Mother Teresa's (1910-1997) life and service to others is revealed in this posthumous book whose publication coincides with Pope Francis's Year of Mercy and the Vatican's September 4th canonization of her to sainthood. The introduction has been written by Father Brian Kolodiejchuk who served as the main promoter or postulator of her case for sainthood. He has organized this previously unpublished material around each of the seven corporal and seven spiritual works of mercy. He notes:
"The authenticity of her teaching is brought to the fore by the authenticity of her living; thus her teachings are words of wisdom that can serve as matter for prayer and contemplation as well as an impetus to action, a call to imitation."
The bulk of the book consists of short passages revealing Mother Teresa's understanding of mercy and her embodiment of works of mercy. This approach means that you can pick up the book, turn to almost any page, and find something to reflect upon and take to heart. There are also testimonials and tributes to the nun known as "the Saint of Calcutta" who founded religious orders of women and men that now serve the poor in more than 130 countries.
Here are some of the ways in which Mother Teresa calls us to love in action:
- Together, we can do something beautiful for God.
- Give the needy their due dignity, love, and tender care.
- Never send away a hungry person.
- Poor people are Jesus suffering today.
- Uphold the importance, value, and dignity of every human life.
- Keep your heart open to share in the suffering of others.
- When you meet anyone, greet him with a smile.
- Always be the first one to say sorry.
- Pray that God preserves the world.
The subtitle says it all about the intention and follow-through of this immersive work that puts us smack dab in the midst of Mother Teresa's ministry: Hearts to Love, Hands to Serve!