All posts tagged: Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Stories of Grace 16: Learning to Take the Pie

Air conditioning. Those two little words were at the forefront of my mind as I sat down to eat lunch last summer in a restaurant in hot and humid Memphis, Tennessee. I had been there for a little over a month, working at a women’s homeless shelter through Notre Dame’s Summer Service Learning Program. Joining me for lunch that day was my site partner, Elizabeth, along with two other women who were long-time volunteers at the shelter. Kathy and Sandy had treated us to a beautiful day of sight-seeing. We visited at least three or four museums, walked along the river soaking in the bright sun, and enjoyed peeking into little shops we passed along the way. This care-free day, roaming the streets of Memphis, was an unusual one for us. Up until that point, we spent most of our time on the grounds of the shelter, working with the religious sisters who lived there, and spending time with the women and children for whom the shelter was a temporary home. The shelter was really …

The Saint of Calcutta: Mother Teresa and the Pain of Joy

On September 4, 2016, the woman who claimed that if she ever became a saint she would “surely be one of ‘darkness’”[1] will enter the canon of the Church in broad daylight, for all the world to see. Till the end of the age, the universal name of charity that was “Mother Teresa” will become “Saint Teresa of Calcutta.” With the possible exception of St. John Paul II, no saint in the history of the Church has been known by so many people at the time of canonization, which makes the holiness of this saint both more available for observation and more difficult to discern. Knowing more about someone is not the same as knowing them well and in coming to know Mother Teresa as Saint Teresa, we are asked to deepen our knowledge of her according to her holiness, which her very public persona both hides and discloses. If she is a saint of darkness she is also a saint of joy. Yet, knowing her as the one in darkness and the one in …