For her entire life, Mother Teresa of Calcutta looked to Our Lady for guidance, strength, and hope. Here are some of her thoughts and prayers of Mary, in her own words.
Let us not forget how Mary set out in haste in the hill country of Judea to visit her cousin Elizabeth. God chose Mary because she was full of grace and yet so full of humility. The coming of Jesus into her life generated within her great zeal and charity—zeal to bring Jesus to others through works of charity.
When the fullness of grace became one with the Word of God in her, the fruit of that union was Mary’s service of love to her neighbor. She didn’t dwell on the Son of God within her or on the joy and sorrow that were to be hers as the Mother of God and men.
Mary, Mother of Jesus and my mother, moved by a burning desire to live in the closest union with you possible in this life, so as to more surely and fully come to union with your Son, and with you to discover the mystery of his thirst, I resolve to keep this covenant of consecration with you as faithfully and as generously as I am able to with your help.
Since Jesus from the cross gave you to me, I take you as my own. And since Jesus gave me to you, take me as your own. I entrust myself and all I do entirely to you, that you may share your life and heart with me. I give you complete power over me and all that belongs to me, both material and spiritual, that as a mother you may nourish Jesus’s thirst within me.
Mary, I depend on you totally as a child on its mother, that in return you may possess me, protect me, and transform me into Jesus. May the light of your faith dispel the darkness of my mind; may your profound humility take the place of my pride; may your contemplation replace the distractions of my wandering imagination; and may your virtues take the place of my sins. Lead me deeper into the mystery of the cross that you may share your experience of Jesus’s thirst with me.
O most pure heart of Mary, allow me to enter your heart, to share your interior life. You see and know my needs, help me to do “whatever Jesus tells me”… that my human needs may be changed into thirst for God alone. I desire to dis cover, satiate, and proclaim Jesus’s thirst, but I know all too well my weakness, nothingness, and sin. Mother, may this covenant of consecration with you be the hidden strength in my life that you may use me to satiate your Son to the full. Let this be my only joy…and you will be the cause of that joy.
Sweet Lord, thy thirst for souls I satiate with my burning love, all for thee. My chalice will be filled with love, sacrifices made all for thee. Evermore, I will quench thy thirst, Lord. Evermore, I will quench thy thirst, Lord, for souls; in union with Mary, our Queen, I will quench thy thirst.
A gentleman of the Protestant faith, the son-in-law of Malcolm Muggeridge, told me: “I love you, your work, everything I see, but there is one thing I do not understand: Our Lady. You are full of Mary.” I replied to him: “No Mary, no Jesus—no mother, no son.”
A few months later he sent me a card with these words printed in big letters: “I believe, no Mary, no Jesus! This has changed my life.”
We have dedicated ourselves to give wholehearted free service to the poor. Do they rejoice in our service? When they see us, do their hearts leap for joy as Saint John’s did in his mother’s womb when Mary brought Jesus into his house? Do we really go to the poor filled with Jesus, as Mary was, always ready to give only Jesus to the poor? Is our service to the poor devoted and tender? Do we serve them as Mary served Elizabeth?
The most wonderful part of redemption began in such a humble way. God did not send Gabriel to the palace of the great and rich but to the young girl Mary in the one-room cottage at Nazareth.
She asked but one question of the angel who announced she
would be the mother of the Savior: How could this be? And when he explained, she, being full of grace, offered herself as the handmaid of the Lord.
This was why she was chosen, because although she was full of grace, she was also full of humility. She didn’t think of the grace of the Son of God within her. She didn’t dwell on the joy and sorrow that were hers as the Mother of God and of mankind. She only thought of how to serve, of how ot fulfill her vocation as the handmaid of the Lord.
“Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you.” When Mary heard this greeting of the angel, she was troubled and wondered what it might mean. Even Mary, sinless and perfect, was troubled and wondered. She was not a statue without human feelings but was like you and me in many ways.
And then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, for nothing is impossible with God. You shall bear a son and name him Jesus.” And Mary said, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto me according to your word.”
Mary had a call and a mission, and she went through a process of discernment to accept them. She responded to the angel in obedience and rejoiced, saying “yes.” All mankind rejoices with her in her “yes.” She had been chosen as the Queen of Heaven and Earth, yet she did not go in search of glory or even to tell Joseph. The first thing she did as the Mother of God was to go in haste to serve her cousin Elizabeth.
Our lives are founded on Jesus and Mary and so we ask ourselves: What was their total surrender? Scripture tells us that Jesus, though he was God, “did not count equality with God something to be grasped at. Rather, he emptied himself and took the form of a slave, being born in the likeness of men.”
This was complete surrender, but it can be difficult to understand Jesus because he is God. Mary, however, is completely one of us. She loved, she surrendered, she emptied herself.
Mary, Mother of Jesus, and my Mother, you were the first one to hear Jesus cry, “I Thirst.” You know how real, how deep is his longing for me and for the poor. I am yours. Mother Mary, teach me, bring me face to face with the love in the heart of Jesus crucified. With your help, I will listen to Jesus’s thirst and it will be for me a Word of life.
Standing near you, I will give him my love, and I will give him the chance to love me, and so be the cause of your joy and so to satiate Jesus’s thirst for love of souls. Amen.