A while back, I read the Come Be My Light, the story of Mother Teresa?s life and spiritual journey. Many know that she spent most of the last decades of her life with little or no conscious sense of God?s presence, though remained a woman of deep and faithful prayer.
Here are a couple of insights that helped me:
??When I see someone sad,? she would say, ?I always think, she is refusing to give something to Jesus.?? It was in giving Jesus whatever He asked that she found her deepest and lasting joy; in giving Him joy she found her own joy.? (Mother Teresa. Come Be My Light. New York: Doubleday, 2007, p. 33.)
?She would again insist: ?Don?t look for big things, just do small things with great love?. The smaller the thing, the greater must be our love.?? (p. 34.)
What little things is Jesus inviting you to do??Are you willing to do them with great love, rather than looking around for the dramatic thing you can do for Him?
This grief thing hit me like unexpectedly ten years ago over an ungrieved loss 35 years before that. I had no idea life just didn’t go on. Recently I wrote a note to someone that life is a long series of losses. I’ve been reading CS Lewis’ A Grief Observed. Yesterday I watched the movie Shadowlands. In Chpt 4 of Observed he says “Sorrow, turns out to be not a state but a process. Grief is like a long valley, a winding valley which every bend may reveal a totally new landscape. Sometimes you are presented with exactly the same sort of country you thought you had left behind miles ago. That is when you wonder whether the valley isn’t a circular trench.”
I think Mother Teresa is right. Given what we think we know about addiction, becoming addicted to that feeling is very real. But she is also saying it must be recognized and named. And possibly described in detail is what giving it to Jesus actually is.
That takes a brave heart. He comes with a sword. It will not be painless.