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Yesterday I had a rare moment – time. Time that I could choose to do anything with that I wanted. A little voice nagged that I had a list of ‘to-do’s’ in my office that could stand my attention. But I reasoned they were a list of ‘extra’ ‘to do’ items that I keep going to make sure the ministry is advancing in every aspect God wills.

I did not feel called to get to that ‘to do’ list. Rather, I felt called to check out one of two movies. In a way, it was work. Depending on which movie I chose I would either be inspired to continue to follow God’s call or I’d be encouraged and validated in what God’s called me to do in an effort to help survivors of abuse heal.

The movies?  The Letters (True story of Mother Teresa) or Spotlight (True story of the Boston Globe’s breaking open the Catholic abuse scandal) You can click on either title to watch the movie trailer.

Both are important movies for me to see, for my own personal spirituality and for my call. In praying about it I chose to be true to my vow to be intentional this advent season and to find that inner joy. Spotlight would have to wait. I needed the encouragement of witnessing the life of a woman who took on a seemingly hopeless task, and succeeded even though the task is so large it remains.

I sat in a rather large theater alone. It was glorious!

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Mother Teresa is an inspiration. Here are a few quotes that grabbed me from the movie:

“It’s God’s will, not mine. I will trust in God.” (When she had to leave the cloistered convent she’d been a part of for 16 years.)

“I’m not here to convert people to my faith, I just want to help in any way I can.” She said this to the Hindu people who lived in the slums.

“It’s God’s work, I’m just a pencil in His hands.”

Mother Teresa set up an abandoned Hindu temple given to her by the Municipality of India and created a place for the poor to die with dignity. When one such man was in her care he asked, “Why are you helping me? I’m Hindu.” And she replied, “Because I see Jesus in you. And because God loves you so I love you.”

Mother Teresa never wanted to be acknowledged for the work she was doing with the poor. She was merely ‘the pencil in His hand’…when she was awarded the Noble Peace Prize in 1979 she showed so she could bring awareness to the situation in India. In her speech she simply quoted the prayer of St. Francis:

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It was a beautiful gift to witness the humanness of a saint in making. I’m grateful for whomever decided to put this movie together. It gave me encouragement, inspiration and most importantly, HOPE.

And it pushes me to get back to that extended ‘to do’ list… but only when I am not spending time with family for the holidays!! :)

Merry Christmas everyone!

Blessings

Shannon

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