Two weekends ago Mother Teresa was canonized. As a saint of our times, many folks met or heard her speak, but few “tackled” her. Let me explain.
In the Summer of 1995, Mother came to D.C. to receive the profession of final vows of some of her sisters. Everyone wanted to see her. I was a seminarian at the time and I went to the Mass with a priest friend. After Mass, we used our collars to work our way back into the sacristy. It was packed like sardines with clergy. Having played rugby, I was good a pushing my way through crowds, so I worked my way to a position directly behind the future saint. As she chatted with the Cardinal Archbishop, I waited patiently.
Disastrously, as she finished chatting with him, she started turning and moving in a direction directly opposite of the path I was blocking. She was not going to see me. I seized the moment, and the Saint. Firmly placing my hand on her shoulder, I made sure that she turned around to see me. Some say that I spun her around, others still tease me about tackling a Saint! Hyperbole, yes, but worth it because….
As I got her undivided attention, I said, “Mother, I am a seminarian. Please pray for me.” She was so kind, inviting me to visit her sisters in Calcutta, asking my name, and insisting that write my name on a piece of paper so that she could remember it and pray for me.
This weekend is Parish Life Weekend. Prayerfully consider how the Lord wants you to share your time and talent with your brothers and sisters in Christ. I hope the Lord doesn’t have to tackle you to get your attention.