Pause for Reflection: Mother Teresa helps us answer the question: why are you here?

Did you know: Atheism is a non-prophet organization?

And: There is nothing to fear but fear itselfand Chuck Norris.

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Elijah, one of my favorite prophets got scared once, and it was before Chuck Norris's time. He fled into the wilderness. God appears to him in "The sound of sheer silence" (1 Kings 19:12) and God asks him, "Why are you here?"

We may well ask ourselves "why are we here?" As a writer a quick answer comes to my mind. Mother Teresa told writer Kathryn Spinks, "If a book brought one soul closer to God then it was worth all the heartache that went into it."

Mother Teresa believed we were all called to "do something beautiful for God." Every act of love brings us face to face with God. Our greatest goal in life is "to be a small pencil in the hand of a loving God who is writing a love letter to the world."

It isn't all that easy. Mother Teresa faced the hardest challenge daily for many years of her life. Earlier she had enjoyed hearing the voice of God and feeling a daily closeness to Jesus who would call her "my own spouse" and "my little one". She would respond by calling him "my own Jesus".

As she worked in the slums of Calcutta Mother Teresa experienced darkness and pain, as if Jesus was rejecting her. Even when she felt Jesus had abandoned her, she never gave up but persevered.

In a real sense Mother Teresa experienced the spiritual dryness of the many whose lives she touched. She was the cool cup of water for a world thirsty for love. She embraced the pain of Christ's agony for souls, for us.

"Her ready smile, her eagerness to serve, her determination in the face of interior darkness all showed us how Jesus looks upon usIn a sense, our Lord feels dry agony every day because of our lack of faith" (Word Among Us September 2010, p.21).

The spiritual poverty of the third world is much like the spiritual dryness in our middle class world. The spiritual unease in our affluent world is often disguised by our pursuit and enjoyment of wealth and indulgent living.

Mother Teresa's antidote for us is, "Do something beautiful for God." Every act of love brings us face to face with God. We are called "to be faithful, not successful".

In our gentle efforts we can help quench the thirst of those around us. We can "do small things with great love". In the long haul, when we feel that God isn't real enough or close enough, we can be consoled by Jesus' words, "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed" (John 20:29).

Mother Teresa reminds is that we are both called and loved: "He has carved you in the palm of his hand. He has called you by name" (Isaiah 49: 16). And God keeps breaking into the world with the beauty of a sunrise or the gentleness of Mother Teresa.

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