• More than 35 couples stand for a blessing at the Wedding Jubilee Mass at St. Matthew Cathedral, South Bend.

    The following is the text of the homily delivered by Bishop Rhoades at the Wedding Anniversary Masses in Fort Wayne and South Bend on September 25 and October 2, 2016:

    Our anniversary couples each began a unique journey of love as husband and wife when they exchanged vows 25 or 50 or 60 years ago. I want to say to all our anniversary couples: thank you — your marriage is a precious gift for the Church. Your fidelity to the teachings of the Gospel and your witness to the beauty of marriage as indissoluble and perpetually faithful is a great good for the life of the Church.

    The safeguarding of the Lord’s gift in the sacrament of matrimony is a great concern of Pope Francis and the bishops and, indeed, of the whole Church. Today we celebrate the faithful witness to Christ’s love of our anniversary couples through their marriages and families. Of course, we have to admit that none of us is a perfect witness to Christ’s love and to the Gospel. We are all imperfect witnesses who must continually strive, with the help of God’s grace, to grow in love and fidelity, in faith and holiness.

    Saint Paul’s great hymn to love in his first letter to the Corinthians, chapter 13, can be a great help to all of us to grow in Christian love. It has special relevance for married couples. It’s no wonder that this reading is the most popular reading that couples choose for their weddings. I would like to reflect with you on the characteristics of true love that Saint Paul enumerates, using some insights from Pope Francis in chapter four of his apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love).

    “Love is patient.” Patience is the first quality listed by Saint Paul. Many of us can relate to why he puts this first since we are so easily tempted to be impatient. We have to try sometimes to control and restrain our impulses to react when we get annoyed with one another. I imagine our anniversary couples have had that experience in their married life. No? Love is patient. It is not prone to anger. As Saint Paul says, “it is not quick-tempered.” It’s not always easy to be patient and is especially hard if we put ourselves at the center of everything and expect things to turn out our way, or if we think that our relationships and other people ought to be perfect, including one’s spouse. None of us is perfect, so we must be patient, as we hope Our Lord will be patient with us.

    “Love is kind.” I always remember Mother Teresa saying that kindness is the first step to holiness, to becoming a saint. Love is kind — it is at the service of others. It is shown in good deeds. It’s not enough just to be patient with your spouse. That is kind of a passive thing — being patient. That patience must be accompanied by activity — being of assistance to the other, being kind, doing good for the other, giving and serving. As Saint Ignatius of Loyola said: “Love is shown more by deeds than by words.”

    “Love is not jealous.” Envy is one of the seven capital sins. Love has no room for this, for being jealous or envious of another person’s good fortune, especially the good fortune of one’s spouse. True love rejoices in the good fortune, the achievements, and especially the happiness of the other.

    “Love is not pompous.” In other words, it is not boastful. When someone is always speaking about himself or herself, always wanting to be the center of attention, that is egoism. As Saint Paul says, “love is not inflated.” In other words, we don’t become “puffed up” before others. That’s really the sin of pride, whereas true love is marked by humility. How often we can be tempted to think we are better than others, even than one’s spouse, because we’re more knowledgeable about something or earn more money, for example. But true love is not pompous. In family life, Pope Francis says, “the logic of domination and competition about who is the most intelligent or powerful destroys love.” We need to have humility toward one another. How often we read in the Scriptures about how God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble!

    “Love is not rude.” It is not impolite. It is not harsh and abrasive. Sometimes I think we need more sensitivity training in our culture today. There is a lot of harshness today, lack of civility, lack of courtesy. Have you ever experienced, when out on the road, rudeness from other drivers? When there is rudeness or harshness or lack of courtesy in marriages and families, it creates hard feelings and can cause a lot of pain and suffering. True love abhors hurting others, especially one’s spouse or one’s children. When we’re rude or unkind, we need to make amends. We need to say we are sorry. We need to say things that build others up and not tear them down. Pope Francis says: “Those who love are capable of speaking words of comfort, strength, consolation, and encouragement…. In our families, we must learn to imitate Jesus’ own gentleness in our way of speaking to one another.”

    “Love does not seek its own interests.” In other words, it is generous. Generosity is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. It involves giving of ourselves. Life must not be just about me. The Gospel teaches us to love others. It demands it. Spouses should be generous, not just with other people, but with each other.

