“Amen, amen, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you.”
What is the one prayer that God always answers with a yes? Lord, do whatever you want with me! It is the most powerful prayer because it is a prayer that bends my Will to His, and releases to the soul a tremendous rush of love, confidence and generosity. It is the prayer that allows me to most imitatively follow the Lord in his words and actions.
“Father, not as I will but as you will.” Now, all we have to do is ask.
I am reminded of a letter written by Mother Teresa outlining the rule her nuns would follow. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit she set out to answer specific questions the Bishop asked. The responses are beautiful, striking and amusing. She writes, “Today after much prayer, I shall try with His help to answer your questions.”
What exactly and in detail do you want to do? Our Lord wants Indian Nuns, victims of His love, who would be so united to Him as to radiate His love on souls – who would lead Indian lives, dress like them, and be His light, His fire of love amongst the poor, the sick, the dying, the beggars and the little street children…To be united to Him completely, we need be poor – free from all.
What kind of people would you recruit? They must be able to put their hands to any kind of work however repugnant to human nature…If girls with high qualifications desire to enter, they may come but that will not make them whatsoever different.
Where would be the center of your work? In the slums and the streets of Calcutta and as the Missionaries of Charity increase all the big towns of India.
The possibilities of success? Our Lord says: “Do not fear. I shall be with you always…trust me lovingly, trust me blindly…” I don’t know what the success will be, but if the Missionaries of Charity have brought joy to one unhappy home, made one innocent child from the street keep pure for Jesus; one dying person die in peace with God – don’t you think, Your Grace, it would be worth while offering everything for just that one because that one would bring great joy to the Heart of Jesus.
How would the Sisters support themselves? We shall need very little as we intend with the grace of God to keep absolute Poverty in detail, and we shall not have buildings of our own…The sisters will do all the house work so they will need no servants. For the rest, or rather for all, I trust Him! He will be with us and when He is there we shall need for nothing…If we have Our Lord in the midst of us – with daily Mass and Holy Communion, I fear nothing for the Sisters nor myself. He will look after us. But without Him I cannot be, I am helpless.
At the end of an extensive discussion on June 14th, 1947, Fathe Van Exem, her spiritual director, gave her an entirely unexpected reply: he ordered her to “drop it [the whole endeavor] for all eternity” if neither he nor the archbishop mentioned it further. Later that day he related to Archbishop Perier in a letter the strategy he had taken:
“She is to leave the whole work to me and to Your Grace…I allowed her a little more penance and much more abnegation, but I doubt whether she can practice more than she does. She has not refused anything to Our Lord.”
The rest, we know, is history - God's history. She asked and went through great trials and tribulations, and in the end, she received. The trials, battles, disappointments, refusals, and tears were absolutely necessary for the work itself would be forever the same!
Have you ever asked the Holy Spirit for something so different, so unselfish, so important, so profound and so meaningful as the above? “Until now you have not asked anything in my name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.”