13 Obedience


    "Dear friends! At this moment there is no need for me to present a programme of governance. I was able to give an indication of what I see as my task in my Message of Wednesday 20 April, and there will be other opportunities to do so. My real programme of governance is not to do my own will, not to pursue my own ideas, but to listen, together with the whole Church, to the word and the will of the Lord, to be guided by Him, so that He himself will lead the Church at this hour of our history." (Benedict XVI, Homily during the Installation Ceremony, 24 April 2005)

Mother Teresa wanted to act immediately upon her inspiration. Yet because she had consecrated her life to God through a vow of obedience, she could proceed only with the approval of her superiors. To her, their blessing was not a mere formality but a protection and assurance that God's hand was in her undertaking. Only their permission would give her the certainty that this call was indeed God's will and not some delusion. (Fr Brian Kolodiejchuk, MC, The Private Writings of the "Saint of Calcutta")


(Dialogue between Pope John Paul II and Mother Teresa, as recounted by Mother Teresa herself.)

After Holy Father gave a big speech to the people, I said, "Holy Father, I want to see you five minutes." He sat there; I sat there at his feet. He had his arms crossed with his head in his arms like this looking down at me. He said, "You got problems."

I said, "Holy Father, I am finding it very difficult. I have so many Sisters, 342 at the Mother House now in India, they need me and I need them, and now this continual calling. It is your will, I know, whatever you say I will do, but what do you want me to do?"

He said, "Continue doing what you are doing. Do not refuse Jesus. You have never refused Him before, do not refuse Him now. I will pray for you and give you the answer the next time I see you."

Just like that, simply like a child. Holy Father's words to me, "Do not refuse Jesus."

(Blessed Mother Teresa, Come Be My Light, pp 298-299)


[W]e can refuse Christ just as we refuse others: I will not give You my hands to work with, my eyes to see with, my feet to walk with, my mind to study with, my heart to love with. You knock at the door but I will not open. I will not give You the key of my heart. (Blessed Mother Teresa, The Private Writings of the "Saint of Calcutta")