Today, 5 September 2017, is the Memorial of Saint Teresa of Calcutta and it marks the 20th anniversary of her death.
When I wrote the following post two years ago yesterday, I didn’t know I was writing it on the eve of the anniversary of her death. Nor did I know that Blessed Teresa of Calcutta would become Saint Teresa of Calcutta exactly one year later.
No, I wrote it simply because I was deeply moved by the meditation, I Thirst For You, which is attributed to Saint Teresa. The meditation still moves me today and is one I fall back on when I’m feeling the need to be lifted up. I hope it lifts you up as it does me.
Peace be with you.
I Thirst For You (reprinted from 4 September 2015)
Every now and then something comes along that is so special you can’t get it out of your mind. You keep revisiting it and replaying it. And, each time you do, you find one more nugget of inspiration that convinces you to repeat the process again.
Such has been my case ever since a friend shared a special meditation with our men’s faith sharing group a couple years ago. The meditation is titled, I Thirst For You, and its authorship is attributed to Blessed Mother Teresa. My friend read it to our group, in his baritone voice, slowly and with immense feeling. I closed my eyes and visualized as if Jesus was the One actually speaking to me. I was blown away. I could feel His love flowing over me.
Since that evening I have heard my friend read it a couple more times and I still get goose bumps. I have read it many times since, both to myself and to others, and each time I seem to focus on and ruminate over a new word or phrase that jumps out at me. I always find something new that brings me joy.
I read it again tonight and I thought back to that first time I heard it. I remembered how none of the six or seven of us men had ever heard the meditation before then, and I wondered how many other faithful Catholics have never heard it, either. It ought to be on the reading list of every Catholic. No, actually, it ought to be on the reading list of every Christian, not just Catholics. So, I decided to post it here on this blog and share it with all readers. I hope you get goose bumps, too.
Hint: Read this slowly and with feeling. When a word or phrase grabs your attention, take a moment to reflect on what it is Christ is trying to tell you at that moment. Then, I encourage you to share this with others and ask someone else to read it to you while you listen with your eyes closed and soak up its message. You won’t regret it. Let me know what you think.
I THIRST FOR YOU
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock…” (Rev.3:20)
It is true. I stand at the door of your heart, day and night. Even when you are not listening, even when you doubt it could be Me, I am there. I await even the smallest sign of your response, even the least whispered invitation that will allow Me to enter.
And I want you to know that whenever you invite Me, I do come – always, without fail. Silent and unseen I come, but with infinite power and love, and bringing the many gifts of My spirit. I come with My mercy, with My desire to forgive and heal you and with a love for you beyond your comprehension – a love every bit as great as the love I have received from the Father (“As much as the Father has loved me, I have loved you…”[John.15:9]). I come – longing to console you and give you strength, to lift you up and bind all your wounds. I bring you My light, to dispel your darkness and all your doubts. I come with My power, that I might carry you and all of your burdens; with My grace, to touch your heart and transform your life; and My peace I give to still your soul.
I know you through and through. I know everything about you. The very hairs of your head I have numbered. Nothing in your life is unimportant to Me. I have followed you through the years, and I have always loved you – even in your wanderings. I know everyone of your problems. I know your needs and your worries. And yes, I know all your sins. But I tell you again that I love you – not for what you have or haven’t done – I love you for you, for the beauty and dignity My Father gave you by creating you in His own image. It is a dignity you have often forgotten, a beauty you have tarnished by sin. But I love you as you are, and I have shed My Blood to win you back. If you only ask Me with faith, My grace will touch all that needs changing in your life, and I will give you the strength to free yourself from sin and all its destructive power.
I know what is in your heart – I know your loneliness and all your hurts – the rejections, the judgments, the humiliations. I carried it all before you. And I carried it all for you, so you might share My strength and victory. I know especially your need for love – how you are thirsting to be loved and cherished. But how often have you thirsted in vain, by seeking that love selfishly, striving to fill the emptiness inside you with passing pleasures – with the even greater emptiness of sin. Do you thirst for love? “Come to Me all of you who thirst…”(John 7:37). I will satisfy you and fill you. Do you thirst to be cherished? I cherish you more than you can imagine – to the point of dying on a cross for you.
I thirst for you. Yes, that is the only way to even begin to describe My love for you: I THIRST FOR YOU. I thirst to love you and to be loved by you – that is how precious you are to Me. I THIRST FOR YOU. Come to Me and I will fill your heart and heal your wounds. I will make you a new creation and give you peace, even in all your trials. I THIRST FOR YOU. You must never doubt My mercy, My acceptance of you, My desire to forgive, My longing to bless you and live My life in you. I THIRST FOR YOU. If you feel unimportant in the eyes of the world, that matters not at all. For Me, there is no one any more important in the entire world than you. I THIRST FOR YOU. Open to Me, come to Me, thirst for Me, give Me your life – and I will prove to you how important you are to My Heart.
Don’t you realize that My Father already has a perfect plan to transform your life, beginning from this moment? Trust in Me. Ask Me every day to enter and take charge of your life – and I will. I promise you before My father in heaven that I will work miracles in your life. Why would I do this? Because I THIRST FOR YOU. All I ask of you is that you entrust yourself to Me completely. I will do all the rest.
Even now I behold the place My Father has prepared for you in My kingdom. Remember that you are a pilgrim in this life, on a journey home. Sin can never satisfy you or bring the peace you seek. All that you have sought outside of Me has only left you more empty, so do not cling to the things of this life. Above all, do not run from Me when you fall. Come to Me without delay. When you give Me your sins, you give Me the joy of being your Savior. There is nothing I cannot forgive and heal, so come now and unburden your soul.
No matter how far you may wander, no matter how often you forget Me, no matter how many crosses you may bear in this life, there is one thing I want you to always remember, one thing that will never change: I THIRST FOR YOU – just as you are. You don’t need to change to believe in My love, for it will be your belief in My love that will change you. You forget Me, and yet I am seeking you every moment of the day – standing at the door of your heart and knocking. Do you find this hard to believe? Then look at the cross, look at My Heart that was pierced for you. Have you not understood My cross? Then listen again to the words I spoke there – for they tell you clearly why I endured all this for you: ”I THIRST….”(John 19:28). Yes, I thirst for you – as the rest of the psalm – verse I was praying says of Me: “I looked for love, and I found none…”(Ps 69:20). All your life I have been looking for your love – I have never stopped seeking to love you and be loved by you. You have tried many other things in your search for happiness; why not try opening your heart to Me, right now, more than you ever have before.
Whenever you do open the door of your heart, whenever you come close enough, you will hear Me say to you again and again, not in mere human words but in spirit: “No matter what you have done, I love you for your own sake. Come to Me with your misery and your sins, with your troubles and needs, and with all your longing to be loved. I stand at the door of you heart and knock…Open to ME, for I THIRST FOR YOU…”
“Jesus is God, therefore His love, His thirst is infinite. He, the creator of the universe, asked for the love of His creatures. He thirsts for our love….These words: ‘I thirst’ – do they echo in our souls?” – Mother Teresa
(The introduction to I Thirst For You was first published on the blog Reflections of a Lay Catholic, 4 September 2015. The Post, From the Archives: I Thirst For You, was first published on the blog Reflections of a Lay Catholic on 5 September 2017.)
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