There are some people you never forget. They move through your life and leave an impression that lasts for years because of their gentle understanding and kindness. St. Teresa, to the world, will always be that example of service. Her legacy, however, impacted me in a much different and humbling way. You see, I’ve never met her, but several years after she died the church revealed that she suffered through “dark nights.” In my unforgiving and terrible example I took to my blog at the time to explain exactly why she wasn’t a Christian in light of such statements. I was passionate, sure I was on God’s side in the things I wrote. Satisfied, I posted it for all the world to read.
When I walked away from my computer in the mid-afternoon to begin the rest of my tasks I was very smug in having defended the faith. I helped the children with their school, folded laundry, and put it away. During dinner preparation I began to realize I wasn’t feeling so well. My skin was clammy and my head was burning up. Miserable, I lay down after dinner burning up with a fever that had no other symptoms. The rest of the household lay down for the night and I settled in to sleep off the fever.
Morning, however, dawned with no relief of my symptoms. This sickness seemed to be such a weird and sudden fluke. I turned to the Lord to ask for relief from this burning fever. The response that I got, however, was completely unexpected. In the still and small quiet of my sick room the Lord’s voice sternly jolted through my heart, “Who are you to condemn my servant?!” Admittedly, I was confused at first, but laying there a little longer I slowly recalled my blog post the day before. Could the Lord be referring to that?! Surely, not!
That nagging thought wouldn’t leave me alone. Conviction came in wave upon wave crashing in my soul. The more I thought about how I had condemned a person I had never even known or sought to understand scared even myself. Repentant, I deleted my blog post and asked God for His forgiveness of my lack of mercy and charity. My heart reflection in that mirror was so ugly that day that even I shrank back repulsed after His exposure. What happened next even furthered my amazement…
…in the next 15 minutes my health was completely restored…
…and I’m not exaggerating. The restoration was pronounced, quick, and complete. Astonishment was my natural reaction. I marvel at God’s ways all these years later, and the way he dealt with me and how God called a Catholic person, “His servant.” Today, on the Feast of St. Teresa of Calcutta, it seemed appropriate to share our story. I like to think St. Teresa and I are smiling at each other while we worship the Lord together.
St. Teresa of Calcutta, pray for us!
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace to people of good will… We praise you, we bless you, we adore you, we glorify you, we give you thanks for your great glory, Lord God, heavenly King, O God, almighty Father.
(…and if you just sang those words, you might be Catholic…)