The Spirituality of Bl. Mother Teresa of Calcutta -
In Her Own Words

 “Who is Jesus to me?  Jesus is the Word made Flesh.  Jesus is the Bread of Life.  Jesus is the Victim offered for our sins on the cross.  Jesus is the sacrifice offered at holy Mass for the sins of the world and for mine.  Jesus is the Word - to be spoken.  Jesus is the Truth - to be told.  Jesus is the Way - to be walked.  Jesus is the Light - to be lit.  Jesus is the Life - to be lived.  Jesus is the Love - to be loved,” wrote Mother Teresa of Calcutta.  Looking back on the pages of Mother Teresa’s words, we find the echo of her life. To many she was a little woman with tireless energy.  She was a woman of joy, of tender compassion and of love. Yet, where did Mother Teresa find the energy and the strength to serve the poorest of the poor?  What is it that makes us look to her today?

 The answer is simple and clear: Jesus in the Eucharist.  Without the Eucharist we are nothing, but with the Eucharist - the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus - we have everything.  This was the secret of Mother Teresa, the secret which is present in all of our Catholic Churches.  For she wrote, “Where will you get the joy of loving?-in the Eucharist, Holy Communion.  Jesus has made Himself the Bread of Life to give us life.  Night and day, He is there.  If you really want to grow in love, come back to the Eucharist, come back to that adoration.” She continued:
 
“In our congregation, we used to have adoration once a week for one hour, and then
in 1973, we decided to have adoration one hour every day.  We have much work to do.
Our homes for the sick and dying destitute are full everywhere. And from the time we
started having adoration every day, our love for Jesus became more intimate, our love
for each other more understanding, our love for the poor more compassionate, and we
have double the number of vocations. God has blessed us with many wonderful vocations.”

 

 When people asked Mother how many convents she had, she answered “We have 584 tabernacles.”  Without the Presence of Jesus, the work of the Sisters would be impossible. This is why she wrote: “We shall spend two hours a day at sunrise and sunset in adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament exposed. Our hours of adoration will be special hours of reparation for sins, and intercession for the needs of the whole world, exposing the sin-sick and suffering humanity to the healing, sustaining, and transforming rays of Jesus, radiating from the Eucharist.”  It is through the Presence of Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament that the life of Mother Teresa was transformed, to remind us of God.  It is through the Presence of Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament that her life continues to radiate His hope to the world.

 “The coming of Jesus at Bethlehem brought joy to the world and to every human heart.  The same Jesus comes again and again in our hearts during Holy Communion.  He wants to give the same joy and peace.”  It was the great longing of Mother Teresa for all souls to come to know her Eucharistic Love. Her words impel us: “See Him in the tabernacle; fix your eyes on Him who is the light; bring your hearts close to His Divine Heart; ask Him to grant you the grace of knowing Him, the love of loving Him, the courage to serve Him. Seek Him fervently.”

 The great love of this holy and saintly woman of God is said best in her own words: “How tenderly Jesus speaks when He gives Himself to His own in Holy Communion. ‘My Flesh is meat indeed and My Blood is drink indeed.  He that eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood abides in Me and I in him.’ Oh, what could my Jesus do more than give me His Flesh for my food?  No, not even God could do more nor show greater love for me.”

 Like the Eucharist, in which our God comes to us in all humility, in all simplicity, in all tenderness, in all love, this little woman of Calcutta came to us. Her message: “We all know, when we look at the cross, how Jesus loved us.  When we look at the Eucharist we know how much He loves us now.”  And to those who longed to imitate her life she told, “In every Holy Communion, Jesus the word becomes Flesh in our life, a special, delicate, beautiful gift of God; it’s a privilege...” ...“You must protect it with tender care because He is giving Himself, the Word, to you to be made Flesh, to each one of you, and to those who will come after.”

 Mother Teresa took her name after St. Therese of Lisieux.  It was this young Saint who said, “When I act and think with charity, I feel it is Jesus Who works within me.  The closer I am united with Him, the more I love all the other dwellers in Carmel.”  Because of Mother Teresa’s devotion and love to her Spouse in the Holy Eucharist, Jesus lived in her, and His love has taken root throughout the world.  As Mother wrote so beautifully, “Holy Communion, as the word itself implies, is the intimate union of Jesus and our soul and body.  If we want to have life and have it more abundantly, we must live on the Flesh of our Lord.”

