One Heart Full of Love By: Mother Teresa of Calcutta Edited by: Jose Luis Gonzalez Balado Published: August 1st, 1988
It has NEVER been my custom to publish a post that is simply one large quotation from another author but this post is an exception. Mother Teresa shared numerous words of wisdom during her lifetime and there are countless books by or about her that capture her view of life as lived in union with God. One book, One Heart Full of Love: Mother Teresa, has a beautiful excerpt that a priest, Father Francis, shared while I was on a private retreat, in one of his weekday homilies. The excerpt was entitled “We Will Be Judged By Our Love” and it had various subheadings. I will share one of them that beautifully describes one fundamental act of love that can be practiced by all of humanity: Self-Gift.
Introduction: “I am deeply grateful to God for allowing me to share with you, so I can bring you the joy and gratitude of our people, the poor, under whose distressing appearance Christ is hidden. You possess a wonderful and noble goal: to try to find ways of putting into practice your love for God and for your neighbor. Faith in action is love, and love in action is service. By transforming that faith into living acts of love, we put ourselves in contact with God himself, with Jesus our Lord.”
Giving and Self-Giving: Some time ago a Hindu gentleman was asked, ‘What is a Christian?’ He gave an answer that was both very simple and surprising. ‘A Christian is someone who gives of himself.’ From the very start, we perceive that indeed to be a Christian is nothing other than to give of oneself for the sake of Christ. God so loved the world that he gave us his son. That was the first act of self-giving. His Son was given to us because he wanted to be one with us, like us in everything except sin.
The son’s coming is ushered in by a new act of self-giving. Christ is given into the care of a woman, the Blessed Virgin Mary, the virgin immaculate. Because of her deep humility and total openness to God, the first thing that occurs to Mary is to share her son with others.
With the attitude of a servant of the Lord, Mary went with haste to share Jesus with others. We know what happened when St. John the Baptist welcomed Jesus while he was still in the womb. Mary’s gift of Jesus filled St. John and his parents with joy when the virgin arrived pregnant with child to visit her cousin Elizabeth.
As if this self-giving, this first self-giving, were not enough, Christ made himself the Bread of Life. He wanted tot give himself to us in a very special way- in a simple, tangible way-because it is hard for human beings to love God whom they cannot see. He made himself the Bread of Life to satisfy our love for God, our hunger for God. We have been created for greater things We have been created in God’s image and likeness. We have been created to love and to be loved.”