“The long-awaited canonization of Mother Teresa has sparked a renewed interest in her astounding life. Her name has become synonymous with selfless love and service to the poor, sick, disabled and dying. “I’m no Mother Teresa” was once a frequent refrain as we backed off from tasks that seemed too demanding or humiliating, and her fast-tracked road to sainthood seemed a no-brainer.
Since last Friday would have been her 106th birthday, this is as good a moment as any to re-introduce Mother Teresa, the diminutive nun who changed the world.
In preparation for the tours I am leading over her canonization weekend [with Steve and Janet Ray], I have been reading extensively about Mother Teresa. My study was motivated by my own discomfort: How could I—who spent my entire life studying beauty in warm, well-fed, wonderful Rome—speak about the saint of suffering?
Many Aleteia readers will know Mother Teresa’s writings well, or even have met the great saint personally, and this piece is probably not for you. Nor is this an exhaustive list of literature on the saint. I am writing for those who, like me, had little real knowledge of Mother Teresa, and although daunted, would like to take this opportunity to foray into her life, words and work.
A word of warning, she is dangerously compelling—her “little path” is so persuasive that you will find yourself applying her words to your own life, whether you like it or not….”