Mother Teresa is already a saint. Her canonization is for us and for the world (III)
by Sebastian Vazhakala, MC

Recognition of Mother Teresa's holiness serves as a stimulus for the Church and for the world. It is the beginning of a journey, an invitation to a spiritual deepening and to relive the Gospel as she lived it. Prayer and love are the most powerful weapons in the world, but they must not remain words: We need gestures and witnesses. Part three of Fr. Sebastian Vazhakala's story.


Rome (AsiaNews) - When I go to Calcutta, some Hindu people ask me: "Why do you say that the Church is making Mother Teresa a saint? She is already a saint! This ceremony is not necessary". And I explain to them that the canonization is a greater recognition of her sanctity, ythat it is not for her, but for me, for us, for the whole world.

Mother Teresa is important for the world today. And the canonization is not the end of a process but the beginning: it is an invitation to us to deepen our spirituality, to relive the Gospel of Jesus as she lived it, using what she called "the most powerful weapons" that exist, those of prayer and love.

What is wrong with today's world? Why are we using other, violent weapons.If we continue down this path no one will win. The most powerful weapons are prayer and love. Not just the words "I love you", but gestures of love towards the least, those who have been forgotten by all. Do as she did.

For example, today two brothers went to the refugee camp near Tiburtina station and took people a bit 'of coffee and something to eat. In this way they continue the work of Mother Teresa. This work does not end with the canonization: let's have a big party and then move on. The work of Mother Teresa continues, because it is God's work and requires us to take on and implement the spirit of Mother Teresa.

I still remember, on September 6, 1997, when Mother Teresa died, CNN interviewed me and asked me: "Mother Teresa is dead and now what will you do? What will you all do? What will happen?".

I said, "Mother is dead, but God is not dead. The work accomplished by her was God's work and this work of love will continue". Mother Teresa often said that if God has found a miserable person like her to do His work, He will find other people to continue and perpetuate His work in the world, which still needs to learn to love.

I think our world marked by violence needs to learn from Mother Teresa. Weapons, guns, bombs cannot solve problems, but the love of God, charity. Look at what happened in Yemen, where four of our sisters were killed while serving the elderly. How is it possible? Killing is the extreme abasement of man; not even animals do this. But then it means that we still have much to learn to understand true love.

This canonization is not only for the Church. Mother Teresa said that "holiness is not a luxury but a must for everyone." Even the Second Vatican Council, in Lumen Gentium has a chapter which speaks of the "universal call to holiness." We are all called by God to become holy. And how does this happen? Doing good, helping the poor, doing the will of God.

One then understands that the canonization is not important to Mother Teresa, because she is already a saint and does not need it, but we need it, the Church and the world need it. It is a help, a boost, an incentive to take upon ourselves the spirit of Mother Teresa. She left us a great legacy, that of love of God and we must spread, deepen and live this heritage.

The books, the things she wrote, her letters are not something to be archived, but must be disseminated. We should not hide a lamp under a bushel, rather share its light, just like she taught us: "Joy comes only from sharing" and involving everyone.

So, once again, Mother Teresa has built a bridge between the poor and the rich, so that the rich share with the poor and the poor receive from the rich. In this way, all of us, and the Missionaries of Charity, we are building a new world, marked by sharing. Only this gives us peace, joy, and changes the world not by violence, but with the strength that comes from love. The Mother's canonization should prompt us to act in this way. As Jesus said in the parable of the Good Samaritan: "Go and do likewise" (Luke 10, 37).

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