Matthew 6:6 – Whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.
Interviewer: Mother Teresa, you love people whom others regard as debris. What is your secret?
Mother Teresa: My secret is simple. I pray.
"I Pray." There, indeed, is the secret of success for all Christian life and work. In their book, Living the Word, Eileen and Kathleen Egan invite us to A New Adventure in Prayer, Involving Scripture, Mother Teresa, and You. It is a source of great encouragement for us lesser servants of Christ.
The book opens with that excerpt from an interview which shows how Mother Teresa's whole life was grounded in prayer, and then gives examples for us to follow. One of her emphases is a constant source of hope for us. "There is no one," she insists, "who needs God's grace more than I do. I think that is why he uses me, because I cannot claim any credit for what they get done."
Here is a clear example of what she meant. It is the first day of her new job in a foreign country in a strange city facing a huge task. Here's what happens, in her words:
- The first woman I saw, I myself picked up from the street. She had been half eaten by the rats and ants. I took her to the hospital, but they could not do anything for her. They only took her because I refused to move until they accepted her. From there I went to the municipality, and I asked them to give me a place where I could bring these people, because, on the same day, I had found others dying on the streets. The health officer took me to the Kali Temple and showed me where the people used to rest after they had done their worship of Kali goddess. It was an empty building. He asked me if I would accept it. I was very happy to have the place.
The building was the perfect place to bring those poorest of the poor, dying on the streets. It had to be One greater than the little nun from Yugoslavia, accomplishing so much in such a short time. It is an "Open Secret" and we are in on it! Thanks be to God!
Prayer: Almighty and ever gracious God, we praise and thank you for the life and work of Mother Teresa and her Missionaries of Charity. May she, being dead, yet speak to us words of encouragement. As we seek to serve you in our own time and place may we learn her secret and find success through prayer and loving obedience. In the name and for the sake of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.