Collection: Dorothy Day and St. Teresa of Calcutta

ARTIST: Br. Mickey McGrath, OSFS


"It is nothing extraordinary to be holy," Mother Teresa said. "Holiness is not the luxury of the few. Holiness is a simple duty for you and for me. We have been created for that."

It's true, and yet we need to be convinced again and again that holiness is within reach of ordinary people like us. We think we aren't strong enough to move mountains, until we see a small, ancient-looking nun doing just that. We think our sins are barriers to doing the Works of Mercy, until we hear of a Dorothy Day, who experienced a profound conversion as a young woman.

This is perhaps the greatest legacy of Mother Teresa and Dorothy Day, to teach us that we do not need to be extraordinary people to be saint-like.

Saint Teresa’s Feast Day is September 5.

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We simply need to begin as Mother Teresa did. She began caring for the sick and dying when the need for that work presented itself in the form of one woman, "half eaten-up by rats and ants." She did not establish a committee to study the problem of people dying in the streets, nor did she apply for government assistance; she simply gathered up the woman in her arms."

I am like a little pencil in [God's] hand," Mother Teresa would say. "He does the thinking. He does the writing. The pencil has only to be allowed to be used."

We simply need to begin, as Dorothy did, with a single prayer. The rest will follow: the hungry will come, and we will feed them; the homeless will show up at our door, and we will shelter them.

Mother Teresa and Dorothy Day may be gone, but the work of building the Kingdom of God still goes on, as Mother often reminded us: "The poor you may have right in your own family. Find them. Love them. Put your love for them in living action. For in loving them, you are loving God Himself."