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The Joy of Loving Jesus and Mary

On December 4, 1985, Father Gruner met Mother Teresa in Rome. We published this in Issue No. 19. Recently she wrote

In response to Mother Teresa's letter encouraging us to spread devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, we publish here a talk of hers. Mother Teresa gave this talk in Moncton, Canada, in the presence of Archbishop Donat Chaisson and thousands of the faithful gathered at the Catholic Foundation for Human Life's Rally for Life.

Mother Teresa with Pope John Paul II in Vatican City.


Let us ask Our Lady to be with us. Let us ask Her to give us Her heart so beautiful, so pure, so immaculate, Her heart so full of love and humility, that we may be able to receive Jesus in the Bread of Life, love Him as She loved Him and serve Him in the distressing disguise of the poor. We are all gathered together here today to proclaim the goodness of God, the greatness of God in creating you and creating me. And God has created us for a special purpose: not just to be a number in the world but to be His presence, His image, His tenderness and love, to be His child. And so you and I belong to the wonderful family of God. He has created us for greater things: to love and to be loved. And so today now, first we do one very beautiful thing: we thank our parents for loving us, for wanting us, for giving us the opportunity to live. They are proof to us of the greatness of God's love. You and I are here today because they loved us, because they wanted us. So we will say together one Our Father in gratitude for loving us, for wanting us.


We read in the Gospel that God loved the world so much that He gave Jesus, His Son, to be born, just like you and I in all things except sin. And He came into this world just to give us that good news - that God is love, and that God loves us: you and me, that dying person, that leper, that crippled person, that alcoholic, each one. That's all that Jesus came for, to give us that good news, that God loves us, that we are precious to Him, that He wants us to be holy (to be able to go back to Him). And He came to the most pure Virgin, and Mary in the beginning did not understand. But, so beautifully, She said just one sentence: "Be it done unto Me according to Thy word." What wonderful obedience, what beautiful surrender; what beautiful surrender. She had such a great love and respect for virginity, for that purity pure, that chastity chaste, that virginity virgin. So She asked the angel, and the angel told Her that God the Holy Spirit is the power of Her and that She will conceive Jesus, the Son of God.


What tenderness of love, God's love. And She said "Yes." And what did She do? The moment Jesus came in Her life there was a second life in Her life, the life of Jesus. That is why the moment the mother conceives there are two lives, no longer one life; the very moment that life is conceived that is a soul, that is a body created by God. And that's why the mother must decide before conception: once the child is conceived, there are two lives. And that's why it's so evil - to destroy two lives, the life of conscience of the mother and the life of the child.

And She went in haste and something very strange happened in the house of Her cousin. Because She went to her cousin's house to be a servant, to serve, to work, to cook, to take care of the house - because Her cousin was expecting a baby, she was with child. Something very strange happened. Nobody knew that Jesus had come. Nobody knew that Mary had conceived Jesus. Nobody knew. And yet God chose the little unborn child to prove the coming of Christ! The little one in the womb of His mother leaped with joy. How strange - a little unborn child in the womb leaped with joy. God chose that little one to proclaim. He did not choose Saint Joseph and Zachariah and all these big people, but a little unborn child.


And today that little unborn child has become the target of evil, of killing, of murder. The mother herself kills her own child. And that's why I often say: if a mother can kill her own child, what is left; for others to kill each other? That is why abortion has become the greatest destroyer of peace, of love, of unity, of joy, the greatest destroyer. Because it destroys love. For love begins at home. And so now that we are together, let us pray that we may never, never allow a child to be destroyed. For in destroying the child we are destroying the presence of God; we are destroying the image of God. And so today we have assembled together as a proof, as a determination that we will, together with the Catholic Foundation God has given to you, together that we will never allow in this beautiful country that God has blessed with so many gifts - we will not allow a single child, a single unborn child to feel unwanted, unloved. For Jesus said, "If you receive a little child in My name, you receive Me!" Clear. "You receive Me!" And if we don't receive that little child we are not receiving Him ! We are rejecting Him! And so today let us make that resolution.

We don't have a house here. We are going to have a house in Toronto. But when you hear that somebody does not want the child, I want the child. My sisters want the child. Please send the child to Toronto and we'll take care of it.


And to make it more clear how we must love each other, Jesus said, "Whatever you do to the least of My brethren, you do it to Me. If in My name you give a glass of water, you give it to Me. If in My name you receive a little child, you receive Me. If in My name you receive the unwanted, the unloved, the leper, the cripple, the mental, the alcoholic, the drug addict, the prostitute, the sick, you receive Me." And to make sure we understand what He meant, again He says at the hour of death when we go home to God He will judge us on the same thing. "I was hungry, you gave Me to eat." Hunger is not only for a piece of bread! Hunger is for love, for somebody to want you, somebody to care for you. That's that hunger - to be cared for, to be wanted, to be loved. Nakedness is not only for a piece of cloth! Nakedness is that loss of human dignity, that loss of that beautiful virtue - the gift that God has given to every human life - purity; that beautiful gift, chastity; that beautiful gift, virginity; so beautiful.

I was telling the young people and said to them: "It's very beautiful for a young girl to love a young man and a young man to love a young woman. Very beautiful. Love each other with a pure heart. And the greatest gift you can give on your marriage day, the day when you consecrate each other in front of God to each other - when you cleave, you become one - the greatest gift you can give each other: a pure heart, a virgin body." This is something so beautiful for you to pray for - to give that to God. Help your children to be able to understand - for God will give it to us.


Homelessness is not only "I have no home built of bricks." Homelessness is being rejected, unwanted, a throwaway of society. I never forget, one day I picked up a woman from a dust bin and she was burning with fever, she was really dying. I took her home and it took me a long time to help her because she kept saying, "My son, my son did this to me." She was so hurt, it was such a great pain for her that her own son threw her in the dust bin to die like an animal. It took me a long time to help her to say "I forgive." Thank God, before she died she received the grace to say, "I forgive my son," as she died beautifully. See that hurt That is real, real homelessness, unwanted, unloved! One night about midnight a little child came to our gate and knocked at the gate. And I said, "What's happened?" He said, "I went to my father; my father and mother are separated. I went to my father - my father didn't want me. I went to my mother - my mother didn't want me. You want me?" I took him in. See the terrible, terrible feeling of being unwanted.


That little unborn child - stand by him, continue working with him because we have that beautiful gift from God to work for the unwanted, unloved, uncared. And that little unborn child is the most unwanted, that has to die because the mother is afraid to have to feed one more child, to have to educate one more child and so on. See, let us ask Our Lady to give us that tender love for life, the life of the child. And if the child, as sometimes happens, is deformed or gets sick, that is the gift, that is the sign of greater love still, greater love still. We have hundreds and hundreds of people terribly disabled, terribly dying. The other day we picked up a man from the street in Calcutta covered with dirt, covered with worms. And what did he say when I brought him to our home? "I have lived like an animal in the street but I am going to die like an angel, loved and cared." It took us a long time to clean him. And I asked the Sister, "Sister, what do you feel in touching him, in removing those worms from his body, what do you feel?" And she looks up: "Mother, it's the body of Christ, Jesus Himself." When we finished cleaning, the man looked up at Sister and said, "Sister, I am going home to God," and he died with a big smile on his face because there was somebody who loved him.

Continued next issue