What are Saints? Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta?

I received a text from my little sister, Christina, this morning asking “What is Mother Teresa the Saint of?”. I answered pretty well, at least as well as might be possible in texts. But, since I have more space and am able to give something more definitive here, I thought I would take a stab at the answer here. Thank you, Christina, for the question! This is something that is near and Dear to Christians, past and present.

So, to start, the Catholic Church does not “Make” saints, God does. The Church takes the signs that God provides and discerns if a person is in Heaven by following those signs or miracles. Over the centuries, many have noticed that some Saints interceed on the behalf of many in professions or walks of life, or the Church holds up a certain person as a special patron of those walks of life. The Cure de Ars, for example, who spent many many hours in the Confessional and hundreds of thousands from all France and Europe came to him for his guidance and wisdom in the Confessional, is the Patron of the Parish Priest. Others, such as founders of Religious Orders, are the patrons of their Orders. I’m sure that St. Mother Teresa is the “Patroness” of the Sisters of Charity, which she founded.

What is a “Saint”? In this context, a Saint is someone who has died with the mark of faith and is in Heaven with with Christ. There are many more Saints than we know about, God has chosen to make known the relatively few that we know about by giving us signs, or miracles. We ask, pray, for the Saints to pray for us. In the Early Church, we have graffiti from graves of early martyrs that are asking for their prayers. These date all the way back to the Apostles’ graves. The graves of of St. Peter, St. Paul, St. Polycarp, St. Cecilia, and the list goes on. The earliest Christians asked their Triumphant brothers and sisters to carry their petitions to the feet of Christ and the Father. Just as we do now, with our living friends and, even strangers (just look at any Facebook feed and you will see someone asking for prayers), the Christian faithful have asked their resurrected brothers and sisters to pray for them too.

From these prayers, God has seen fit to strengthen his people by showing them signs that the Resurrection is, indeed, real. By the miracles gained from the Saints’ intercessions, we see that Christ’s promise of “Today you will be with me in Paradise” is not just empty words, but a Promise!

Sainthood is not a “Reward” of the Church, there are many deserving men and women who are probably in Heaven, but their intercessions have not brought about the miracles necessary for recognition. That is God’s choice, not the Church’s. The Church merely follows the signs that God provides and raises them up for recognition. Gifts of saints that lived while we lived, show us in no uncertain terms, that Christ is alive and well and has Dominion over this world today, just as He always has! Saint Mother Teresa, and her contemporary, Pope Saint John Paul II, show us that the “modern world” has not overtaken God and made Him obsolete, but that men and women walk our streets today, struggle through life, and are on the path to Heaven as these two were.

We are not alone! We have two parts of the Church, the “Church Militant” (which is the Church here on Earth and struggling to get to Heaven) and the “Church Triumphant” (which is the Church that has triumphed and is with Christ). We are not separate, we are bound together by Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross. We can, and should, ask for their prayers to help us to achieve the triumph they have achieved. We pray for Grace, we pray for signs, we pray for our friends and family that have gone before us (because we don’t know, but we still beg for mercy for their sins.).

So, Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Pray for us!

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Sing to the Glory of God!

This is a video taken last week with a visit to Brody by Rainee, Chloe, and Alec.

This week has been one of ups and downs, I received my Oklahoma Teacher Certification today and last week, my Texas Certification. Linda and I got word that we have a house, then, after the brakes went out on the car and rear end had to be repaired, found we couldn’t afford to put the deposit down! Brody was denied transportation to Tulsa to be with his parents, so everything looked bleak, to say the least!

“I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish He didn’t trust me so much.”

Bl. Mother Teresa of Calcutta

This quote has been ringing in my ears and we have been struggling with our faith but, true to the words I so often use (sometimes simply ‘mouth’), God did provide. We have the much-needed deposit money through the Grace of God. Thank you Jesus!

We have the generosity of my sister, Christina, and brother-in-law, Pat to thank as well, they are coming down with a trailer to help us move some of our stuff this weekend into the garage of the new place. That will make a dent of our moving so we can bring a much smaller load next weekend and complete our move.

We are not out of the woods yet, “God has done great things for me and mighty is His Name…” as Mary says in her Magnificat. Keep the Arroyo family, and Brody, in prayers. More to come…

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Blessed Mother Teresa’s Anyway

I came across this the other day and thought this bears repeating. As I look to the days ahead, ponder what has transpired over the past couple of months, it has renewed a sense of what I am here for.

Many of you know that I am not returning to All Saints next year. Our family is planning to relocate to Texas for next year and are going through the process of preparing, physically and mentally, for the move. The pay for teachers is, well, much better. I don’t know if the job will be better but I do look forward to the challenge.

Words from Blessed Mother Teresa
People are often unreasonable,
illogical, and self-centered;
Forgive them anyway

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness,
they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.

You see, in the final analysis it is between you and God.
It was never between you and them anyway.

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