    “Love is not quick-tempered.” Saint Paul had already said love is patient. Here, the Greek word has more to do with having a violent reaction within, a hidden irritation or resentment: interior hostility. Our anniversary couples can probably help all of us to understand how important it is not to let anger take root in our hearts. Yes, we can all get annoyed and angry. But we can’t let it simmer. We have to make peace, otherwise, love can die. Pope Francis talks a lot about little gestures to restore harmony within marriage and the family. He says, sometimes just a little caress is enough and no words are necessary. He says to couples: “do not let the day end without making peace in your family.”

    “Love does not brood over injury.” In other words, it forgives! The bond of love between spouses is really hurt when there is lack of forgiveness, when there is brooding over injuries. We all have faults. We shouldn’t always be looking at the faults of others, especially one’s spouse. Or looking for every mistake or shortcoming. We can become unduly harsh. We need to be open to pardon and reconciliation. So many families are hurting and divided because of the lack of openness to forgiveness. When we accept God’s love and forgiveness, something we do not deserve, we learn that we can forgive others. Family life will only flourish when there is forgiveness, when resentment ends, since true love does not brood over injury.

    Our anniversary couples have undoubtedly experienced struggles in living this call to true love, but they have persevered and they have grown. They have matured in love. Otherwise, they would not be here today. They bear witness to us of the truth that Saint Paul proclaims so eloquently at the end of today’s reading: “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” We pray today for our anniversary couples, that God will continue to bless them with His grace and love, that they will continue to grow in love and that their love will never fail.

    Fewer young people are entering into marriage today because, with the high divorce rate, they are afraid that their marriage might fail. Our anniversary couples took the courageous risk to marry and they show us that it is a risk worth taking. I’m sure they’ve faced trials. But they have cooperated with the grace of God that they received in the sacrament of marriage. They teach us that true love never gives up. In marriages and families today, “we need to cultivate that strength of love which can help us fight every evil threatening it…. The Christian ideal, especially in families, is a love that never gives up” (AL 119).

    May the Lord bless our anniversary couples! May they continue to bear witness to Christ’s love for the Church by their love for each other!

    Posted on October 4, 2016, to:

  • This Sunday, October 2nd, is Respect Life Sunday, and October is Respect Life Month, celebrated by the Church in the United States since 1972. Every year at this time, we reflect on the intrinsic dignity of human life, created in God’s image and likeness and called to an eternal destiny with Him.

    We lament that human life in our nation and in the world is threatened at its very beginning in the mother’s womb. In his apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia (“The Joy of Love”), released earlier this year, Pope Francis wrote these strong words:

    I feel it urgent to state that, if the family is the sanctuary of life, the place where life is conceived and cared for, it is a horrendous contradiction when it becomes a place where life is rejected and destroyed. So great is the value of a human life, and so inalienable the right to life of an innocent child growing in the mother’s womb, that no alleged right to one’s own body can justify a decision to terminate that life, which is an end in itself and which can never be consider the ‘property’ of another human being (#83).

    The Church continues to insist on the respect due to human life from the moment of conception, while it is still protected in the mother’s womb. Abortion is a grave injustice and an offense against the Author of life. Our commitment to the Gospel of life requires us to oppose abortion and also to do all we can to support mothers who, because of difficult circumstances, may be tempted to abort their unborn babies.

    The Gospel of Jesus is the Gospel of Life. It is also the Gospel of Mercy. As life is a gift from God, so is mercy! In this Jubilee Year of Mercy, Pope Francis reminds us of the centrality of mercy in the life of the Church. We are called to be “merciful like the Father.” Women who have had an abortion often suffer deep pain and carry a deep wound in their hearts. We are called to be instruments of God’s mercy to them and to help all who are in need of post-abortion healing.

    During this Respect Life Month, we are also reminded of our duty to care for people who are approaching life’s end. We are called to protect life in all its stages, including its last stage. Sadly, as abortion has now been legal in our country for so many years, the movement to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide continues to grow in the United States. In Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis quotes Psalm 71: Do not cast me off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength is spent. The Holy Father writes:

    Care and concern for the final stages of life is all the more necessary today, when contemporary society attempts to remove every trace of death and dying …. Euthanasia and assisted suicide are serious threats to families worldwide; in many countries they have been legalized. The Church, while firmly opposing these practices, feels the need to assist families who take care of their elderly and infirm members (#48).

