See the daily excerpt from the preparatory catechesis for the 2015 World Meeting of Families, “Love is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive.”
95. Saint John Paul II once reflected on the maternal qualities of Mother Teresa, and, by extension, the fruitfulness and spiritual fertility of celibate life more generally:
It is not unusual to call a religious “mother.” But this name had special intensity for Mother Teresa. A mother is recognized by her ability to give herself. Seeing Mother Teresa’s manner, attitudes, way of being, helps us understand what it meant to her, beyond the purely physical dimension, to be a mother; it helped her to go to the spiritual root of motherhood. We certainly know what her secret was: she was filled with Christ, and therefore looked at everyone with the eyes and heart of Christ. She had taken seriously his words: “I was hungry and you gave me food…” She therefore had no trouble in “adopting” her poor as children. Her love was concrete and enterprising: it spurred her to go where few had the courage to go, wherever poverty was so great as to be frightening. It is not surprising that the people of our time were fascinated by her. She incarnated that love which Jesus indicated as the distinctive mark of his disciples: “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Radiant lives, like Blessed Teresa of Calcutta and Saint John Paul II, show that celibacy in its many varieties can be a compelling, beautiful way of life.
In its introduction, the document says its aim is to present “Catholic teaching in a way that is fresh, insightful, and accessible to contemporary Catholics and all people of good will.” The catechesis “offers a narrative beginning with our creation, soberly noting our fall and the challenges we face, but emphasizing God’s plan for our salvation. Love is our mission, and it is by loving God and one another that we will be fully alive.”
Each day in CatholicPhilly.com’s World Meeting of Families section you can reflect on the official Catholic teaching on the family presented in the catechesis, pray a special prayer together as a family or individually, and stay on top of breaking news about the events coming Sept. 22-27, 2015.
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