When ever I read about you, Mother, I realize what a poor Catholic I am. Here is a worthwhile piece by Fr. Raymond de Souza:
"...In 1952, Mother Teresa found a woman dying in the streets, half-eaten by rats and ants, with no one to care for her. She picked her up and took her to the hospital, but nothing could be done. Realizing that there were many others dying alone in the streets, Mother Teresa opened within days Nirmal Hriday (Pure Heart), a home for the dying. In the first 20 years alone, over 20,000 people were brought there, half of whom died knowing the love of the Missionaries of Charity. Nirmal Hriday is where one dying man, lying in the arms of Mother Teresa after being plucked from the gutters and bathed and clothed and fed, told her, “I have lived like an animal, but now I am dying like an angel.”
...She then came to be feted in the glamour capitals, receiving dozens of awards. In 1979, she received the Nobel Peace Prize, at that time still a prestigious award. When given the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1985, the plaque described her as the “saint of the gutters.” There have been others who have risen from the gutters to receive such awards, but she was the only one who went back to the gutters to live.
Mother Teresa knew that the true good cannot be found in systems or plans, no matter how clever or efficient, but in a person. She was not against the work of welfare agencies, but remarked that welfare was for a purpose, albeit a noble one, whilst love was for a person. Mother Teresa offered love. When criticized by those who accused her of not going to the root causes of problems, she would simply remind them what the true root cause was. “The greatest disease today is not leprosy or tuberculosis, but rather the feeling of being unwanted, uncared for and deserted by everybody,”
...Mother Teresa never played to the crowd who wished to obscure the Gospel and reduce her to a humanitarian celebrity. She spoke out against abortion as the “greatest destroyer of peace” when in Oslo at the Nobel ceremony, and shocked the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington when she reminded them of the Christian tradition on the immorality of contraception.
...The world only knew her as diminutive and wizened, with a slight stoop and gnarled hands. Yet all who met her found her beautiful, for her eyes sparkled and her smile radiated joy.
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger once wrote that ultimately the Church has only two things to offer to the world for the credibility of the Gospel of Jesus Christ: the beauty of her art and the lives of her saints. Mother Teresa captivated the whole world, becoming a patron saint of a difficult century. Like a great masterpiece of sacred art, she was indeed something beautiful for God."
Amen, Fr. de Souza, Amen. Happy 100th Mother, pray for us!