The following is an excerpt from a book written by Joseph Langford, MC entitled Mother Teresa: In the Shadow of Our Lady: “Our Lady desires to enfold us, in her presence and love, in order to bring us to the Cross of Jesus, hidden in the Eucharist and in the poor, to bring light where the world sees only darkness. Our Lady invited us to do what she has done to bring everything, our pain and hopes, to the Cross, so that Jesus can lift the cup of our lives to the Father, and transform all into seeds of Resurrection.”
Fr. Joseph Langford, co-founder with Mother Teresa of the Missionary of Charity Fathers, writes about what this phrase, “God loves us,” meant to Mother Teresa in his book Mother Teresa’s Secret Fire. “God loves us” means:
God has an infinite longing…thirst…desire to for us. Mother Teresa writes: That boy and girl who fall in love with each other, that love is, “I thirst…his love is “thirst.” When we look at Jesus during his humiliating passion and death we ask – why all this? For what purpose…No one, not even Jesus could have gone through all that humiliating suffering if He was not in love. (Langford, p. 92)
God not only loves us, God is “in love” with each one of us.
God delights in us. In the heart of God, Mother Teresa encountered a love not inspired by…pity, nor much less by obligation, but a love that delights in us, that finds joy in loving us…God not only loves us, but likes us, enjoys us, and delights to be with us. (Langford, p. 95)
God is with us…right now. God does not love us from a distance… God’s longing for us, his thirst for us, draws him to us constantly…God attends to every breath we take…and every movement of our hearts…to every faintest whisper of our soul. (Langford, pp. 96-97)
God reaches out to us with tender mercy. Our brokenness unleashes in him yet deeper wellsprings of tenderness and mercy…God’s thirst for us is a relentless, never-regretted resolve to be with us in our wandering – to seek us out and bring us back, and once we have returned, to shower us with blessings… (Langford, pp. 98-99)
God’s love for us is faithful, always. Our bad behavior does not cause God to love us less. (Langford, p. 102)
God reaches out to us in radical humility. Jesus emptied himself…becoming human…dying on a cross. God thirsts not only for our love, but also for our sins (St. Jerome). (Langford, p. 113)
God longs to be in intimate communion with us. Jesus says in John’s Gospel, “As the Father has loved me I have loved you. Remain in my love.” (15:9).
Mother Teresa writes, “Jesus wants me to tell you again, how much is the love he has for each of you – beyond all that you can imagine…have you seen with the eyes of your soul how he looks at you with love?
Do you really know the living Jesus – not from books, but from being with him in your heart? Have you heard the loving words he speaks to you?…How can we last even one day living our life without hearing Jesus say, “I love you.”
Our soul needs that as the body needs air to breathe…Jesus wants each of you to hear him – speaking in the silence of your heart. (Langford, p. 54)
The Rosary and the Life of Mother Teresa Those investigating inspirational – and inspiring – reading during the days of Lent will be interested in the new book, Mother Teresa, In the Shadow of Our Lady. The author, Fr. Joseph Langford, MC, worked with Mother Teresa for thirty years, and she invited him to help establish the men’s branch of her Missionaries of Charity. Fr. Langford’s book is more than a diary of a long friendship with an astounding woman; it is a profound reflection on the power of Mary’s love to transform the world, one heart at a time. …Our Lady will begin to arrange the events and details of our life as soon as we give her permission. This remarkable promise appears in our life then increasingly becomes an adventure of grace as she takes the reins of our existence and begins to exercise her spiritual maternity. Fr. Langford’s story begins in 1947, when Mother Teresa experienced a profound revelation of God’s thirst for the salvation of His children. It continues by examining Mother Teresa’s first efforts to touch the lives of the poor and dying, and provides encouragement and practical steps to follow Mother Teresa in a life of contemplation lived in the world, through a deep commitment to the Blessed Virgin. The book understands that faithful individuals have many claims on their time, and gives practical guidance for deepening one’s spirituality, while coping with the realities of a busy life in the 21st Century. It was Mother Teresa’s daily encounter with Our Lady that strengthened and equipped her for her work…[and] lets us live beyond our limitations, wrapped in her presence and sharing her spirit and her heart.
“During the thirty years that I knew her, Mother Teresa became for me the one book on Our Lady that I could never put down, one that continues to teach me, to fascinate me, to draw me beyond myself into God…Sitting with Mother Teresa, watching her tend to the sick and the dying, feeling the aura of holiness around her person, seeing her bent in prayer, lost in God – how often I asked myself if I was not seeing something of Our Lady, experiencing a glimpse of the Virgin of Nazareth.” (Fr. Joseph Langford, MC; from his book Mother Teresa: In the Shadow of Our Lady)