 The Flesh of the Lord became alive in the life of Mother Teresa. Through receiving and adoring His Body and Blood she was able to care for the unborn, poor, handicapped, elderly, and dying.  She was one of the first people to care for AIDS patients with tenderness and love. Mother touched all those she met, and reached out to those who no one else wanted to touch. Her love was limitless, without bounds. Through her total surrender to Jesus in the Eucharist, His love was made present throughout the world, and in the lives of every person she met, every person she touched.

   Yet the life and the love of Mother Teresa can be summed up in these words describing her relationship with Jesus: “To me - Jesus is my God.  Jesus is my Spouse.  Jesus is my Life.  Jesus is my only Love.  Jesus is my All in all.  Jesus is my everything.  Jesus, I love with my whole heart, with my whole being.  I have given Him all, even my sins, and He has espoused me to Himself in all tenderness and love.  Now and for life I am the Spouse of my crucified Spouse.”  Let us pray for Mother Teresa to intercede for us, that she may like St. Therese spend her heaven making “God loved” and doing “good upon the earth.”  May her love be ours as we reach out to victims of abortion, AIDS, sickness, poverty, and loneliness.  Let us come to receive the Body and Blood of Jesus, let us come to adore Him, that we might carry on her work little by little each day.   Mother Teresa pray for us.

Copyright 1998, M.B.S.  All rights reserved.

Mother Teresa of Calcutta Eucharistic Quotes:

"In each of our lives Jesus comes as the Bread of Life - to be eaten, to be consumed by us. This is how He loves us. Then Jesus comes in our human life as the hungry one, the other, hoping to be fed with the Bread of our life, our hearts by loving, and our hands by serving. In loving and serving, we prove that we have been created in the likeness of God, for God is Love and when we love we are like God. This is what Jesus meant when He said, "Be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect."

- Mother Teresa of Calcutta

"The humility of Jesus can be seen in the crib, in the exile to Egypt, in the hidden life, in the inability to make people understand Him, in the desertion of His apostles, in the hatred of His persecutors, in all the terrible suffering and death of His Passion, and now in His permanent state of humility in the tabernacle, where He has reduced Himself to such a small particle of bread that the priest can hold Him with two fingers. The more we empty ourselves, the more room we give God to fill us."

- Mother Teresa of Calcutta
 

"If I can give you any advice, I beg you to get closer to the Eucharist and to Jesus... We must pray to Jesus to give us that tenderness of the Eucharist."

-Mother Teresa of Calcutta

"People ask me: 'What will convert America and save the world?' My answer is prayer. What we need is for every parish to come before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament in Holy Hours of prayer."

- Mother Teresa of Calcutta

"To be alone with Jesus in adoration and intimate union with Him is the Greatest Gift of Love - the tender love of Our Father in Heaven."

- Mother Teresa of Calcutta

"Like Mary, let us be full of zeal to go in haste to give Jesus to others. She was full of grace when, at the annunciation, she received Jesus. Like her, we too become full of grace every time we receive Holy Communion. It is the same Jesus whom she received and whom we receive at Mass. As soon as we receive Jesus in Holy Communion, let us go in haste to give Him to our sisters, to our poor, to the sick, to the dying, to the lepers, to the unwanted, and the unloved. By this we make Jesus present in the world today."

- Mother Teresa of Calcutta
 

"We cannot separate our lives from the Eucharist; the moment we do, something breaks. People ask, 'Where do the sisters get the joy and the energy to do what they are doing?' The Eucharist involves more than just receiving; it also involves satisfying the hunger of Christ. He says, 'Come to Me.' He is hungry for souls."

- Mother Teresa of Calcutta

"When you look at the Crucifix, you understand how much Jesus loved you then. When you look at the Sacred Host you understand how much Jesus loves you now,"

- Mother Teresa of Calcutta.

"Salvation is from our God...on the throne, and from the Lamb!" This is the same Jesus Whom "everyone in the crowd was trying to touch...because power came out from Him that cured them all." ...From the Lamb flows a river of grace which heals every nation.

