Friday, July 16, 2010


(We'll return to book discussion tomorrow.  Please excuse this digression, but I hope you'll agree it was for a good reason)

Who knew sandals could have such an effect on people?

Today in Peoria, Blessed Teresa of Calcutta’s relics were part of a beautiful Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Peoria.  You can read about the Mass and veneration here.  The relics are traveling the country as part of the centennial celebration of the birth of Blessed Teresa.

After the Mass, there was the opportunity for veneration of the relics.  There were two small reliquaries with first-class relics (meaning a part of her body).  There were also several second-class relics (meaning something that belonged to the Blessed).  It was remarkable to see the crucifix and rosary that Mother Teresa wore.  Most of the people took the opportunity to kiss or touch the relics.

What seemed to capture the imagination of most, however, were Mother’s well-worn sandals.   The sandals were patched and had clearly seen a lot of miles, yet sturdy.  It was just amazing to see something Mother Teresa had worn throughout the world spreading the Gospel of Love.

Nearby the relics was a montage of photos of Mother at different times in her life.  My oldest daughter pointed out one of the photos showed Mother wearing the sandals.  Remarkable!

Relics can be a daunting prospect for some Catholics—a piece of the saint’s bones? Her blood?   For some reason, the sandals seemed very approachable, very Mother Teresa-like.   It seemed appropriate.

"I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world."-- Blessed Teresa of Calcutta. 

I actually didn't know Mother had said that quote, but while searching around for one of her more "famous" quotes, I found this and I immediately thought of the song by Popple, "Pencil in the Hand," that must have been taken from her writings.

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