Friday, September 7, 2007

Mother Theresa

I have been remiss in not posting anything in recognition of the tenth anniversary of Bl. Mother Theresa's passing. I suppose there are numerous "reasons" I could give, but those aside, here I am.

I was privileged to sing in a church choir that sang for her and her sisters three times before she died. It was in the mid-to late '90's, and I'll never forget a single time. . .

You see, it all started because William Lori was ordained a bishop. At one time, he had been a priest at my church, and he requested that our choir sing at his ordination. During that occasion, one of the local sisters heard us, and approached our conductor about singing for a final profession of vows that was coming up.

So, several months later, we were back in the Shrine, singing for Mother Theresa. Which would have been awesome enough. . .

A year or two later, another final profession, this time at St. Aloysius (or rather, St. Al's to us Washingtonians), which is attached to Gonzaga High School (yes, if you're asking, a Jesuit school). Another fine moment.

The last time we sang for her, she came to our parish, St. John the Baptist, and as with the previous occasions, it was such a big to-do, but a joyous one. And I remember that when she would speak, it was with such spirit, unafraid of who she was speaking to, never fearing to be, as they say, "Politically incorrect."

No, I did not join the crowds that gathered around her. I'm a natural born introvert, a bit of a coward, and besides, I felt that it would be rather rude to just present myself with nothing to say for myself. "Hi, I'm CC, wanna bless me?" just seemed so. . .crass, in a way. On the other hand, even then I would tell myself "How often does this happen? How many chances are you gonna get to meet a walking saint?" But then I'd say to myself (the introvert coming out) "The last thing that over-worked woman needs is one more person crowding in her face demanding her attention. It is enough to be part of giving her a song."

So I would stay up in the choir loft, kinda wishing I was down with the crowds, and relieved that I was not.

I did, however, have a friend who got some Miraculous Medals blessed by her, and one of those now hangs around my neck.

There's really nothing that I can say about her that hasn't been said a thousand times already by people far more eloquent and erudite than I. She was a good, saintly, and ultimately human woman, a rock tossed by God into the pool of the world, whose ripples haven't stopped yet, and don't look to be stopping anytime soon. Her life was, to use a cliche, a gift that keeps on giving. I think we are only beginning to realize the depths of this strong, dedicated servant of Christ.

I suppose the best way to end this post is to point you to this video on Deacon Kandra's site. Mother Theresa, set to one of my favorite U2 songs-- "Grace".