    In this Year of Mercy, as we are invited to rediscover the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, it is good to consider the merciful love we are called to share with the elderly and infirm, including those in our own families and parishes. We must surround them with our love and support and companionship. One of the saddest experiences I had when I was a teenager was working in a nursing home during two summers, where I saw so many elderly people who were lonely and did not receive visits. I remember how this impacted me as I learned to spend time and chat with the elderly residents, from whom I learned so much. I hope that all of our parishes have ministry to the local nursing homes and especially stay connected with parishioners who are in nursing homes or who are homebound. This should not only be seen as a duty, but a joy and a privilege. We must not only talk about the Gospel of life, but live it!

    Our commitment to the Gospel of Life includes care and concern for all God’s children, from the moment of conception until natural death. I think especially of those whose dignity is threatened in our often materialistic society. Pope Francis speaks often of how we live in an increasingly throw away culture in which human beings are themselves considered consumer goods to be used and then discarded. In his first apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium (“The Gospel of Joy”), a document which really set the themes of his papacy, the Holy Father asks: How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?… Can we continue to stand by when food is thrown away while people are starving? (#53). If we truly are people of and for life, we must ponder these questions.

    We celebrate this Respect Life Month during the month preceding Election Day. This is a good thing, since we should examine candidates and their positions in light of the Gospel of Life. Many voters, however, are disillusioned. Many Catholic voters have shared with me the dilemma they feel in voting this year. They want to exercise their right to vote, yet are finding it difficult to choose between candidates who do not represent our values on the dignity and sacredness of all human life. Faithful Catholics are rightly disturbed by elements of party platforms that are not compatible with the Church’s moral and social teachings. I am thinking that this dilemma has a positive meaning in that it shows that one is more Catholic than one is Democrat or Republican. Our discipleship should always come first. Still, in this dilemma, we have to make a choice, a prudential judgment, one that we should make with a well-formed conscience, one that is enlightened by the Gospel of Life and the teachings of the Church.

    I hope that this Respect Life Month helps all of us to renew our commitment to the Gospel of Life. May the Lord, the Author of Life, bless and guide us!


    Posted on September 28, 2016, to:

  • Lazarus at the rich man’s gate by Fyodor Bronnikov, 1886.

    In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus tells the parable of the rich man and poor Lazarus. The rich man lives in luxury and egoism and is indifferent to the suffering of Lazarus, the beggar on his doorstep. At the end of their lives, Lazarus was welcomed into paradise, whereas the rich man ended up in torment. Lazarus was received “in the bosom of Abraham” whereas the rich man ended up in Hades. Divine justice prevails after their death.

    This well-known parable reminds us that we must live according to God’s will, otherwise, after death, it will be too late to repent. God’s will is that we care for the poor, that we serve others in the charity of Christ. His will is that we live in solidarity with others and that we not ignore the poor and suffering in our midst. The path to heaven is love.

    In the world today, there are so many people who lie outside the door, like Lazarus, while the dogs come and lick their sores. So many are deprived of the basic necessities of life, like food, housing, and medical care. To ignore them is to become like the rich man who pretended not to see the beggar Lazarus.

    Whenever I hear this parable, I remember the homily of Saint John Paul II in Yankee Stadium in New York in 1979, during his first visit as pope to the United States. He said that this parable “must always be present in our memory; it must form our conscience.” He said: “We cannot stand idly by, enjoying our own riches and freedom, if, in any place, the Lazaruses of the twentieth century stands at our doors.” These words are as relevant in 2016 as they were in 1979. There are still many Lazaruses in our world, here and abroad, who are hungry and too often ignored. I think particularly of the millions of refugees in the world today, innocent victims of war who have lost their livelihoods and their homes. So many are sitting outside the doors of nations that are indifferent to their plight.

    Almost fifty years ago, Blessed Pope Paul VI spoke of the campaign against hunger in these words: “It is a question of building a world where every person can live a fully human life… where the poor man Lazarus can sit down at the same table with the rich man” (Populorum Progressio 47). Hunger is still a pressing issue today. Feed the hungry, Pope Benedict XVI wrote, “is an ethical imperative for the universal Church, as she responds to the teachings of her Founder, the Lord Jesus, concerning solidarity and the sharing of goods” (Caritas in veritate, 27).

