Winter Retreat Day 6: The Mother Teresa Effect

Mother Teresa is a saintly figure renowned for her compassionate care of the poor, and her healing ministry in the slums of Kolkata. Her legacy has such a global appeal, that only a few years after her death she is on her way to becoming an officially recognized saint in the Catholic tradition (a process that, more often than not, takes several hundreds of years).

mother-teresa-love1How can we connect with her example to make the world a better place? Simple: practice unconditional, uncontrived LOVE.


The following excerpt from “Mother Teresa: Saint of light, saint of darkness” is so beautifully written by Bishop Robert Barron (as published in the Denver Catholic, Jan. 23, pg. 23) I can’t help but quote this in it’s entirety. Bishop Barron’s reverence for Mother Teresa’s ministry of love is palpable, and warrants a slow, contemplative reading and rereading:

“Mother Teresa…shows something remarkable about love. I think it is fair to say [she] went to extremes in demonstrating love in this proper sense. She renounced practically everything that, in the opinion of the world, makes life pleasant – wealth, material goods, power, comforts, luxuries – in order to be of service to those in need. Further, for decades, she personally reached out to the most vulnerable in one of the worst slums in the world and sent her sisters to some fo the most disagreeable places on the planet. Most of us, I imagine, manage to love to a degree, but few ever express this theological virture more dramatically and radically than she did. This is not simply admirable, it constitutes a crucial witness to the nature of love.

Unlike the other virtues, both natural and theological, love has no limit. 

Justice, limitlessly expressed, excludes all mercy; too much temperance becomes a fussy puritanism; exaggerated courage is rashness; unlimited faith is credulity; infinite hope devolves into presumption.

But there can never be too much love;

there is never a time when love is inappropriate, for love is what God is, and love constitutes the very life of heaven. Mind you, in heaven there is no need for faith and hope fades away. But in that supremely holy place, love remains in all of its infinite intensity and radicality. Mother Teresa’s way of life, accordingly, is an icon of the love that will obtain in heaven, when we are drawn utterly into the very life of God.”


Spend just five minutes today reflecting on the kindnesses you have received, the people you love, and your positive intentions for the whole world. Bask in the glow of love. Then, take that love to a complete stranger and express it – be present with love, find a way to do a radical act of charity, visit the poor, the sick, and those in prison simply to be a witness to love…

Watch, like, comment and share this video for inspiration:

One Comment on “Winter Retreat Day 6: The Mother Teresa Effect

  1. Pingback: The Rose in the Fire | the holistic homestead

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