Champions of Charity: St. Louis Guanella and St. Teresa of Calcutta

In a very remarkable event, our Holy Father, Pope Francis, canonized Mother Teresa (St.Teresa of Calcutta) during this extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy. There are many similarities between the two saints of charity. “It is God who works”-our founder had an unshakable faith in Divine Providence. “Carrier of God’s tender and merciful love” – this is a theme for the canonization of Mother Teresa. She totally abandoned herself by saying, “I am a little pencil in God’s hand- that is, He does all of the thinking and He does the writing.” Father Guanella said, “abandon yourself confidently in the loving arms of Providence, because we are chicks under the wings of Divine Providence. I do not move a hand or take a step without being sure that God is explicitly calling me.”
Father Guanella founded the “Servants of Charity” and Mother Teresa the “Missionaries of Charity.” Charity is the foundation for both toward brothers and sisters in difficulty and in crises of any kind: spiritual, moral, emotional or material. They discovered the pearl of dignity in every disabled and marginalized person- that of being a child of God.“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Both cherished in their hearts this Gospel passage and gave life to the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.
For Father Guanella, “The Eucharist is the treasury of God’s love and life of the institute, a day without Holy Communion is like a day without the sun.”
“The Mass is the spiritual food that sustains me without which I could not get through one single day or hour in my life,” Mother Teresa said and confirmed that His presence was the reason for her work.
Regarding holiness, our founder said, “Personal Holiness lived in joy produces peace and souls dedicated to God are purified through suffering so as to be holy and to make others holy.” For Mother Teresa, “Holiness is not the privilege of the few but the need for all. Holiness means carrying out God’s will with joy and faithfulness and it forges saints.”
In both of their lives, they faced countless hardships, suffering, and enormous criticism but actually opposition only served to strengthen their dependence on God and reach monumental achievements in favor of the least in society.
Let us praise and thank God for the gift of the Modern Apostles of Charity as the Church canonizes Mother Teresa and has already recognized our founder. Following their inspiration and the fire of charity we can rekindle our Religious life.“We are not called to be successful, but faithful”- Mother Teresa

Fr. Soosai Rathinam

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