    Catholics Confront Global Poverty is an initiative of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholic Relief Services. It involves advocacy and action. It is way to reach out to the Lazaruses at our doors. As a member of the Board of CRS, I have learned a lot about its work to fight world hunger. This work involves not only providing food in emergency and crisis situations, but also addressing the problem of food insecurity from a long-term perspective. CRS’s efforts in agricultural development and its investment in helping local communities to make best use of resources, to have the necessary resources in technology, to have adequate irrigation systems, and to gain access to the market are having a great impact in many poor countries. Catholic Relief Services also has many peace-building programs in troubled areas of the world. These efforts are also extremely important since war and violence are so often causes of hunger, poverty, and homelessness. Our support of CRS is a way to reach out to the Lazaruses in poor areas of the world.

    Right here in our own diocese, we must not ignore the Lazaruses at our door. I am very grateful for the involvement and generosity of so many of our faithful who reach out to the hungry and the poor through their parishes, food pantries and soup kitchens, Catholic Charities, the Saint Vincent de Paul Society, the Christ Child Society, etc.

    This coming Tuesday, September 27th, is the feast of Saint Vincent de Paul. In 16th century France, Saint Vincent de Paul observed the disparity between the rich and the poor. As a priest, he had the opportunity to experience the aristocratic life as well as the life of the destitute poor in Paris. He organized groups of women called Charities who gave their time and belongings to the poor. Some of these women chose the consecrated life and became the first female congregation to live a consecrated life “in the world,” and not in the cloister. Saint Vincent de Paul and Saint Louise de Marillac founded this congregation, named the “Daughters of Charity.”  Our first U.S.-born saint, Mother Elizabeth Ann Seton, founded the U.S. branch of the Daughters of Charity.

    Two centuries after Saint Vincent de Paul, a 20-year old college student, Frederick Ozanam, and five other students, witnessed the dire poverty of the lower social classes in Paris. They decided to dedicate themselves to the poor, after the example of Saint Vincent de Paul. In 1833, they established the “Conference of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul,” soon to be called “The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul.”  They were determined to bring not only bread but friendship to the poor. They would not ignore the Lazaruses at their door in 19th century Paris. Frederic Ozanam was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1997.

    We are blessed to have so many conferences of the Saint Vincent de Paul Society in our diocese. I encourage people to join these conferences which do so much to serve the Lazaruses at the door right here in our own diocese. I especially encourage our young adults in this regard. Many members of the Saint Vincent de Paul Society have served for many years and they continue to do great work. It is important that their service continues and grows, that more young people join them in this beautiful apostolate of charity.

    The parable of the rich man and Lazarus certainly speaks to us today in a world where there is so much poverty and destitution alongside wealth and affluence. The poor are our brothers and sisters to be welcomed and loved, not strangers to be ignored or rejected. In the poor, we are to see the face of Jesus as did our newest saint, Mother Teresa of Calcutta. May the Gospel parable of the rich man and Lazarus stir our consciences!  The Lord whom we see in the great gift of the Holy Eucharist asks us to see Him also in the lives of the poor and the suffering. May the Eucharist strengthen us in charity!

    Posted on September 20, 2016, to:

  • Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades blesses the University of Saint Francis’ new downtown campus on Aug. 16.

    The following is the text of the homily given by Bishop Rhoades at the University of Saint Francis on August 31, 2016:

    It is joy every year to celebrate this opening Mass of the academic year here at the University of Saint Francis. It is good to pray with you this morning and to ask the Lord to bless you and your studies and all your endeavors in this upcoming year.

    I imagine most of you attend Saint Francis to prepare yourselves for a chosen field of future employment, to be educated for your future careers. Some of you are probably not sure yet what career path to follow. Perhaps you are taking a variety of courses to see what interests you the most. I hope all of you, though, are pursuing studies with an even higher aim, the aim of an education at a Catholic university. That aim is truth, truth in all its many aspects: the truth about the world and nature, the truth about the human person, and ultimately, the truth about God.

    The mission of a Catholic university is not only to impart useful knowledge, not only to teach data, facts, and other information, but to pursue truth and all aspects of truth in their essential connection with the supreme Truth, who is God.

    Catholic universities, born from the heart of the Church, have an expansive view of human reason, not one that is limited to certain scientific or mathematical truths or to the material world, but a reason that is open to transcendence, a reason open to the deeper realities of the human experience, like love, a reason that is open to God.

