1. Mother Teresa fought poverty as an evil — and lived it as a virtue, By Grazie Pozo Christie. The Washington Post, September 2, 6:00 AM.

Dr. Grazie Pozo Christie, a radiologist in Miami, is a policy adviser for The Catholic Association.

On Sunday, Pope Francis will canonize Mother Teresa, who will be known as St. Teresa of Calcutta. It would probably be impossible to come up with a modern man or woman who better fits the world’s understanding of saintliness. 

Her spare, wiry figure, her white sari with its blue stripes: these became icons of radical self-giving. Her life was a long and moving illustration of the relationship between Christianity and poverty. This is a relationship Pope Francis himself embraces and understands, famously remarking how he longs for a “poor church for the poor.”

Focusing on the Christian meaning of poverty renders Mother Teresa a more complex figure than the one of popular imagination. Mother Teresa fought against poverty, going out into filthy streets to serve the destitute, but also embraced it in her own life, giving up all her material goods and physical comfort. Her understanding of poverty and her relationship to poverty was much more subtle than most people comprehend.

Pope Francis will give St. Teresa of Calcutta to the “poor church for the poor” as a perfect model and inspiration. Like her, we must all strive to fight against two dimensions of poverty: lack of physical necessities and lack of love. Like her, we must keep in mind that lack of love is the greater evil. And like her, we must arm ourselves with the virtue of poverty itself.


2. Houses of Worship, Teresa of Kolkata, From Mother to Saint, After a life dedicated to the destitute, she will be canonized by the pope on Sunday, By Javier Martinez-Brocal. The Wall Street Journal, September 2, 2016, Pg. A9.

On a typical day, several decades ago, Mother Teresa was helping clean maggots out of a dying man’s flesh on a Kolkata street. A journalist noticed and remarked, “I wouldn’t do that for a million dollars.” Mother Teresa replied, “Neither would I.” 

Following a lifetime of these moments, Mother Teresa of Kolkata is about to become Saint Teresa of Kolkata. The Holy See expects more than a quarter million people to turn out on Sunday for her canonization ceremony in St. Peter’s Square, which Pope Francis will lead. Nearly 20 years after the nun’s death, the celebration is expected to draw more pilgrims to the Vatican than any other event this year.


3. Mother Teresa’s Canonization Advances Pope Francis’ Agenda, Sunday’s ceremony will briefly unify two wings of the Catholic Church that are often at odds, By Francis X. Rocca. The Wall Street Journal, September 2, 2016, Pg. A12.

When Pope Francis canonizes Mother Teresa as a saint on Sunday, the ceremony will highlight the pope’s ideal of a “poor church for the poor” that pays special attention to the developing world. 

At a time of fractiousness within the Catholic Church, the celebration will also offer the pope a rare opportunity to unify Catholics focused on social-justice concerns with those who follow Mother Teresa in championing some of the church’s most controversial moral teachings.

“Pope Francis is living in the age of Mother Teresa,” said the Rev. Alexander Lucie-Smith of Britain’s Catholic Herald magazine, who called the new saint the defining figure of modern church history.


4. With Mother Teresa Set to Be Canonized, Her Work Lives On in the Streets, By Elisabetta Povoledo. The New York Times, September 2, 2016, Pg. A8, Europe, Rome Journal.

With their blue-trimmed white saris, the sisters are a discreet but distinctive presence on the streets at night, offering solace to the destitute and, when possible, a place to stay.

But these sisters with the Missionaries of Charity, the religious congregation founded by Mother Teresa, who is to be declared a saint by Pope Francis on Sunday, are not assisting the poor of Kolkata, India, where the order began in 1950. They are tending to the indigent and abandoned in Rome.

“Mother used to call it a drop in the ocean, but without that drop, it would not be the same,” Sister Mary Prema Pierick, the superior general of the congregation, said in an interview in a former chicken coop turned into spare living quarters for some of the sisters in Rome.


