MOSAIC Fall 2016 - Page 15

us his Mother as our Mother at the foot of the cross. As Father Langford makes clear, in the Constitutions of the Missionaries of Charity, Mother Teresa “constantly presented the Spirit of the Society as an extension of and participation in Out Lady’s spirit.” This is why Mother Teresa wished all her sisters to pray the Rosary as a contemplative prayer; to cling always to Our Lady; and to make the Total Consecration to Our Lady according to St. Louis de Montfort. According to Father Langford, Mother Teresa’s “personal daily encounter with Our Lady” was something real. It was not something “extra, peripheral, or marginal.” Mother Teresa’s devotion to Mary sustained her in her ministry to the poor and helped her grow in humility and charity. Mother Teresa saw the need for all followers of Christ to stand with Mary at the foot of the cross. In the words of Father Langford, “All are called to entrust themselves to Mary, who stands mystically at their side.” Such a consecration enables Mary to “lend us her heart” and “prepare our soul for unimagined gifts of the Spirit.” “Take care of them,” the Blessed Mother said to Mother Teresa. This statue at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception shows Teresa fulfilling that request. Mediatrix of All Grace Mary’s role in the spirituality of Mother Teresa allowed her to recognize Mary “as our Coredemptrix with Jesus” because Mary “gave Jesus his body and suffered with him at the Cross.” It prompted Mother Teresa to speak of Mary as “the Mediatrix of all grace” because Mary “gave Jesus to us, and as our Mother she obtains for us all his graces.” Finally, Mother Teresa saw Mary as our Advocate because “it is through the Heart of Mary that we come to the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus.” Mother Teresa even favored a formal papal definition of Mary as “Cordemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate” because she believed such a definition “will bring many graces to the Church” (Letter to Dr. Mark Miravalle, August 14, 1993). Some Christians (and even some Catholics) fear that too great a devotion to Mary will distract us from Christ. The life of St. Teresa of Calcutta shows that there is no basis to this fear. This great saint and servant of the poor drew closer to the Heart of Jesus because of her devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Dr. Robert Fastiggi is professor of systematic theology at Sacred Heart. © Serge Melki 13