Each time we look upon Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, He raises us up into deeper union with Himself, opens up the floodgates of His merciful love to the whole world, and brings us closer to the day of His final victory "where every knee will bend and proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord". "The reign of God is already in your midst." The coming of Jesus to us in the Eucharist is assurance of His promise of final victory: "BEHOLD, I COME TO MAKE ALL THINGS NEW."

- Excerpts from Rosary Meditations from Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Loving Jesus With the Heart of Mary

The 'yes' of Mary gave us the Holy Eucharist, as the body of Jesus was formed from the Immaculate Heart of His Mother, from whose flesh Jesus took the flesh He gives us in the Blessed Sacrament...

"The Virgin shall....give birth to a Son and they shall call Him Emmanuel, a name which means 'GOD IS WITH US'." This is our joy today! Jesus chose the name 'Emmanuel' BECAUSE OF HIS INFINITE DESIRE TO DWELL WITH US ALWAYS IN THIS MOST BLESSED SACRAMENT, as absolute proof of HIS EVERLASTING LOVE and CONSTANT AFFECTION for each of us.

Jesus calls you to be with Him today, waiting for you with great desire. "I have called you by name...because you are precious in My eyes and glorious, and because I LOVE YOU." All the love in all the world since the beginning of time is only a drop in the ocean in comparison to the love Jesus has for you alone in this Holy Eucharist, the continuation of His incarnation on earth, the fulfillment of His name: "Emmanuel, God is with us."

- From the book Rosary Meditations from Mother Teresa of Calcutta: Loving Jesus With the Heart of Mary
 

The Birth of Jesus in Bethlehem
"The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us, and we have seen His glory: the glory of an only Son coming from the Father, filled with enduring love." (Jn 1:14)

The Joy of Adoration
"My spirit finds joy in God my Savior." (Lk 1:47)

The Holy Eucharist is the continuation of Christ’s incarnation on earth. The mystery of the Eucharist gives us the joy of having Christmas everyday. When we come to the Blessed Sacrament we come to Bethlehem, a name which means ‘house of bread’.

Jesus chose to be born in Bethlehem because He would dwell with us forever as the "Living Bread" come down from heaven. When the shepherds and Magi came to adore Him, they brought Him so much joy with their humble visit to Bethlehem that their visit has been praised and retold down through the centuries. God has never stopped honoring them for honoring His Son in Bethlehem. So too, your humble visit to Jesus today in the Blessed Sacrament brings Him so much joy that it will be retold for all eternity and bring the world closer to His promise of peace on earth.

We are as privileged in being called to adore Him today as were Mary, Joseph, the shepherds and Magi then, because here Jesus continues His incarnation on earth. Here Jesus loses His Heart to us in love. Love expresses itself to the object of its affection; the Eucharist is the continual expression of God’s perfect, unselfish love for man. The Word again becomes flesh and dwells among us, veiled under the Species of the Sacred Host, where the same Jesus born two thousand years ago as a little babe in Bethlehem is truly, really, bodily, and personally present to us in this Most Blessed Sacrament.

The greatest love story ever told is contained in the Sacred Host. Here we see His glory in the depth of His humility, for God Who created the whole world and Whom the whole world cannot contain, contains Himself in the Blessed Sacrament for love of us, to be our Good Shepherd who ‘leads us to life-giving waters’, to be our Divine Physician who ‘heals the brokenhearted’, to be our Divine Companion in our pilgrimage throughout life. Here you behold His glory IN THE MIRACLE OF HIS LOVE, for He becomes small in the Sacred Host that He may give Himself to you where "you are filled with the fullness of God."

Jesus becomes poor in the Blessed Sacrament, "emptying Himself" of His glory and majesty, that He may make you rich with the abundance of His grace, "transforming you from glory to glory" and making your soul everlastingly more beautiful with each communion and each visit you make to Him in the Blessed Sacrament. "For your sake He made Himself poor though He was rich, so that you might become rich by His poverty."

The Eucharist is Divine Love made visible in the Sacred Host! This is why the angels continue to sing to Him here as they did in Bethlehem: "Glory to God in the highest and peace to men of good will." COME LET US ADORE HIM for here Jesus continues to come to us "filled with enduring love" as the Word becomes flesh in the Holy Eucharist and makes His dwelling among us. "IT IS HE WHO IS OUR PEACE."

