Come Be My Light: Mother Teresa by Fr. Brian Kolodiejchuk, M.C.

“If I ever become a Saint – I will surely be one of ‘darkness.’ I will continually be absent from Heaven – to light the light of those in darkness on earth.” ~ MT

This book reveals the “terrible darkness” that Mother Teresa lived in – the paradoxical and totally unsuspected cost of her mission. Really enjoyed reading this book while living in Calcutta and seeing the MC’s live out Mother Teresa’s spirituality while joining in serving the poorest of the poor.

Part 1: Life Prior to a “Call within a Call”

From childhood the heart of Jesus has been my first love.

“I made a vow to God, binding under [pain of] mortal sin, to give to God anything that He may ask, ‘Not to refuse Him anything.’

Like her patroness, St. Therese of Lisieux, Mother Teresa aimed at “profiting by all the smallest things, and doing them through love.”

“Don’t look for big things, just do small things with great love… The smaller the thing, the greater must be our love.”

If we want Bengal for Christ we have to pay with many sacrifices. Now I really rejoice when something does not go as I wish – because I see that He wants our trust – that is why in the loss let us praise God as if we have got everything.

“Now I embrace the suffering even before it comes, and like this Jesus and I live in love”

Part 2: The “Call within the Call” — Founding the MC’s

The single most important reason for the existence of the congregation she founded was to satiate the thirst of Jesus on the Cross for Love and Souls.

Mother Teresa knew that only by being united with Mary, the first one to hear Jesus’ cry of thirst, could she fulfill her mission.

“Jesus wants me to tell you again… how much is the love He has for each one of you – beyond all what you can imagine… Not only He loves you, even more – He longs for you. He misses you when you don’t come close. He thirsts for you. He loves you always, even when you don’t feel worthy… Until you know deep inside that Jesus thirsts for you – you can’t begin to know who He wants to be for you. Or who He wants you to be for Him.” ~ Mother Teresa

Is it not worth going through every possible suffering just for one single soul?

The interior life must become the main power of the exterior.

“In all sincerity I admit that I possess no virtue and have no merit; it is a mystery to me how the Good God wants this from poor me.”

On August 8, 1948, Pope Pius XII, granted her permission to leave Loretto and begin her new mission.

With only 5 rupees, Mother Teresa’s wealth lay in her heart: unshakeable faith in God and absolute confidence in the promise He had made to her two years earlier: “Do not fear – I shall be with you always… Trust Me lovingly – trust me blindly”.

We have to pay the price for souls… Our work for souls is great, but without penance and much sacrifice it will be impossible – We have to do much more penance than even the Carmelites because of closeness of sin. ~ MT

“Love demands sacrifice. But if we love until it hurts, God will give us His peace and joy… Suffering in itself is nothing; but suffering shared with Christ’s Passion is a wonderful gift.” ~ MT

Part 3: The “Darkness”

Mother Teresa did not enjoy suffering for the sake of suffering; in fact, she found it almost unbearable. But she treasured the opportunity of being united to Jesus on the Cross and showing Him her love.

“Such terrible darkness within me, as if everything was dead… My own soul remains in deep darkness & desolation. No I don’t complain – let Him do with me whatever He wants.” ~ MT

She did all she could not to burden others with her sufferings; even less would she wish her sufferings to be a burden to her spouse, Jesus. Compared to His sufferings and to those of His poor, she did not consider her pain worth calling attention to. She aspired instead to console His Heart through joy. For this she counted on Mary’s support.

Please pray for me – that I be nothing to the world and let the world be nothing to me. ~ MT

Mother Teresa was aware that it was love that made her suffering so acute. The absence of her Beloved turned into a torturing longing for Him. She was torn between the feeling of having lost God and the unquenchable desire to reach Him. It was a veritable martyrdom of desire.

She looked to “grab any chance” to offer sacrifices for others.

I want to be a saint according to the Heart of Jesus – meek & humble.

Her poverty was her meeting place with God.

Keep giving Jesus to your people not by words but by your example – by your being in love with Jesus – by radiating His holiness and spreading His fragrance of love everywhere you go.

Love is proved by deeds; the more they cost us, the greater the proof of our love.

We are not social workers. We are contemplatives in the heart of the world. We are 24 hours a day with Jesus.

When you make it public it loses its sanctity.

Mother Teresa began to love the darkness as an integral part of her call. The darkness was not just “her” darkness: it was “His darkness”; she was sharing in “His pain”. Her interior darkness gave MT the capacity to comprehend the feelings of the poor. Her darkness became her greatest blessing; her “deepest secret” was indeed her greatest gift. It was not the suffering she endured that made her a saint, but the love with which she lived her life through all the suffering.

In reality, her agonizing and interminable darkness was reparatory rather than purgative. It was a participation in the mission of saving souls; she was following the example of Jesus her Master, and of His Blessed Mother, who suffered immensely, not to be purified from sin, but to save sinners.

“People today are hungry for love, for understanding love which is much greater and which is the only answer to loneliness and great poverty”

“Give Jesus a free hand and let Him use you without consulting you”

“My dear children – without our suffering, our work would just be social work, very good and helpful, but it would not be the work of Jesus Christ, not part of the redemption.”

“The greater the pain and darker the darkness the sweeter will be my smile at God” ~ MT

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