Mother Teresa’s 1959 retreat – 11

Eleventh Day
With Mary, the Mother of Sorrows

Aim: To spend the day in union with the sorrow of Jesus and Mary in order to strengthen my resolutions

Examination: My desire to die to the world and to self love

  1. Do I keep my Rule No. 88? This rule tells me to love with humility so earnestly that I may accept humiliation readily, even with joy?
  2. Do I receive correction and admonition in the spirit of faith without excuse or complaint?
  3. Am I ready to accept suffering out of love for Jesus and Mary?

Readings: Isaiah 53; any passage from the Passion of Christ (New Testament)

The Imitation of Christ: Book 3, Chapter 19

Reflection of the Day:
“O my people, what have I done to you? How have I offended you? Answer me! I led you out of Egypt, from slavery to freedom, but you have led your Savior to the cross.”
(from hymn “Reproaches,” based on Micah 6, sung for veneration of the Cross during Good Friday liturgy)

Rule 88: Let them love humility so earnestly that they may accept humiliation readily, and even with joy. Therefore they shall receive correction and admonition in the spirit of Faith without excuse or complaint.

UNITED in prayer for life

America at the Crossroads

Recent polls indicate that 78 to 82 percent of Americans believe America is going in the wrong direction (Rasmussen and Gallup).

Let Rasmussen rephrase that: 28 percent of Americans surveyed said that the U.S. is heading in the right direction. Less than one in three Americans believes America is on track.

And that is not just the most recent numbers. Since 2010, Rasmussen’s weekly polls show that dissatisfaction with the direction of America has dipped as low as 14 percent, and briefly peaked at 43 percent. (Which is probably why Obama campaigned under the slogans “Change” in 2004 and “Forward” in 2008. In 2016, I can’t help but ask: Forward where? To heaven or hell?)

What Obama (along with Hillary) did not and still does not understand is that mainstream American values have not changed. When we wanted “change” and to move “forward,” that did not mean (among many other things) abortion anytime, anywhere, for any or no reason, with no regulation or medical standards whatsoever. (It did mean we want good jobs for ourselves, superior schools for our children (not least common denominator), and safe and vibrant communities. It meant that we want opportunities to flourish. It did and still means that the government has an obligation to preserve and protect our freedom.

Our rights and freedom do not come from the government, but rather, our inalienable right to life comes from God. Some politicians and the mainstream media have either forgotten or willfully ignored that fact.

With our rights come duties. It is the government’s duty to protect our right to life. We — whether we are voting Americans or sitting Supreme Court justices, members of Congress, or the one who has the great responsibility of governing from the Oval Office — have a duty to protect the most vulnerable among us—the unborn child.

Last night, amid the political chaos, 40 Days for Life kicked off UNITED, its Fall campaign, on the steps of the Supreme Court in Washington, DC. Today, the UNITED bus begins its journey through 50 states in 40 days, mobilizing pro-life activists across the country. (I’m not sure how they are getting the bus to Hawaii, but in Hawaii they will be October 25.)

40 Days for Life is a movement to begin the end of abortion through prayer and fasting, community outreach, and peaceful vigil.

“The answers to our problems aren’t going to come from Washington, DC.” — Shawn Carney, President 40 Days for Life

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil,
who change darkness to light, and light into darkness,
who change bitter to sweet, and sweet into bitter!
Woe to those who are wise in their own sight
and prudent in their own esteem!
— Isaiah 5:20–21

Will you spend one hour in prayer at a rally in your state? Will you bring a friend?


God Can Forgive Every Sin
including abortion

Factoids From the UNITED Launch in DC

How many pregnancy help centers are there in the United States?

  • More than 2,600, which is
    • Half as many as the number of Dollar Tree stores [FACTOID not quite right, because of recent acquisitions; Dollar Tree opened its 5,000th store in 2014, and in 2015 acquired Family Dollar, and now operates more than 13,000 stores]
    • More than half as many Walmart locations [ says it has 4,629 stores and 654 Sam’s Clubs]
    • As many locations as TJ Maxx and Gap stores [FACTOID not quite right — Gap has about 3,700 stores; TJ Maxx has more than 1,000 stores, less than half the number of pregnancy help centers]
    • More locations than Home Depot (2,200 stores); Target (1,789); or Chik-fil-a (2,000)
    • More than JC Pennys (1,100) and Kohls (1,100) combined

All that without Wall Street, government meddling, or a business plan.

Since an activist Supreme Court denied the right to life to unborn children 43 years ago, 58 million Americans have been killed in their mothers’ wombs. That is 18 percent of the population of the United States.

Final Question of the Day

What is God calling you to do to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves?

Mother Teresa’s 1959 Retreat – 10

Tenth Day
With Jesus in His Agony

Aim: To spend a day in reparation for the sufferings I have made Jesus bear for me

Examination: My Spirit of Mortification

Exterior Penance

  1. Do I perform all these penances in the spirit of faith?
  2. How do I take the discomforts due to the climate, ill health, common life, poverty, etc.?

