Saints We Love

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Mother Teresa - Review of The Joy of Loving: A Guide to Daily Living

Alive and well

Mark Blackburn (Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada) The Joy in Loving: A Guide to Daily Living (Compass) 

Open this book anywhere . . . and your heart is flooded with light. Or, does it affect others as it affects me, I wonder? Is this just a personal phenomenon? After all, I met her on two occasions. Perhaps that has something to do with it? On her last (unannounced) visit to this city, --- she offered me her hand, and looked me in the eye - and hasn't my memory played tricks on me, about that precious moment? 

I was one person among 12, waiting on the street, outside her home for indigent men (the first one she established in North America). She emerged from that humble, two-story dwelling on Pritchard Avenue, in Winnipeg's poor north end: My two young sons were the last ones she greeted -- placing her hands on their heads and smiling with love - then, looking beyond them, for the obvious parent or guardian of these youngsters, she spotted me; and she offered me her hand. And I took it - I remember it was warm and her grip was surprisingly firm and . . . well . . . the taste of the air around her was unlike anything I can ever put in mere words. Yet, there are some odd things about my memory of that moment. 

I distinctly remember thinking she was beautiful. But how can that be? In photos, she isn't physically attractive at all -- is she? Yet that is my memory of her in the flesh -- radiantly beautiful! 

Another odd thing: I remember her as being my height - six feet -- as she looked me in the eye and smiled warmly. Yet in photographs, she looks closer to four foot nine. (Princess Diana towers over her in the last photo taken of the two women together, shortly before they died, within a few days of each other.) 

So is it just me? - this feeling that Mother Teresa is addressing me personally each day in the pages of this book? Or does she speak directly to your heart too? 

Let's take just three of her thoughts - the ones for yesterday, today and tomorrow. Let this be the test! If they don't speak to you personally, don't buy this book! But if they do resonate within your being . . . then you may agree, this is the "best book of its kind." 


27 January 

The very fact that God has placed a certain soul in our way is a sign that God wants us to do something for him or her. It is not chance; it has been planned by God. We are bound by conscience to help him or her. 

28 January 

We have small `listening groups' of co-workers who go to the homes of old people and sit down with them and let them talk. Very old people love to have someone listen to them and let them talk, even if they have to tell the story of 30 years ago. To listen, when nobody else wants to listen, is a very beautiful thing. 

29 January 

It is easy to smile at people outside your own home. It is so easy to take care of the people you don't know well. It is difficult to be thoughtful and kind, and to smile and be loving to your own in the house day after day, especially when we are tired and in a bad temper or bad mood. We all have these moments and that is the time that Christ comes to us in a distressing disguise. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A wonderful review Dad, in keeping with my credo "Always be extra kind, you never really know the battles people are fighting each and every day..."