Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Smile at Jesus

I remember some time ago a very big group of professors came from the United States and they asked, "Tell us something that will help us." And I said, "Smile at each other." I must have said it in a very serious way, I suppose, and so one of them asked me, "Are you married?" And I said, "Yes, and I sometimes find it very difficult to smile at Jesus because he can be very demanding."
Mother Teresa, 1977

I have been reading Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light with the book club at our parish. It has been a good read, but did not touch me deeply until last night.

It wasn't one section in particular that touched me -- rather it was the way in which Mother handled the constant demands that Jesus put on her, the determination to show God's love even when she herself could not feel it. To smile at Jesus.

She phrased this in various ways throughout her life --
Love demands sacrifice. But if we love until it hurts, God will give us His peace and joy ... Suffering in itself is nothing; but suffering shared with Christ's Passion is a wonderful gift.
to Jacqueline de Decker, 1953
let us love Jesus with our whole heart & soul. Let us bring him many souls. -- Keep smiling. Smile at Jesus in your suffering -- for to be a real Missionary of Charity you must be a cheerful victim.
to suffering co-workers 1955
You must allow Jesus to make you the bread to be eaten by all those you come in touch with.
to Fr. Michale Van der Peet, 1977

In other words, it is never about me. It is always about Jesus. When I am most worn down and impatient with my children is when I am most called to let them "eat me up;" to let the depths of God's love shine through.

1 comment:

Julie said...

good word. thanks for the reminder.