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Catholic Diocese of Little Rock
Published: September 5, 2022
Bishop Anthony B. Taylor preached the following homily at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Little Rock on Monday, Sept. 5, 2022.
This year we celebrate the feast of Mother Teresa toward the beginning of our country’s three-year process of eucharistic revival. You already heard one recorded message from me launching this time of revival in June of this year on the feast of Corpus Christi, the Body and Blood of the Lord.
In a week and a half, you will hear a second message from me, this time focusing on eucharistic adoration and the sacrament of reconciliation, which as I think you know, are very important elements of the spiritual life of our Missionaries of Charity in general and Mother Teresa in particular.
Mother Teresa was famous for her selfless service of the poorest among us, but the reason this service was so effective, and inspiring was that everything she did was centered in prayer. That’s why she insisted that her Missionaries of Charity pray a holy hour everyday, and that is why I insist that our seminarians who will one day serve you as priests do the same.
St. Teresa of Calcutta was profoundly pro-life throughout the entire span of life, all the way to natural death. She treated each person with the inherent dignity they deserved as children of God. It didn’t matter how repulsive they were, nor whether they were what we would call good people.
Here is what she said: “I make a holy hour each day in the presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. All my sisters of the Missionaries of Charity make a daily holy hour as well, because we find that through our daily holy hour, our love of Jesus becomes more intimate, our love for each other more understanding and our love for the poor more compassionate.”
It was out of this time with Jesus that Mother Teresa not only found the courage to minister in situations that you and I would have found very repulsive, it is also the source of her courage to speak the truth with love. She knew that the only one she had to please was the Lord. So for instance, I remember the waves she made, shaking up some of our politicians, when at the 1994 National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C. she spoke clearly on the topic of abortion.
I think that is when she said that if American abortion-minded women would just carry their babies to term, she would help find a good home for them in India. She was unequivocally pro-life! I think there was another occasion when she observed that the United States is a much poorer country than India, because in India they may seem poor, but even the poorest women there are able at least to find a way to give their children the gift of life. She spoke the truth with love.
In that light she also was profoundly pro-life throughout the entire span of life, all the way to natural death. She treated each person with the inherent dignity they deserved as children of God. It didn’t matter how repulsive they were, nor whether they were what we would call good people.
There were those whose life choices were very bad and who maybe were now suffering the consequences of those choices, often choices with which she did not agree. But even so, she knew that each of them was created in the image and likeness of God, and treating them with kindness, dignity and respect served to remind them of that fact.
Those are the thoughts I would like to share with you today. The Lord invites each of us to listen for his voice and hear what he is asking of us. We will do this best by first spending time in adoration of our eucharistic Lord, centering our own life in prayer, and then going forth to speak the truth with love and to find ways to honor the dignity of every single person we meet in the course of the day.
And here we’re not necessarily talking about anything big. As Mother Teresa said so famously, “Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love.”