On this day, September 5, 1997, Mother Teresa of Calcutta died. Oh, I remember that day…it was a week of shocks. First, Princess Di’s death made the news and then Mother Teresa’s…two completely different women, but boy what an impact emotionally their respective deaths had on the hearts of millions. Yes, one was clearly a saint, the other a wounded icon of the culture. Some will roll their eyes, that I even dared the comparison on this blog spot, but for this now 50 year old woman, this was a big moment and still speaks to my heart today.
I got up early to watch their funerals, and cried during both. I cried for the Mother of the Poor, whose witness and example I would miss, but who I was sure was brought to the glory of heaven…no doubt! And I cried for Princess Di. She and I were the same age. I remember getting up to watch her wedding on TV…she really was the People’s Princess; England’s and mine. She was so battle weary from livng and enduring the culture of our times…oh how I wished for her happiness (because then maybe, just maybe, fairytales do come true, and our secret fantasies and longings might come true as well). It broke my heart on occassion to see how miserable she was in how her story-book marriage, and I cheered her on when we watched her persevere while trying to do good for others, whatever the motivation. It was so sad how her life ended; it was a major reality check for all of us who dreamt of story-book things.
And that’s what was so great about Mother Teresa, somehow she brought us back to reality and showed us what true love really was and what truly fulfills our heart’s deepest desire. She implored all of us to seek Jesus and that the answer to our heart’s longing could be found serving and loving Jesus in our brothers and sisters in need…the poor, the unborn…in actuality, everyone…all of the Father’s children.
And now the woman whose face was on every tabloid, every magazine, every TV screen, every you name it, all the time…Princess Diana… her essence is beginning to fade from our memories, but not so with Mother Teresa. This day now and forever after in the life of the Church will stand as a lasting memorial of Mother Teresa’s life and work for God’s glory (some think she may even be declared a Doctor of the Church one day). I don’t even recall the actual date Princess Di died, but I know it’s around Blessed Teresa of Calcutta’s feast day. Interesting…one was a life seeking to soothe the ache of love, in someways, through the consumption of the things of the world (though she so obviously did love her little boys), and another, who’s life was seeking love by renouncing the things of the world and completely giving to others (who on every level did great good, which was the fruit of that renunciation).
Very interesting, God’s timing on all this…I love the image of Mother Teresa holding Princess Di’s hand. I’d like to think that this is what Mother Teresa did for Diana on her journey to the Kingdom…that’s the job of saints, ya know…to help us all to get to heaven.
In Mother Teresa’s case, she’s leading many of us from the 20th century and beyond to Jesus and the Gate of Heaven.
No podcasts or videos on this post, just a prayerful hope that both women will one day behold the beatific vision together…one a saint, and one, like the rest of us, hopefully, eventually, a saint in the making. Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, pray for us and for this member of the walking wounded who is still pondering all these things after all these years……
This entry was posted on Monday, September 5th, 2011 at 6:43 am
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