Interior Penance

  1. Am I resigned interiorly to the trials which God sends me?
  2. Do I try to hide the little sufferings of my daily life?
  3. Do I accept Desolation as readily as Consolation? Do I accept Dryness in Prayer as a grace of God?
  4. Do I put up with the defects of others?

Readings: Saint John’s Gospel, Chapters 14 & 17

The Imitation of Christ: Book 2, Chapters 11 & 12

Reflection of the Day: “Father, he said, if it pleases thee, take away this chalice before me; only as Thy will is, not as mine is.” (Luke 22:42)

“I can [relieve] the sufferings of Jesus. I can take a part from His suffering.” Thank you for telling me.—This was a tremendous grace to me.
— Saint Mother Teresa’s retreat notes

Mother Teresa’s 1959 Retreat – 9

Ninth Day
Under the patronage of the Holy Martyrs and Virgins

Aim: To finalize all my resolutions and to be quite definite about what Christ expects from me

Examination: My Duties of State

  1. Do I observe all my Rules?
  2. Do I give my best effort to the different duties? And works assigned to me?
  3. Do I show preference for one work rather than another? Do I let everybody know when the work I have is not liked by me?
  4. Do I avoid interfering in another’s work?
  5. Do I pray for the success of the work of other Sisters?


The Imitation of Christ: Book 3, Chapter 54

Reflection of the Day: “Be ye perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48)

Mother Teresa’s 1959 retreat – 8

Eighth Day
Under the patronage of the Holy Apostles

Aim: To make my plan of Life for the years following my Final Profession. My plan must be made with great clarity, courage, and supernatural outlook

Examination: Fraternal Charity

  1. Do I observe my Rules No. 86 and 87? Do I love each of my Sisters with an intense love, without being concerned at all about nationality or social standing?
  2. Rule 104: Do I try to make the children I teach happy? Do I respect the good name of my pupils and not talk carelessly of their faults?
  3. Rule 106: In what spirit do I visit and look after the sick? Am I an angel of comfort and consolation?
  4. Rule 112: My care for the Dying.
  5. Rule 120: My love for the poor. Does Christ radiate and live his life in me in the slums? (Rule 86)
  6. Rule 125: Supernatural outlook in my work—seeing Jesus in all strangers.
  7. Do I seek to encourage my Sisters, making them happy? Do I consider myself as their servant in Christ?
  8. Do I accept the unavoidable little difficulties of community life patiently? Forgivingly? With a sense of proportion and a sense of humor?
  9. Am I charitable to my Superiors? Seeking by my behavior to lighten their burdens; defending rather than criticizing their decisions?

Readings: Saint Luke’s Gospel, Chapter 10, verses 25 to 37

The Imitation of Christ: Book I, Chapters 14 & 16

Reflection of the Day: “Whatsoever you have done to the least of my brethren, you have done it to ME.” (Matthew 25:40)

Jesus is

Mother Teresa’s Meditation in the hospital in Rome, 1983

“Who do you say that I am?” (Matthew 16:15)

You are God.
You are God from God.
You are Begotten, not made.
You are One in Substance with the Father.
You are the Son of the Living God.
You are One with the Father.
You are in the Father from the beginning:
All things were made by You and the Father.
You are the Beloved Son in Whom the Father is well pleased.
You are the Son of Mary, conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of Mary.

You were born in Bethlehem.
You were wrapped in swaddling clothes by Mary and put in the manger full of straw.
You were kept warm by the breath of the donkey that carried Your mother with You in her womb.
You are the Son of Joseph, the Carpenter, as known by the people of Nazareth.
You are an ordinary man without much learning, as judged by the learned people Israel.

Who is Jesus to me?

Jesus is the Word made Flesh.
Jesus is the Bread of Life.
Jesus is the Victim offered for our sins on the Cross.
Jesus is the Sacrifice offered at the Holy Mass for the sins of the world and mine.
Jesus is the Word—to be spoken.
Jesus is the Truth—to be told.
Jesus is Way—to be walked.
Jesus is the Light—to be lit.
Jesus is the Life—to be lived.
Jesus is the Love—to be loved.
Jesus is the Joy—to be shared.
Jesus is the Sacrifice—to be offered.
Jesus is the Peace—to be given.
Jesus is the Bread of Life—to be eaten.
Jesus is the Hungry—to be fed.
Jesus is the Thirsty—to be satiated.
Jesus is the Naked—to be clothed.
Jesus is the Homeless—to be taken in.
Jesus is the Sick—to be healed.
Jesus is the lonely—to be loved.
Jesus is the Unwanted—to be wanted.
Jesus is the Leper—to wash his wounds.
Jesus is the Beggar—to give him a smile.
Jesus is the Drunkard—to listen to him.
Jesus is the Retarded—to protect him.
Jesus is the Little One—to embrace him.
Jesus is the Blind—to lead him.
Jesus is the Dumb—to speak for him.
Jesus is the Crippled—to walk with him.
Jesus is the Drug Addict—to befriend him.
Jesus is Prostitute—to remove from danger and befriend.
Jesus is the Prisoner—to be visited.
Jesus is the Old—to be served.

