Mother Teresa on Loving Jesus edited by Jose Luis Gonzalez Balado
The passages below are quotations of Mother Teresa from the book “Loving Jesus,” edited by Jose Luis Gonzalez-Balado
1. MORE THAN JUST NUMBERS (58-60)
What was the good news Christ came to announce?
God is love.
God loves each one of us.
God loves me.
God loves you.
God has made you and me for greater things: to love and to be loved. We are not just numbers in the world.
That’s why it is so beautiful to recognize the presence of unborn children as gifts from God. A child is the greatest of God’s gifts to a family, because it is the fruit of the parents’ love.
It is so wonderful to think that God has create that child! To think also that God has created you and me—that poor person in the street, that hungry person, and that ragged person. He has created all in his image, for love.
We read something very beautiful in Scripture, where God assures us, “Even if a mother could forget her child, I will not forget you. I have carved you in the palm of my hand. I have called you by name” (Isaiah 49:15-16).
Yet today we look over the world and see little unborn children have become the target for death and destruction. They are being destroyed and exterminated!
The terrible part is that their own mothers decide to have them destroyed!
It is impossible for a mother to forget. But “even if a mother could forget, I will not forget you”, says God. And yet today mothers forget their children!
Not only do they forget them, but they seek to have them destroyed.
Mothers are afraid that their little unborn children will become a burden, the most beautiful creations of God’s love.
We should thank God that our parents loved us, that our parents wanted us! Thank God!
Just imagine, if my mother hadn’t wanted me, you would not have Mother Teresa. I would not have this opportunity to share with you if my mother had had me destroyed.
My mother loved me so much that later, when I grew up, she joyfully offered me to God. The gift he gave to her was the gift she gave back to him. And so, I am able to be with you and thank God with you.
I also want to thank God for all mothers who have wanted children and have decided to care for them
Let us pray that every mother will want her child, that no mother will seek out ways of destroying her child, that no mother will feel she does not want her unborn child, that no mother will think of feeding and caring for one more child as a burden, but will instead recognize her child as a great gift from God.
The other day I was talking to a woman who had had an abortion eight years ago. What do you think she told me?
“Mother, I feel a pain in my heart whenever I see a child. When I see a child who is eight years old, I always think of my child who would be eight years old. It is an awful pain in my heart, believe me.”
She was a Hindu, with a different degree of sensitivity to the value of human life, but Christian or non-Christian, that mother’s love, that mother’s pain, is there. Right up to the end of her life she will know, “I have killed my child, I decided to have my child destroyed!”
2. RECEIVE HIM AND LIVE (62-63)
Jesus loves you.
Jesus loves me.
Jesus loves those unborn children.
How do we know that Jesus loves us? By, looking at the cross!
The hands are still extended to embrace us.
The head is still bent to kiss us.
The heart is still open to receive us.
Are we there with him today?
Jesus is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. He stays there to make us understand that he wants us to love as he loves.
Will we love that unborn child?
Jesus has made himself the Bread of Life to satisfy our hunger for God. And he says, “Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you cannot live.”
We need Jesus in the Holy Eucharist.
He has made himself the Bread of Life—so fragile!—just so that you and I can receive him. He is so small, like the image of a little, unborn child—so defenceless!—all so that you and I may receive him and live.
As the carrier of Jesus, let us ask Our Lady to come into our homes.
Let us ask her to help us make our families other Nazareths where joy, peace, love and unity reign.
3. Carrying God’s Love to Others (65)
We always talk about our love for God. I want to talk about his love for us.
We can begin by reading in Scripture about his tender love for us. “Even if a mother could forget her child, I will not forget you. I have carved you on the palm of my hand” (Isaiah 49:15—16).
Therefore, every time God looks at his hand, he sees me there. He sees you there too. It is something very beautiful to remember in times of suffering, loneliness, humiliation and failure.
Remember, you are there in his hand.
You are precious to him.
He loves you.
What a truly wonderful thing!
4. GOD’S FORGIVING LOVE (66-68)
The other day, a man, a journalist, asked me a strange question. He asked me, “Even you, do have to go to confession?”
I said, “Yes, I go to confession every week.”
And he said, “Then God must be very demanding if you all have to go to confession.”
And I said, “Your own child sometimes does something wrong. What happens when your child comes to you and says, ‘Daddy, I’m sorry?’ What do you do?