- From Rosary Meditations from Mother Teresa of Calcutta , Loving Jesus With the Heart of Mary

"Put your sins in the chalice for the precious blood to wash away. One drop is capable of washing away the sins of the world. "The Eucharist is connected with the Passion. If Jesus had not established the Eucharist we would have forgotten the crucifixion. It would have faded into the past and we would have forgotten that Jesus loved us. There is a saying that to be far away from the eyes is to be far away from the heart. To make sure that we do not forget, Jesus gave us the Eucharist as a memorial of his love,"

- Mother Teresa
 

"When you look at the crucifix, you understand how much Jesus loved you. When you look at the Sacred Host you understand how much Jesus loves you now. This is why you should ask your parish priest to have perpetual adoration in your parish. I beg the Blessed Mother to touch the hearts of all parish priests that they may have perpetual Eucharistic adoration in their parishes, and that it may spread throughout the entire world,"

- Mother Teresa of Calcutta

"Perpetual Adoration, Eucharistic Adoration offers to our people the opportunity to join those in religious life to pray for the salvation of the world, souls everywhere and peace on earth. We cannot underestimate the power of prayer and the difference it will make in our world,"

- Mother Teresa of Calcutta

"The time you spend with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is the best time you will spend on earth. Each moment that you spend with Jesus will deepen your union with Him and make your soul everlastingly more glorious and beautiful in Heaven, and will help bring about everlasting peace on earth,"

- Mother Teresa of Calcutta
 

"I know I would not be able to work one week if it were not for that continual force coming from Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament," Mother Teresa of Calcutta said of the strength she and her sisters received in spending Holy Hours before Jesus each day.

The following excerpt was taken from the writings of Mother Teresa of Calcutta:

Like Mary, let us be full of zeal to go in haste to give Jesus to others. She was full of grace when, at the annunciation, she received Jesus. Like her, we too become full of grace every time we receive Holy Communion. It is the same Jesus whom she received and whom we receive at Mass. As soon as she received Him she went with haste to give Him to John. For us also, as soon as we receive Jesus in Holy Communion, let us go in haste to give Him to our sisters, to our poor, to the sick, to the dying, to the lepers, to the unwanted, and the unloved. By this we make Jesus present in the world today.

We cannot separate our lives from the Eucharist; the moment we do, something breaks. People ask, "Where do the sisters get the joy and energy to do what they are doing?" The Eucharist involves more than just receiving; it also involves satisfying the hunger of Christ. He says, "Come to Me." He is hungry for souls. Nowhere does the Gospel say: "Go away," but always "Come to Me."

Our lives must be woven around the Eucharist. Ask Jesus to be with you, to work with you that you may be able to pray the work. You must really be sure that you have received Jesus. After that, you cannot give your tongue, your thoughts, or your heart to bitterness.

Put your sins in the chalice for the precious blood to wash away. One drop is capable of washing away all the sins of the world.

When communicating with Christ in your heart - the partaking of Living Bread - remember what Our Lady must have felt when the Spirit overpowered her and she, who was full of grace, became full with the body of Jesus. The Spirit was so strong in her that she immediately rose in haste to go and serve.

Each Holy Communion, each breaking of the Bread of Life, each sharing should produce in us the same, for it is the same Jesus who came to Mary and was made flesh. We, too, should be in haste to give this life of Jesus...
 

"If you are looking for vocations, as a community have adoration every day. Once the Missionaries of Charity started daily adoration, their vocations doubled,"

- Mother Teresa of Calcutta, at the co-workers chapter held in Paris in May 1988

"Who is Jesus to me? Jesus is the Word made Flesh. Jesus is the Bread of Life. Jesus is the Victim offered for our sins on the cross. Jesus is the sacrifice offered at holy Mass for the sins of the world and for mine. Jesus is the Word - to be spoken. Jesus is the Truth - to be told. Jesus is the Way - to be walked. Jesus is the Light - to be lit. Jesus is the Life - to be lived. Jesus is the Love - to be loved,"

- Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

"Mary, mother of Jesus, give us your heart, so beautiful, so pure, so 
immaculate, so full of love and humility, that we may be able to
receive Jesus in the bread of life, love him as you love him, and serve him in
the distressing disguise of the poor."

(Mother Teresa)