    We pursue truth on the wings of both faith and reason. Not faith alone and not reason alone. We firmly uphold the compatibility of faith and reason. Against fideism (faith alone), the Catholic Church defends the power of reason and its ability to attain the truth. Against rationalism (reason alone), the Church believes that faith transforms reason and imbues it with the power to contemplate the highest truths.

    Faith enriches the intellectual pursuits of the university. Our faith stirs our reason to move beyond the empirical and to take the risk to seek the true, the good, and the beautiful. Faith broadens the horizons of reason and enables it to be open to a reality beyond itself, and to the eternal and ultimate truth, Creative Reason itself. Ours is a religion of the Logos, the Word, not an impersonal Word, but the Word who became flesh and dwelt among us, the One who brings the ultimate and definitive answer to the question of human meaning. He is the human face of God, namely, Jesus of Nazareth. “The truth of Christ, since it affects every person in search of joy, happiness, and meaning, far exceeds any other truth that reason can discover..”(Pope Benedict XVI).

    A Catholic university teaches beauty and recognizes that “the infinite beauty of God shines on the face of Christ” (Pope Benedict XVI). A Catholic university teaches goodness and virtue and recognizes that God’s goodness shines on the face of the One who suffered and died for us, the face that shows us that good triumphs over evil.

    A Catholic university is open to mysteries that surpass, but do not contradict, reason. I think that education can be sterile and unfulfilling if it is not open to mystery, not open to pursue the ultimate questions, and the longings of the human heart. I invite you to take advantage of your Catholic education here at the University of Saint Francis to go deeper. I pray that you will have a real passion for the truth and for beauty and for goodness.

    I encourage you to consider more deeply your vocation as human beings created in God’s image and likeness. What is that vocation? It’s the vocation to love, to find yourself through the sincere gift of self. I pray that while here at the University of Saint Francis, you will learn to live this vocation and that you will grow in intelligence of the heart as well as the mind!

    Learning to live a life of virtue, a good and moral life, is part of the enterprise of Catholic education. A truly Catholic university recognizes that every student has not only a mind, but a soul. An authentic Catholic university seeks to inculcate a spirit of service in its students and obedience to the Lord’s command in today’s Gospel: “love one another as I love you.”

    This coming Sunday, Mother Teresa of Calcutta will be canonized a saint. What a great day of celebration that will be for the entire Church. It is very appropriate that Mother Teresa is being canonized during this Jubilee Year of Mercy. Pope Francis wrote that he desired that this Jubilee Year “be steeped in mercy, so that we can go out to every man and woman, bringing the goodness and tenderness of God.” That is what Mother Teresa did. She heard God’s call to give up everything to serve Him in the poorest of the poor. She was truly His face of mercy, love, and compassion in the lives of so many suffering people.

    In the faces of the saints, we see something of the love and mercy of God. This is because the saints, like Mother Teresa, opened their hearts to the merciful love of God in their lives. Then they carried that mercy and love to others. Mother Teresa carried God’s love to people who were unwanted, unloved, lonely, forgotten, and abandoned. She teaches all of us about our vocation to love. She teaches us, as Pope Francis exhorts us, to “go out to every man and woman, bringing the goodness and tenderness of God.” This is a lesson that is part of an education at a Catholic university. I pray that your education here at the University of Saint Francis will be an education of the heart as well as the mind, an education in virtue, and an education in love. That’s what we learn at this altar today, at the school of the Eucharist, that “no one has greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

    Here at this altar, the sacrifice of Christ becomes present for us in mystery, in the sacrament of His Body broken for us and His blood poured out for us. The Eucharist is the sacrament of charity. Here we learn, celebrate, and receive Christ’s gift of Himself to us, the gift of love that strengthened Mother Teresa for her amazing life of loving service of the poor, the gift of love that strengthens us to live good and holy lives. The education we receive here at the Eucharist is the most important lesson you can learn at the University of Saint Francis, because if it’s learned, the reward is more than a diploma, it’s a crown of glory in heaven!

    Posted on September 13, 2016, to:

  • It is providential that Mother Teresa of Calcutta will be canonized a saint during this Jubilee Year of Mercy. Next Sunday, September 4th, Pope Francis will declare this humble nun, renowned throughout the world, a saint of the Catholic Church. It will be a day for all of us to rejoice as we give thanks to God for the blessing of Mother Teresa’s life and her beautiful example to all of us of our call to holiness by bringing the love and mercy of Jesus to others, especially the poor and the suffering.

