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My Dear Parish Family,

This article was composed before election day, so please forgive if it is not so timely. I invite you, as always, to participate in our public life as Catholics who do not place our Faith alongside other issues, but who wholeheartedly make our Faith the lens through which reality is perceived and the Kingdom advanced. Jesus taught, “I am the way, the truth and the life,” not just for Christians but for all humanity. As Catholic Christians we have the obligation to make the beauty of the truth known, loved and embraced throughout the world. Sadly in the past generation or so, of which I am a part, secularism and relativism have advanced at a rapid pace especially in these great United States of America. My firm prayer is that “the dogma may live deep in us,” and radiate out from us, like a beacon on a hill.

This is week two of our Message Series on the Saints. We highlight Mother Teresa, or Saint Teresa of Calcutta. She was a beacon on a hill, a radiant and glowing light of love that shone for the world to see. Mother Teresa is proof that one life lived passionately and zealously with deep love for God and neighbor can change the world. Her life began in Albania, and while the majority was spent in India, by the end she had visited most of the world. Saint Teresa is a true missionary.

I have been blessed to interact with the Missionaries of Charity on several occasions. The Missionaries of Charity serve in our diocese, in the city of Asbury Park, along the shore. Their simplicity and joy are contagious, as well as their deep love for the Eucharist and their spirit of contemplative prayer. Mother insisted that each day begin with much prayer, that the first portion of the day be devoted to prayer, in order that service in the community which follows will be filled with the love from the prayer. The Missionaries live in accord with Jesus’ teaching to Mary and Martha. They place the better part (prayer) first in importance, but also immerse themselves in exhausting service for the Gospel.

For me, one of the most fascinating things about Mother Teresa is her degree of influence in the world as a whole, even outside the Church. Mother won the Nobel Peace Prize. She addressed the United Nations. She addressed countless people of all walks of life. Here is some of her UN address (10/26/1985):

“Last time I was in China they asked me “what is a communist to you?” I said “a child of God, my brother, my sister.” And exactly that is what you and I are meant to be: brother, sister. Because the same loving hand of God has created you, created me, created man of the street, created that leper, that hungry man, that rich man, for that same purpose: to love and to be loved. And this is what you and I have come together today to find the means of peace.

“How does peace come? Through works of love. Where does it begin? At home. How does it begin? By praying together. For a family that prays together stays together. And if you stay together, you will love one another as God loves each one of you. For Prayer gives a clean heart and a clean heart can see God. And if you see God in each other, if we have the joy of seeing God in each other, we will love one another. That’s why no colour, no religion, no nationality should come between us. For we are all the same children of the same loving hand of God, created for greater things: to love and to be loved.”

May our nation embrace the universal reality underlying those words no matter what the result of our national election. It is time to put away partisan bickering and united as one family to work together in Love. Mother Teresa, pray for us!

In Christ,
Fr. Wilson

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