From the Mission Trip, Laura writes:
In truth, our faith calls all of us to mission work. While some are called by God to do mission work like that described above, there are very simple ways to bring Christ to all people, as He has instructed us. The “ministry of presence” is perhaps the most powerful way, particularly with those we are serving here.
On our first day at the City of Charity, a priest asked one of our missionary, “What are you doing today?”
“I don´t know,” he replied.
“Well, the most important thing is that you are here.”
The people here at the City of Charity know that we are here to be with them and they know that the reason we are here to be with them is that we love them and they know that the reason we love them is that Christ loves all of us. This is mission work in its simplest form.
While some here are blind and deaf, mentally disabled, or clinically insane, we have been repeatedly surprised by their acknowledgement of our loving presence here. Whether in their smile, their laughter, their head on our shoulder, or their hand squeezing ours, we know that they know that they are loved. That is the gift we bring.
Now, do abandoned, deaf, blind, insane, elderly, or diseased people only live in third world countries? Nope. Do you have to travel twenty-seven hours in order bring Christ´s love to them? Nope. Do you have to risk your health or your life in order to be with them? Nope. It´s your grandfather. The woman living next door. The man in the retirement home down the street. The little girl at the community center downtown. There are plenty of people in the Washington, DC area who need you to show them that Christ loves them.
Have you made your New Year´s resolution yet?
Dear Jesus, help us to spread your fragrance everywhere we go.
Flood our souls with your spirit and life.
Penetrate and possess our whole being so utterly, that our lives may only be a radiance of yours.
Shine through us, and be so in us,
that every person we should come in contact with may feel your presence in our soul.
Let them look up and see no longer us, but only Jesus.
Stay with us, and then we shall begin to shine as you shine; so to shine as to be a light to others; the light, Jesus, will be all from you.
None of it will be ours.
It will be you shining on others through us.
Let us thus praise you in the way you love best, by shining on those around us.
Let us preach you without preaching:
not by words, but by our example,
by the catching force,
the sympathetic influence of what we do, the evident fullness of the love our hearts bear for you.
(daily prayer of Mother Teresa based on prayer by Cardinal Newman)