5. The Wrinkled Face of the Good Samaritan, By Fr. Roger J. Landry. The Anchor, September 2, 2016.

Fr. Roger J. Landry is the National Chaplain of Catholic Voices USA.

The goal of this extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy is revealed by its Biblical motto: “Merciful like the Father.” It’s to be so transformed by God’s merciful love that we become the image and likeness of that Mercy; like Jesus, “Mercy Incarnate,” we become to some degree an embodiment of God’s compassion. This is our Christian calling. This is what it means to become holy. This is what God in his love wants to make of us.

Mother Teresa of Kolkata was someone who allowed God’s transformative mercy to have a free hand with her. The celebration of her canonization on Sunday, her feast day on Monday (on the 19th anniversary of her birth into eternal life) and the commemoration next Saturday of the 70th anniversary of her “call within a call” — Jesus’ summons of her to found the Missionaries of Charity to quench the infinite thirst of Jesus on the Cross for love of souls and to labor for the salvation and sanctification of the poorest of the poor — provide us with a sacred opportunity to see what the Christian metamorphosis of mercy looks like and to respond, as Mother Teresa did, with loving trust, total surrender and cheerfulness to the vocation within our vocation.

Mother Teresa, born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu of Albanian heritage in Skopje, Macedonia, in 1910, had certainly been living a good Christian life before Jesus spoke to her on a train to Darjeeling. She had become a Sister of Loreto and had travelled to Calcutta as a Catholic school teacher and principal, passing on the gift of faith and education to girls from families that could provide schooling for their daughters within the Sisters’ walled compound. At 36 years old, however, as she was traveling into the mountains, Jesus revealed his desire for her to share his mercy toward all those outside those walls, those who were too poor to receive an education, those who were suffering abandoned on the streets, those who were dying — and living — without love and dignity. He asked her to become a “missionary of charity,” an ambassador of his mercy to the most alienated and abandoned of those for whom he willingly gave his life on Golgotha.


6. Religious-Freedom Laws Are Not ‘Unconstitutional Smokescreens for Bigotry’, By Alexandra DeSanctis. National Review – The Corner, September 1, 2016, 12:00 PM.

According to a recent Huffington Post column penned by Episcopalian priest Susan Russell, religious-freedom laws are “nothing less than unconstitutional smokescreens for bigotry against LGBT people.” Russell’s column is full of errors about Christianity and the Bible, but the biggest flaw in her argument is her misrepresentation of religious liberty and the resulting protections it deserves. According to the author, the First Amendment protects only “the freedom to believe or to not believe whatever you choose to about God.” Any other protections, she says, are merely an attempt to justify discrimination on religious grounds.

This is clearly not the case, for several reasons. First, it is important to note that one’s beliefs are not the primary area of concern for the First Amendment’s religious protections. No method of coercion could force someone to believe or not believe something about God. If religious freedom was merely a matter of being free to believe what one wished, the amendment would be unnecessary, because beliefs are held interiorly and cannot be compelled. What can be coerced is one’s outward display of religiosity, and this is the realm that the First Amendment was created to protect.


7. ‘Consensus Statement’ to Force MDs to Kill/Abort, By Wesley J. Smith. National Review – The Corner, September 1, 2016, 12:28 PM.

Bioethicists want to force doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals to participate in euthanasia, abortion, and other actions that violate their consciences or religious beliefs.

This wasn’t formerly a serious problem. The values contained in the Hippocratic Oath were consistent with sanctity of life moral conscience.

That is no longer true. A “consensus statement” signed by prominent bioethicists from around the world and published by Oxford University would force dissenting doctors to be complicit in such actions.

Make no mistake, these bioethicists and many in the medical establishment want to drive orthodox Christian and other faith believers, along with pro-lifers, out of the medical professions.

The question of medical conscience–as a subset of religious liberty–is going to be one of the most contentious issues facing society in the next decade.