72 years ago today Jesus spoke to Mother in what we now call “Inspiration Day.” On a train climbing the grade up to Darjeeling, Jesus’ thirst for love and souls took hold of her heart. From that day, I think, she began to see Jesus more clearly in every person. And what did Mother see in priests, whom she loved so much? She saw in us what we rarely see in ourselves. She saw in the priest “the love of the heart of Jesus,” in the words she loved to quote from the patron saint of parish priests, St. John Vianney. From her childhood at Sacred Heart parish in Albania, Mother had a particularly vivid devotion to the Heart of Jesus, and in every priest, she saw not only Jesus but the Sacred Heart of Jesus. “How pure the priest must be, how holy…” she would tell us.
Judgement is coming upon the Church and in particular her priests. In the second reading St. Paul judges a man severely for “living with his father’s wife.” We hope this man was sleeping not with his mother but his stepmother, but worse than this is what some priests and bishops have done to their own spiritual children. Notice that St. Paul does not simply say “who am I to judge?” He orders the community in Corinth, rather, “to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, that his spirit may be saved.” Mother Teresa judged priests, calling us to “be holy or go home.” If a priest is not holy, he will be unholy. He will invite the demonic into the Church. It is because Mother so loved Christ’s priests that she held us accountable to the great gift we have received.
Today is “Inspiration Day” for the Missionaries of Charity family. It is the day Jesus impressed on a 38-year-old sister in a train to her annual retreat, that he thirsts for every human soul. Please continue to ask Our Lady to awaken that same thirst in the souls of her dear priests.