding her work and her legacy, men and women around the world now share in her mission of care for the poor as Missionaries of Charity, not just the dying but also assisting those living in poverty.

Today, as we celebrate Labor Day in the United States, it is worthwhile to remember Mother Teresa’s perspective on the work we do.

“To show great love for God and our neighbor we need not do great things. It is how much love we put in the doing that makes our offering something beautiful for God.”

May we remember her words as we go about our daily lives; that we may touch those around us with love and God’s presence.


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Posted by on Sep 5, 2008

Laboring in Love – Blessed Mother Teresa of  Calcutta

Blessed Teresa of Kolcata – September 5

Mother Teresa was born in Albania in 1910. She went to India in 1929 to become a Sister of Loreto, an order of teaching nuns. She took her first vows in 1931 and began working as a teacher, work she deeply enjoyed. She chose the name Teresa in honor of St. Therese of Lisieux, patroness of the missions.

As the years passed, Mother Teresa became increasingly aware of the poverty and despair that were the lot of so many people in India, including around the school in Kolkata. On September 10, 1946, she received a “call” from the Lord to leave the work she was doing and go out to live among and serve the poorest of the poor. Her response to this call and the positive results of her service and witness are well documented.

From the streets of Kolkata, men and women who joined her in service as the Missionaries of Charity have moved throughout India and into the broader world. Today, as sisters, priests and brothers, they have schools, clinics and shelters in 120 countries, including the United States. My home parish, St. Patrick’s, in Spokane, WA is even blessed to have a group of sisters working in the community. They are quietly witnessing and bringing the Good News to the larger neighborhood and diocesan community through their service and I am grateful for their presence there.

Many words have been written about Mother Teresa, including a post in this blog last year. Some praise her. Some criticize her. Some mock her. Some don’t know what to think about her. None of this would come as a surprise to her. It was like that from the beginning of her work. In the decades of her “dark night of the soul,” many of these things may have been thoughts she had herself. 

But she was faithful to the calling she received and Pope John Paul II declared her Blessed. We’d do well to keep that in mind as we try to be faithful to the calls each of us have received. There are no guarantees of success or popularity. Most of us will never be praised by Kings, Queens and Presidents. Few will receive Nobel prizes. But we all can aspire to be faithful to the work set before us by our Lord.

If you’d like to send an e-card with words, prayers, and/or blessings from Mother Teresa, check out this link.

Blessed Teresa, pray for us.

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