Notable quotations from Pope Francis and official teachings of the Roman Catholic Church
Following Jesus is a serious task, and at the same time, one filled with joy; it takes a certain daring and courage to recognize the divine Master in the poorest of the poor and those who are cast aside, and to give oneself in their service.
Mother Teresa ... was a generous dispenser of divine mercy, making herself available for everyone through her welcome and defense of human life, those unborn and those abandoned and discarded. She was committed to defending life, ceaselessly proclaiming that "the unborn are the weakest, the smallest, the most vulnerable." She bowed down before those who were spent, left to die on the side of the road, seeing in them their God-given dignity; she made her voice heard before the powers of the world ...
For Mother Teresa, mercy was the "salt" which gave flavor to her work, it was the "light" which shone in the darkness of the many who no longer had tears to shed for their poverty and suffering.
Her mission to the urban and existential peripheries remains for us today an eloquent witness to God's closeness to the poorest of the poor.
I think, perhaps, we may have some difficulty in calling her "Saint Teresa": her holiness is so near to us, so tender and so fruitful that we continue to spontaneously call her "Mother Teresa."
May this tireless worker of mercy help us increasingly to understand that our only criterion for action is gratuitous love, free from every ideology and all obligations, offered freely to everyone without distinction of language, culture, race or religion.
Mother Teresa loved to say , "Perhaps I don't speak their language, but I can smile." Let us carry her smile in our hearts and give it to those whom we meet along our journey, especially those who suffer. In this way we will open up opportunities of joy and hope for our many brothers and sisters who are discouraged and who stand in need of understanding and tenderness.
(Source: Homily at Mass and Canonization of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, 9/4/16)
Published by: Presentation Ministries, 3230 McHenry Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45211, (513) 662-5378, www.presentationministries.com