Our MOMS group in our parish sponsored a women's morning retreat a few weeks ago. The guest speaker was a woman by the name of Susan Conroy from Maine. I had never heard of her before, so I checked out the website provided in the flyer given to me. Hmmm, she sounded interesting enough, so I signed up. Susan Conroy is a speaker on and for Mother Teresa!
She was a young lady of 21 when she decided to "spit into the wind" and take a flight to India and offer her help to Mother Teresa in 1986. Wow! What trust and faith? She endured, too through the hot temperatures, horrid pests that co-existed in her flat, and among the dead and dying souls of both old and infant. Brave and bold is her faith, which took leaps and flights in the presence of Mother Teresa. She said that is was a normal occurrence to just smile or shine in the presence of Mother Teresa and that joy lasted all through the days of helping her in the nursery and Home of the Dying in Calcutta, India.
Her books are about her friendship with Mother Teresa for 10 years. There are a few and they are great with all proceeds going to the Sisters of Charity in Calcutta, India. Susan is working on other saint books as well that relate to Mother Teresa's prayers and philosophy of caring for Jesus' poorest of the poor. She truly believed in silence stating:
"God is a friend of silence. We need to find God, but we cannot find Him in noise, in excitement. See how nature, the trees, the flowers, the grass grow in deep silence. See how the stars, the moon, and the sun move in silence. The more we receive in our silent prayers, the more we can give in our active life. Silence gives us a new way of looking at everything. We need silence in order to touch souls. The important thing is not what we say, but what God says to us, and what He says through us. There is no life of prayer without silence."
Susan also quotes others about prayer, like St. Teresa of Avila, "Give me a person who has fifteen minutes of mental prayer daily, and I will give you a saint." St. Therese of Lisieux centuries later said, "For me, prayer is an upward leap of the heart, an untroubled glance toward heaven, a cry of gratitude and love which I utter from the depths of sorrow as well as from the heights of joy."
Prayer and silence go together. If there is one thing that I have gleaned from this spokesperson for Mother Teresa, it is that of all the books that I have purchased, read, and tried to engage in the lessons of how to pray, there is only this to remember:
The fruit of SILENCE is prayer
The fruit of PRAYER is Faith
The fruit of FAITH is Love
The fruit of LOVE is Service
The fruit of SERVICE is Peace.