A little pocket-sized volume, Jesus Is My All in All: Praying with the Saint of Calcutta,
just came out from Doubleday. It is a collection of thoughts and prayers in the words of Mother Teresa, arranged by Fr. Brian Kolodiejchuk, M.C., as a novena of meditations from the “saint of the slums.” Few would deny that Mother Teresa lived an extraordinary life, but her path to perfection is challenging in its remarkable simplicity. “A condition of absolute simplicity,” Eliot described the Christian vocation, “Costing not less than everything.” In the words of the modern saint:
So let us all make that one strong resolution that we will be all love to Jesus in the world . . . that we will be at His disposal to make use of us without consulting us. And I think that is the best way to show our love for Him, to accept Him as he comes. If He wants to come into our life in humiliation, in suffering, all right; if he wants in publicity, all right. Whatever it be, success, failure, it makes no difference to Him, and it should not make a difference to us either . . . .
Holiness is not in the feelings or in imagination; it is reality. One thing that helps me and will help you is this: Works of love are works of holiness.
The book concludes with a prayer Mother Teresa adapted from John Henry Cardinal Newman: “Let me preach You without preaching, / Not by words but by example, / By the catching force, / The sympathetic influence of what I do, / The evident fullness of the love / My heart bears for You.”
Simple words, but worth a moment of reflection.