    Pope Francis wrote that he desired that this Jubilee Year “be steeped in mercy, so that we can go out to every man and woman, bringing the goodness and tenderness of God.” That is what Mother Teresa did, especially during her fifty years as a Missionary of Charity, the name of the religious congregation she founded. She heard God’s call to give up everything to serve Him in “the poorest of the poor.” She was truly His face of mercy, love, and compassion in the lives of so many suffering people. She saw the face of her beloved Jesus in the faces of all whom she served.

    Mother Teresa’s successor as superior of the Missionaries of Charity, Sister Nirmala, said that “Mother’s heart was big like the Heart of God Himself, filled with love, affection, compassion, and mercy. Rich and poor, young and old, strong and weak, learned and ignorant, saints and sinners of all nations, cultures, and religions found a loving welcome in her heart, because in each of them she saw the face of her Beloved – Jesus.”

    Pope Francis invites us in this Jubilee Year to “enter more deeply into the heart of the Gospel where the poor have a special experience of God’s mercy.” Mother Teresa has taught us how to do so. She entered into the heart of the Gospel through her daily prayer, daily Mass, and adoration of the Eucharist. She gazed on the Body of Christ in the Sacred Host and then saw the Body of Christ in the poor whom she served. There was no disconnect between her contemplative and her active life, between her prayer and her works. Mother Teresa said: “The Jesus whom I receive in the Eucharist is the same Jesus whom I serve. It is not a different Jesus.” This was her deep desire: to serve and love Jesus in the poor.

    I feel so privileged to have met and spoken with Mother Teresa on several occasions. It was always a very humbling experience when I would go to the house of the Missionaries of Charity in Rome to celebrate a weekly Mass there and sometimes Mother Teresa would be present, kneeling in the back of the chapel. I knew then that she was a saint, so I always felt a little nervous about my homily – I would think: “what can I preach to Mother Teresa?” Even if I felt my words were inadequate, Mother Teresa was always so kind and loving, also humorous(!), in our conversations after Mass.

    One of the greatest joys of my life was introducing my mother to Mother Teresa in Rome. After being disappointed that I was unable to get close enough at a general audience to have my Mom meet Pope John Paul II, I took her to the San Gregorio convent to meet some of my Missionary of Charity friends. One of my friends, Sister Prema, now the Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity, whispered to me that Mother Teresa was in the convent. She went to get her to meet my mother. When Mother Teresa came down, my mother was totally surprised and speechless! Mother thanked my Mom for giving her son to the priesthood. I will never forget the joy in my mother’s tear-filled eyes and the joy of that encounter. My disappointment turned to joy since my mother got to meet the other “living saint” who, like John Paul, so inspired me as a seminarian and young priest.

    In the faces of the saints, we see something of the love and mercy of God. This is because the saints, like Mother Teresa, opened their hearts to the merciful love of God in their lives. Because Mother Teresa believed in God’s love with all her heart, she was able, by His grace, to carry that love to the poorest of the poor. She had an absolute childlike trust in God’s loving care for us. And she believed in Mary’s love for us. Mother Teresa would often give Miraculous Medals to people.

    One of the central themes of Mother Teresa’s spiritual life were the words of Jesus on the cross: “I thirst.” She felt the call to quench the infinite thirst of Jesus on the cross for love and souls. Mother Teresa said: “We are to quench the thirst of Jesus for souls, for love, for kindness, for compassion, for delicate love. By each action done to the sick and the dying, I quench the thirst of Jesus for love of that person – by my giving God’s love to that particular person, by caring for the unwanted, the unloved, the lonely, and all the poor people. This is how I quench the thirst of Jesus for others by giving His love in action to them.”

    We can learn so much from Mother Teresa that helps us to follow Jesus and to live as His true disciples. This new saint of merciful love is an inspiration for us to live the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. She is an example for us of fidelity to prayer, of devotion to the Holy Eucharist and the Blessed Mother, and of serving our Lord in the least of our brothers and sisters. She teaches us, as Pope Francis exhorts us, to “go out to every man and woman, bringing the goodness and tenderness of God.” She was able to do so because she allowed Jesus to act in and through her. She was filled with the energy of Christ’s love.

    May soon-to-be “Saint” Teresa of Calcutta intercede for us, that we may live in the love of the Lord and spread His merciful love to all, especially to the poor, the suffering, and all those who are hurting!

    Posted on August 31, 2016, to: