Thursday, May 1

Pride or Joy?

Mother Teresa had taken a vow never to knowingly deny Jesus anything he asked. Two questions: Wasn't this an arrogant act? And didn't it suck the joy out of her?

Maybe for most of us it would be prideful. She, however, waited to make the vow until her spiritual director agreed she wasn't misguided. Her writings and comments from that time forward continue to be peppered with phrases like, "I am nothing. Jesus is everything." Sometimes I hear people say those things, but somehow I'm not convinced. 

Mother Teresa, on the other hand, in almost all her letters beseeched friends, mentors and counselees to pray for her. She talked often of her weakness. As the ministry grew, she marveled that Jesus had chosen her to launch such a work.

Another piece of evidence: she became known for rapid responsiveness. She acted very quickly once she thought Jesus was asking her to do something. In fact, some of those around her thought of her as somewhat rash or impetuous.

I've noticed children are quick to refuse to do something they're asked to do; or if they don't outright refuse, they can be very slow to obey. I've noticed I'm not much different. It really does require humility to respond quickly, and I think that accounts for her quickness to respond.

As for joy: One of the sisters in her community wrote that she was "full of fun" and "enjoyed everything that went on" (Come Be My Light, p. 33).

Her own comment reveals her internal experience: "When I see someone sad, I always think, she is refusing something to Jesus" (p. 33).

She inspires me to greater humility. Lord, help me become quick to respond, by your grace. 

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