by Susan Duran Council Member
Last week after dropping off bottled water and other supplies for our Safe Car Park guests, I remembered the church library was open and quickly decided to check it out. I have been dearly missing our local Willow Glen library being available for my weekly visit. I found a pile of books that were on a desk, either they were recently returned or had been donated by generous members. I came upon the book “Words to Love By...”.by Mother Teresa", which is based on interviews with her led by Michael Nabicht and Gaynell Cronin. They had spent several weeks with Mother Teresa in Calcutta, India while producing a film there. I was intrigued and became determined to borrow it. Sorry, Paul Thomas, church librarian, I did not officially check it out, but I promise to return it soon!
I had been feeling very sad and depressed about the latest killing of yet another black person. When will all the violence, bigotry, bullying, and racial injustice ever end? I brought my heartfelt fears, questions, and wonderings to my Lord in prayer. While wrestling with the problems of our country, I never questioned my faith in my savior, but rather what should I do? How can I have hope? Sometimes when I am despondent, I seek out bible verses to reassure me and strengthen my belief. This time I searched “Words to Love By” to boost my dismal flailing spirit.
These are three short portions from the book that I felt were especially meaningful and relevant.
“Change your hearts... Unless we change our hearts we are not converted. Changing places is not the answer. Changing occupations is not the answer. The answer is to change our hearts. And how do we change? By praying.” (p.38)
“Prayer is joy. Prayer is love. Prayer is peace. You cannot explain it you must experience prayer. It is not impossible. God gives it for the asking. ‘Ask and you shall receive.’” (p.39)
“The fruit of prayer is a deepening of faith. And the fruit of prayer is love. And the fruit of love is service.” (p.44)
I have read and reread this short book over the last week and I have been reassured and comforted by its words of wisdom and God's spirit. No, I don't have all the answers to the ongoing problems of our nation, but I can show love to others. We are all made in God's image. I can continue to pray and work for peace, I can protest peacefully and work for positive changes in our government. I can serve others in my own way and try to be a light in the world. God through your never ceasing love, renew us and commit us to love all the people in the world and serve others.
Mother Teresa, Words to Love By... Mother Teresa, Notre Dame, Ave Marie Press, 1983.
Christ the Good Shepherd
Various editorials, articles, and other items of interest.