Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Mother Teresa

A Film To Inspire Holiness
By Jan McClure

Movie Review of
Mother Teresa
A film by Ann and Jeanette Petrie
Petrie Productions (1986)

For movie night at my parish, our pastor showed a documentary on Mother Teresa of Calcutta.  Produced in 1986, the movie was filmed over a 5 year period. 

How amazing that we’ve had such a living example of a saint amongst us!  I was affected by the film for days (even more so than when reading about her), and I found myself continuing to reflect on how I could bring my life more into God’s order instead of mine. 

The film begins with images of starving children, poverty, broken-hearted faces, and war.  There is much darkness in this world, but here we have a tiny woman who fell in love with the sick and the poor, and she put her love into action.  She was a ray of hope and a light for so many, and she did it with such simple ways.  She showed her love through touch, through a smile, and by listening.  These are ways that each one of us can show others our love, too. 

Through Mother Teresa and her Sisters who were Missionaries of Charity, I saw the power that touch can have; it’s the same touch that Jesus gave us.  Mother Teresa would use touch to show, without words, the love and dignity that she felt for each human being. 

While researching this film, I came across an article that suggested Mother Teresa was a fraud, because she didn’t spend enough money on the medical care of individuals.  After viewing this film, I felt that yes medical care is important, but more important than anything is the care of souls, and this was the mission of this tiny woman.  She taught her Sisters to physically care for the poor, the dying and the hungry, but she also taught that the most important task is to love each individual.

Many times the film shows Mother Teresa sharing her strong convictions with diplomats, politicians and dignitaries.  The movie also shows a miracle. And it shows her telling her students that if they didn’t have a love for the poor then they were in the wrong vocation.  She said that your vocation is your work and that your vocation is to know Jesus and your work is done where the vocation can be fulfilled.  We can all aspire to do this! 

The documentary makes evident Mother Teresa’s great humility.  We see this in her actions as she prayed in the back of a church, and in how simply she lived, and in how she did physical work.  She was Jesus in action. 

This tiny nun created 500 homes for the poor in 124 countries, and she continued to work with much energy until her death.  At Pope John Paul II’s 1998 audience on the anniversary of her death, he said, “In Mother Teresa’s smile, movements and words, Jesus once again walked the roads of the world like the Good Samaritan.”

God’s desire is not to work alone but to accomplish His plans through us.  We are called to be holy.  This film is a wonderful example of what being holy looks like. 

This film can be ordered at www.motherteresafilms.com.  There is now another film by the same production company called Mother Teresa: The Legacy.  This covers her last day of life and includes never-before-seen-footage of her funeral.  Both films can be ordered separately or as a set. 

I recommend this film for anyone trying to live a truly Christian life.  I laughed, I cried and I was humbled.  Mother Teresa pray for us!


Questions for youth groups, families, and other small group discussions (and we hope you will post a comment below!):

  1. In what ways can you use your hands, your ears and your smile to help others?
  2. What are some of the ways we can show holiness?
  3. What is the “vocation to love Jesus”?  How can you show this vocation in your work?

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