(Vatican Radio) Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, celebrated the Mass of Thanksgiving on Monday for the canonization of Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
In his homily for the Mass in St. Peter’s Square, Cardinal Parolin recalled several key moments of her life and the thirst for God which drove her every action.
Listen to Devin Watkins' report:
‘Caritas Christi urget nos: the love of Christ compels us’ was the recurring theme of Cardinal Pietro Parolin’s homily for the Thanksgiving Mass.
These words, he said, summed up the flame of love which compelled the now-St. Teresa of Calcutta during her life and which compel us to follow her example.
Cardinal Parolin revisited several of the key events of Mother Teresa’s life, including her self-definition as ‘a little pencil in God’s hands’.
‘Mother Teresa,’ he said, ‘was a clear mirror of the love of God and an admirable example of service to our neighbor, especially to the poorest, most derelict, and most abandoned of people.’
He also recalled her constant fight for the rights of the unborn, which he said grew out of her recognition that the worst form of poverty is ‘to feel unloved, unwanted, scorned’.
He said, ‘This recognition brought her to identify unborn children whose very existence is threatened as the “poorest of the poor”. Each of them depends, more than any other human being, on the love and care of the mother and on the protection of society.’
Cardinal Parolin went on the recall Mother Teresa’s acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize in 1979, in which she said, ‘It is very important to realize that love, to be true, has to hurt. It hurt Jesus to love us, it hurt him.’
He said these words ‘are like a doorway through which we enter into the abyss, which surrounded the life of the Saint.’
Cardinal Parolin concluded his homily remembering the two simple words she had posted in every house of the Missionaries of Charity: ‘I thirst’.
‘I thirst,’ he said, ‘a thirst for fresh, clean water, a thirst for souls to console and to redeem from their ugliness to make them beautiful and pleasing in the eyes of God, a thirst for God, for His vital and luminous presence. I thirst; this is the thirst which burned in Mother Teresa: her cross and exaltation, her torment and her glory.’
'St. Teresa of Calcutta, pray for us!'
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