Friday, February 5, 2010

Article at Catholic Exchange today about my friendship with Mother Teresa

Some things are meant to be shared. Friendship with Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta is one of those things. I personally know three people who were friends with Mother Teresa and like a second-class relic, those second-class friendships leave me feeling somehow closer to her. Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle is one of those friends who was blessed to have known the little nun that captivated the world.

Through Donna-Marie, I have often felt Mother Teresa’s long shadow. Their decade-long friendship began by a chance encounter that was surely arranged by God. It led to an on-going correspondence and meetings. Although Donna-Marie is humble and private by nature, she came to feel that the spiritual mentoring she received from Mother Teresa was meant to be shared. Mother Teresa had constantly encouraged her to keep writing and even wrote a Forward for one of her books and back cover endorsements on others. It only made sense that their own friendship would one day be recorded in a book.

Mother Teresa and Me ( ) brings us into the fold of a friendship with Mother Teresa. Through Donna-Marie, we feel this holy nun speaking to us too.

Meeting Mother Teresa

It all began in 1987 when Donna-Marie and her husband and three young children traveled from Connecticut to Washington, D.C. to meet with the late renowned theologian, Rev. John A. Hardon S. J.. He had become her spiritual guide through letters and phone and eventually invited Donna-Marie to come with her family for a face-to-face meeting. During the visit, Rev. Hardon suggested they visit the terminally ill at the nearby Mission of Charity’s "Gift of Peace House". Donna-Marie writes:

"After observing the sisters care for the dying with smiles, tenderness, and compassion, I began to understand why the patients seemed so at peace despite their suffering: They were immersed in genuinely selfless love.

"Later I would learn that Mother Teresa and the sisters taught the patients about redemptive suffering, encouraging them not to ‘waste’ their pain, explaining that God could sanctify it if they offered it to him through prayer. We felt honored when the sisters invited us to return the next day for Mass in their chapel. When they told us Mother Teresa would be at one of the Masses, we were awestruck."

The article continues at Catholic Exchange here.

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