Today’s News: St. Teresa of Calcutta-Our Model of Holiness, Compassion, Humanity and Mercy

This is THE  homily for the day. What is finally done speaks louder than words.

Today a very human woman was declared a saint. For the many thousands she served throughout her ministry she was already a Saint-literally and metaphorically lifting them up out of the gutters and loving them into peace and dignity.  If our Good Shepherd Ministry had Patron Saints, we would have St. Teresa of Calcutta and Dorothy Day, (although the Church may not catch up with the level of understanding to beatify Day in the forseeable future). We are thankful for the official recognition of Mother Teresa, though it was not something she wanted or needed. It is both Mother Teresa’s depth of service and understanding and her humanness- full of doubts and real questions about many things that makes her a role model for us. One can not look at people condemned to the bottom without a righteous anger at things that are and the ability to speak truth to power, and this she did. One cannot help to lift the poor without knowing  and carrying the many frustrations and pain of that deeply inside. Those of us close enough to touch the poor with love must experience as she did a “darkness of the soul”. And yet our eyes are on the Light. We can ask her prayers for us in this experience.  The Gospel for today: Luke 14:25-33 is excellent for today’s Papal homily at the beatification. For St. Teresa the costs of discipleship were carefully counted and her cross was borne every day. Possessions meant nothing to her except possessing the love and light of Christ in the darkness that seeks to envelop those who suffer in silence. Her actions were their voice.  For St. Teresa’s gifts of life, and her realness and endless love of Christ and the poor we say now: St. Teresa of Calcutta, pray for us.

These are her words: Love is not words. It is action. Our vocation is to love”.

And of “residing in heaven” she said that she will not be there , she will be active in continuing to bring light to the darkness of the world, particularly the darkness that threatens to cover the poor and the sick.

Thanks be to God for the life and light of St. Teresa!

Rev. Dr. Judith Lee, RCWP Co-Pastor Good Shepherd Ministries, SWFL

CNN Article

Vatican City (CNN)Mother Teresa, a Catholic nun who devoted her life to helping India’s poor, has been declared a saint in a canonization Mass held by Pope Francis in the Vatican.

Pope Francis delivered the formula for the canonization of the Albanian-born nun — known as the “saint of the gutters” — before huge crowds of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City on Sunday morning.
Applause broke out before he completed the formula of canonization, in which he declared “Blessed Teresa of Calcutta to be a saint.”
India renamed the city of Calcutta to Kolkata in 2001 to match the Bengali pronunciation. But the church uses the spelling of Calcutta in its references to Mother Teresa.

Mother Teresa declared a saint

Mother Teresa declared a saint 01:04
Speaking in Latin, Francis said that “after due deliberation and frequent prayer for divine assistance, and having sought the counsel of many of our brother bishops, we declare and define Blessed Teresa of Calcutta to be a saint, and we enroll her among the saints, decreeing that she is to be venerated as such by the whole church.”
Catholics — including hundreds of blue- and white-robed nuns from the Missionaries of Charity sisterhood founded by Mother Teresa — had gathered from around the world to attend the canonization of the church’s newest saint, just 19 years after her death.
A huge portrait of Mother Teresa, whom the church credits with having performed two miraculous cures of the sick, hung from St. Peter’s Basilica during the colorful ceremony.

An image of Mother Teresa hangs from the facade of St. Peter's in the Vatican.

Francis: ‘May she be your model of holiness’

Pope Francis then delivered a homily, in which he praised Mother Teresa — “this emblematic figure of womanhood and of consecrated life” — for her charitable work.
“Mother Teresa, in all aspects of her life, 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,” he said.
“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 this world, so that they might recognize their guilt for the crime of poverty they created.”

Pope Francis praised Mother Teresa as a model of compassion to Catholics worldwide.

For the newly-sainted Teresa, he said, “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.”
She was an example to volunteers around the world, he said. “May she be your model of holiness.”
In a departure from his scripted remarks, he noted that people “may struggle” to refer to her as “Saint Teresa.” “With great spontaneity, I think we will continue to call her Mother Teresa,” he said.
Prayers were then delivered in a number of languages, including Albanian, Mother Teresa’s native tongue, and Bengali, the language of Kolkata, where a special Mass was celebrated at the Missionaries of Charity Sunday. A prayer was delivered in Chinese for persecuted Christians around the world.
About 1,500 homeless people from across Italy were bused into the Vatican to be given seats of honor at the Mass — and be served a pizza lunch by nuns afterward.

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