Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Mother Teresa's Secret Fire

Though I’ve read quite a few things about Mother Teresa over the years, two words which she heard from Jesus have stuck with me and continue to deepen my understanding of God’s love for us, especially as it was expressed through Christ’s Passion. “I THIRST” was written next to the Crucifix in every Missionaries of Charity chapel around the world at Mother Teresa’s instruction.
The thirst which Mother Teresa so often spoke of is in it’s simplest form: God’s thirst for our love and our thirst for His. Fr. Joseph Langford talks about how he was drawn to Mother Teresa years before she became a world famous Nobel Prize winner. He takes the reader through an in-depth look at the “call within a call” that transformed the school teacher Sister Teresa into Mother Teresa, the selfless servant to the poorest of the poor.
The relationship that developed between Fr. Langford and Mother Teresa serves as a fitting frame for the story of such a remarkable woman’s quest to quench Christ’s thirst by loving those who were poor, hungry, lonely, orphaned, sick, and dying. I appreciated that he included the details of their friendship, but that it isn’t by any means the focus of the book. The message of God’s thirst for us and the one we have for Him is what has lingered in my mind long after the breathtaking stories of Mother Teresa’s compassion, especially in the midst of a period of spiritual darkness, have faded a bit. This phenomenon of reciprocal yearning is explained and examined through Scripture as well as Mother Teresa’s attempt to live it out in the innumerable ways God called her to live it out.
The impact of Mother Teresa's Secret Fire on my life is still unfolding, but I can already sense it will be profound. Simply reading the meditation included at the end has struck a chord and deepened the prayerful meditation of one of my friends who is a fairly well-read Catholic. The idea of God thirsting for our love is not one that I’ve seen explored in-depth in other books I’ve read, so I’m looking forward to see where the “I THIRST” springboard for meditation and prayer will lead.
You can purchase this book here. I wrote this review of Mother Teresa's Secret Fire for the Tiber River Blogger Review program.  Tiber River is the first Catholic book review site, started in 2000 to help you make informed decisions about Catholic book purchases.  I receive free product samples as compensation for writing reviews for Tiber River.
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