“You put both of your arms around your child and kiss him. Why? Because that’s your way telling him that you love him.
“God does the same thing. He loves you tenderly.”
Even when we sin or make a mistake, let’s allow that to help us grow closer to God. Let’s tell him humbly, “I know I shouldn’t have done this, but even this failure I offer to you.”
Let us ask our Lord to be with us in our moments of temptation. Just as Jesus was tempted, the devil will also tempt us.
We must not be afraid, because God loves us and will not fail to help us.
If we have sinned or made a mistake, let us go to him and say, “I’m sorry! I repent.” God is forgiving Father. His mercy is greater than our sins. He will forgive us.
This is humility: to have the courage to accept such humiliation and receive God’s forgiveness.
We read in Scripture how Jesus came to proclaim the good news that God loves us.
He wants us today to be love.
A co-worker of the Missionaries of Charity is a carrier, a reflection of God’s love. All of us must fill our hearts with determination to carry his love everywhere.
Because Jesus said, “You did it to me. I was hungry, naked, homeless and lonely. And you did it to me.”
That’s why the Missionaries of Charity, as well as our co-workers who serve the sick, working people, contemplatives, youth and co-workers who are priests and doctors, are all called to be carriers of God’s love.
If in your family, your young daughter or son has done something wrong, forgive them. Show them the forgiving heart of God.
If we have trouble in families today, it is because children are lost. It is necessary for us to pray and then, with Our Lady, go out and look for the children to bring them home.
I had a very sad experience in England. One night, I saw a very young boy in the street. I said, “You should be at home with your parents.”
And what did the little boy say? “My mother has thrown me out of the house because I have long hair!”
Love your children.
Love your husbands.
Love your wives.
5. To CONSOLE JESUS (10-13)
It is good for us to focus on our Lord and ask ourselves, “Do I really love Jesus like that? Do I really accept the joy of loving by sharing in his passion?” Because even today Jesus is looking for somebody to console and comfort him.
You remember what happened in Gethsemane: Jesus was longing for somebody to share in his agony. The same thing happens in our lives. Can he share his sorrow with us?
Are you there to comfort him?
He comes to you in the hungry.
He comes to you in the naked.
He comes to you in the lonely.
He comes to you in the drunkard.
He comes to you in the prostitute.
He comes to you in the street person.
He may come to you in the lonely father, or mother, or sister or brother in your own family.
Are you willing to share the joy of his love with them?
That is why we need the Eucharist, to share the joy of loving Jesus. That is why we need a deep life of prayer. So let us ask Our Lady to teach us how to pray.
You are called to pray, to be alone with Jesus. I haven’t the slightest doubt that if your hearts are clean, you will surely hear the voice of God in your heart.
He is asking for something. “I looked for one to comfort me, and I found no one” (Psalm 69:21). Let’s allow Jesus to find us!
Nothing and no one will ever separate you from the love of Christ. Let’s go home with a firm decision: “I will love Jesus with an undivided love!”
Who will help you to do that? Our Lady! Remember the story of Jesus, his disciples and his mother at the marriage feast at Cana when the wine ran out (John 2:1—11)? Our Lady told the servants “Do whatever he [Jesus] tells you!” Today, in this gathering, again Our Lady is saying to us, “Do whatever Jesus tells you!”
Take love, peace and joy into the heart of your family! Love begins at home. And when you share that love, it will bring peace into your midst as well.
Suffering will never be completely absent from our lives. Through it, we are given the chance to share the joy of loving Jesus in his passion—it is beautiful to think that!
So don’t be afraid of suffering. Your suffering, too; is a great means of love, if you make use of it, especially if you offer it for peace in the world.
The Holy Father, who understands suffering, came to India. He wanted to come to Calcutta to see our home for the dying. When he arrived, he made the rounds and blessed every patient. (All our patients are from the street.) Many were dying and sick and in great pain.
The Holy Father also wanted to see our mortuary. He went inside, and touched every dead body as a sign of blessing and reverence for dead.
The place where we have our home is a completely Hindu area. We are the only Catholics there. Yet when the people saw the Holy Father, they said, “A man of God came among us!”
His presence had brought so much peace and joy and love to our people. This is the greatness of God’s love when it shines in a person.