“If I can give you any advice, I beg you to get closer to the Eucharist and to Jesus… We must pray to Jesus to give us that tenderness of the Eucharist.”
– St Teresa of Calcutta
St Teresa of Calcutta – Feast: 5th September
Mother Teresa was an Albanian missionary in Calcutta (now called Kolkata), India. She had given up everything she had for a life of poverty. With her sisters, the Missionaries of Charity, she cared daily for many poor, sick, and dying people. Precisely because of her humble service to the poorest among the poor, she came to speak with leaders of nations, converse with popes, and receive the Nobel Peace Prize. Her great love for Jesus made her dedicate much time to prayer, in spite of her very active life.
Prayer is a gift to God of something very precious: your time and attention. This is the best way to answer to his love for you! For many years, Mother Teresa experienced total dryness in her prayer: nothing happened when she prayed; she felt empty and lonely. Still, she continued to make time for prayer every day. She knew deep down that she did not pray for her own well-being in the first place, but to spend time with God.
Their daily hour of prayer in front of the Blessed Sacrament gave her and the sisters strength and inspiration to know, love and serve Jesus also in their brothers and sisters in need. Far from being wasted, their prayer time was the source of everything else they did. The same is true for you: every minute spent in true and selfless prayer is very well spent, and will help you move forward in your life.
Sometimes many sick people were carried into the convent at the same time and all needed attention immediately. When stress was building up among the sisters, they might cry out: ‘How on earth are we going to help all these people, there is too much to do!’ You will probably sometimes feel the same.
One evening, two young sisters asked Mother Teresa to be freed from their daily hour of adoration because of all the work. Her remarkable reply was: ‘Tonight, you shall pray two hours instead of one. In order to pray well, you sometimes have to pray more.’ And at another time she said: ‘If you are too busy to pray, you are too busy!’
The best way to grow in your relationship with God is to pray every day. You can only find time for prayer if you make time! Your prayer can be very short in the beginning, the most important thing is that you pray. The following tips may help.
• Try to find a daily moment, dedicating your best time to God. Book your daily prayer time in your calendar, and honour it like you would any appointment.
• For example, calculate your prayer time as being part of your morning routine, sitting down for a moment amidst showering and brushing your teeth. You may have to get up a little earlier, but all your day will be brightened because of your prayer.
• Before you fall asleep, thank God briefly for the day, say sorry for what was not in accordance with his love, and you’ll have prayed almost without noticing!
• Be inventive: try praying during your commute, or take a moment for prayer in the car before entering your house. Throw in little prayers of thanksgiving or intercession during the day. And maybe book a weekly ‘lunch date with God’.#
• Finally, don’t get stressed when you miss your prayer time: God knows your honest desire to make time for him. Just tell him how much you love him, ask your favourite saint to pray for you, and get on with the emergency you are dealing with. Do you want to make time for prayer?
Want the Saint of the Day sent straight to your inbox? Sign up for our Saint of the Day emails and we’ll help you get to know the saints by sending you an email on the feast or memorial of every major saint, and on the optional memorial of select other saints. Opt out at any time.