Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Waking Up to the Words of Mother Teresa

I didn't wake up at 7.03 this morning, that's far too early. However, I think it must have been 'Thought for the Day' or something on Radio 4 and a lady was saying how it was one of Mother Teresa's qreat sayings that, "There can be no true love without sacrifice." Blessed Teresa of Calcutta had a knack of putting profound truths into simple phrases. I always think it is rather providential when you listen to the words of a Saint ringing in your ears upon waking.

Acting on those words is another matter however. Sacrifice of self for another, a loved one or a neighbour or for the love of God in general is not perhaps a natural tendency. I say this not from a warped view of human nature, but from the behaviour we learn in the World from an early age. We aren't brought up necessarily to do that in a society that says "always put number one first." It is something with which I struggle for sure. Perhaps more than most. It is why I desperately need God. It is why I need Christ. My personal addictions are secondary because this is the elephant in the room.

My sin and self-centredness distort a great many good relationships, friendships and social encounters. At its very worst, it separates the soul from God and man from brother. Yet it would appear as if no mortal sin had taken place! And yet, for the self-centred person, the infinite value and importance of others takes a secondary role and people are no longer seen as unique and valuable, but servants of the self. The needs of others are no longer seen in their true light because the self has taken primacy and people are viewed as tools with which to serve the self. At its worst, it results in the megalomania of Hitler and Stalin. Let's hold back on Obama and see how he fares...It is however, arguable that any man receiving that much adulation has his soul in jeopardy, even setting aside his rabid pro-abortion policies.

I haven't been able to complete this post without rushing out to get wine and fags, so regardless, you can see I am a poor sinner, but as you can tell from above my sin is more terrible than mere unhealthy addictions...It is the addiction to the self. O Lord, how does one unlearn the habit of a lifetime?

"There can be no true love without sacrifice."

How many crimes have taken place because of this sin?! The poor girl interviewed below, who was transported into a life of sex slavery was a victim of men's self-centredness who saw her merely as an object with which to make money!

As Christians we do not believe in the destruction of the self or the absorbtion of the self into the cosmos. We believe in the Sacrifice of Christ and the model of His Blessed Mother also. He has told us Himself, that sacrifice of the self is the road to life and freedom. Dying to ourselves may not be an outward manifestation, though it may appear to be the fruit. It must be an interior disposition that prays as St Francis of Assisi did, when he said, "and it is in dying we are born to eternal life."

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, pray for us, that we may follow your example.


PeterHWright said...

You shouldn't need to rush out to buy wine and fags halfway through writing such a thoughtful post. Do as I do. Keep plenty in stock at home.

Drinking and smoking needn't be addictions. I think of a glass of wine (I'm just about to pour one) as something pleasant in this rather miserable world.

What you say about putting oneself first is most interesting. From I was a child, we were taught at home and at school to put other people first. Unfortunately, I've not kept to it very well ..

The Bones said...

LOL! Err...I polished off the bottle. It numbs the pain...Oh hang on, that's alcoholism. Step one...

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