To me—

Jesus is my God.
Jesus is my Spouse.
Jesus is my Life.
Jesus is my only Love.
Jesus is my All in All.
Jesus is my Everything.
Jesus, I love with my whole heart, with my whole being.
I have given Him all, even my sins, and He has espoused me to Himself in tenderness and love.
Now and for life I am the spouse of my Crucified Spouse. Amen.

Source: Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light, The Private Writings of the “Saint of Calcutta,” edited and with commentary by Brian Kolodiejchuk, M.C.

Mother Teresa’s 1959 retreat – 6

Sixth Day
Under the patronage of Saint Francis Xavier

Aim: To follow the beautiful example of Christ’s humility and obedience

Examination: My Love of Humility

  1. Have I habitually got a lowly opinion of myself? Or do I judge others harshly in thoughts and express these in words?
  2. Without any morbidity, can I truly say that I enjoy humiliations, since these make me similar to Christ?
  3. Do I show my humility by my perfect sincerity to my Superior and to my Confessor? Do I hide things from them?
  4. Do I avoid trying to “shine” in front of outsiders?
  5. Do I try to appear better than I truly am?
  6. Do I have obedience of the will and judgment?
  7. Do I desire for humble offices, for being ignored and humiliated?
  8. What are my reactions when I am just forgotten by my Sisters and outsiders?

Readings: Book of Psalms 107, 128

From your Constitution: Chapter XIII, Nos. 97–132

The Imitation of Christ: Book 3, Chapter 54

Reflection of the Day: “Learn of me, for I am meek and humble of heart.” (Matthew 11:29)

Fr. Joseph Rickaby writes:

How does the work of God suffer at my hands? This is the question of questions to put oneself during a Retreat. In my Retreat I want to get at facts, to think straight, to find out betimes now the truth that will come in upon me at death, to ascertain as nearly as may be how I stand with my God, to have my relations with my Creator dissected out.

Resolutions: At this stage of the retreat, I should be getting my resolutions ready. These resolutions must be: 1) according to the present needs of my soul. 2) Something which may seem trivial to others, but which is of vital importance to me just now. 3) Something practical which I can put into practice immediately.

Mother Teresa’s 1959 retreat – 5

Fifth Day
Under the patronage of Saint Joseph

Aim: To obtain a clear knowledge of the treachery of Satan and his followers and to live the “true” life which has been revealed to us by Our Lord

Examination: My love of Poverty

  1. Do I desire to be poor with Christ’s poor?
  2. Do I keep anything precious or superfluous, even though I may have permission for it?
  3. Do I always ask permission for what I receive?
  4. What is my attitude towards receiving gifts? Do I do my very best to avoid receiving presents from others? When out of politeness I receive something do I receive it only with permission?
  5. Am I inclined to share gifts only with some members of the community or do I, like a good religious, put these gifts at the disposal of my Superior?
  6. Am I happy to share in hardships which my state of life imposes on me?
  7. Do I really love Poverty as “My Lady Poverty” (Saint Francis of Assisi)?

Readings: Book of Psalms 45, 61

The Imitation of Christ: Book 3, Chapters 32 & 33

From your Constitution: Chapter VI, Nos. 42–56; Chapter IX, Nos. 74 & 75

Reflection of the Day: “The Son of Man hath not where to lay his head.” (Matthew 8:20)

Mother Teresa’s 1959 retreat – 4

Fourth Day
Under the patronage of Saint Ignatius

Aim: To acquire an intense desire and a firm determination to follow Christ my King, wherever He may lead me.

“Master I shall follow Thee wheresoever Thou goest.” Matthew 8:19


  1. How do I perform my daily exercises of piety? Do I keep to the prescribed time? Do I have internal and external reverence?
  2. Do I really consider Holy Mass to be the greatest action of my day?
  3. When visiting the Blessed Sacrament, do I really visit Jesus as my Friend, telling Him everything??
  4. Do I say my Rosary with fervor?

Readings: Saint Luke’s Gospel, Chapters 1 & 2

The Imitation of Christ: Book 2, Chapters 7 & 8; Book 3, Chapter 13

Reflection of the Day: Jesus says to me “I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE.” (John 14:6)

But the city of God, enriched with flowing waters, is the chosen sanctuary of the Most High, God dwells within her, and she stands unmoved; with break of dawn He will grant her deliverance.


Mother Teresa’s 1959 retreat – 3

Third Day
Under the patronage of Saint Mary Magdalen

Aim: To purify my heart


  1. Do I make use of the means of Purification which God has given me?
  2. How do I make my Examination of Conscience? Do I insist on Perfect Contrition and a Firm Purpose of Amendment?
  3. How do I make my Particular Examination? Am I sincere in my Confession? Am I humble?
  4. Manifestation of Conscience. Am I perfectly sincere to my Superior?

Readings: Saint Luke’s Gospel, Chapter 7, verses 36 to 50; Chapter 15, verse 11 to 32

The Imitation of Christ: Book I, Chapters 22, 23, and 24

Reflection of the Day: “Many sins are forgiven her because she has loved much.” (Luke 7:47)