Holy Idols

“Do the works that I do,
even greater ones than these…”

Inspired by John 14:12

Recently, I ran into a young man who’d sought my advice some years ago. He was going to be confirmed and he wanted to be certain about the saint’s name which he’d selected for the occasion. He looked to this holy idol for inspiration which he hoped would remain with him as he approached adulthood and beyond. I tried not to smile too broadly when he announced that it was Mother Teresa of Calcutta who’d drawn his attention. “Is Teresa as a viable option?” he asked. When I assured him that gender needn’t be a factor in his choice, he was elated. Fortunately, his parents and teacher agreed.

Years ago, a dear friend introduced me to Mother Teresa long before she’d become known worldwide. John was a young priest who deeply respected this Albanian woman who’d joined the convent very early on. As a sister, she was assigned to a high school in Calcutta. While teaching, she couldn’t ignore the extreme poverty beyond the windows of her classroom. She was so moved that she asked to devote herself to the poor. Mother Teresa eventually founded her own religious order dedicated to serving the poorest among us. Truly, her mark upon our world is undeniable.

My young friend chose Teresa for his Confirmation name with the hope of emulating her in his own life. My friend John did just that. He never drove a new car or owned a tailored suit. When he eventually held an important position in the archdiocese, he continued to live a simple life. When John passed away, all who knew him agreed that he was a truly good soul, perhaps our own saint-in-the-making. That young man who sports Teresa’s name may be on his way to doing the same.

Dear God, thank you for filling my life with holy idols like these!

©2019 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

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Inspiring Souls

“…whoever believes in me
will do the works that I do,
and will do greater ones than these…”

From John 14:12

A recent discussion regarding confirmation names included references to Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Catholics often choose the name of a saint or someone whom they greatly respect for this purpose. The most interesting aspect of this conversation was that it was a young man who was considering “Teresa” as a viable option. When I assured him that gender needn’t be a factor in his choice, he was elated.

Years ago, a dear friend talked about Mother Teresa long before she had become known worldwide. John was a young priest who deeply respected this Albanian woman who was drawn to religious life very early on. After entering the convent, she was assigned to a high school in Calcutta. While teaching her students, she could not ignore the extreme poverty beyond the windows of her classroom. She was so moved by their need that she asked permission to devote herself to the poor. Mother Teresa eventually petitioned the Holy Father for permission to found her own religious order which would be dedicated to serving those in dire poverty. Her mark upon our world is undeniable.

The young man who chose Teresa for his Confirmation name hopes to emulate her in his own life. My friend John certainly lived Mother Teresa’ spirit of poverty. He never drove a new car or owned a tailored suit. Though he held an important position in the archdiocese, he never ceased to live a simple life. When John passed away, all who knew him agreed that he was a good soul, perhaps our own saint-in-the-making. That young man who sports Teresa’s name may be on his way to doing the same.

Dear God, I am most grateful for all of those who inspire me to do my best.

©2016 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved