The word “eclipse” came up today on Daily Prompt.
My mind immediately went to Mother Theresa.
Lately, I’ve been around a lot of death. This summer alone, one dear friend’s husband dropped dead of a heart attack, at age 56. A beloved cousin succumbed to cancer. Another cousin is fighting terminal cancer. And a third cousin died of a broken heart, having lost both her sons. As if that’s not enough, one of my closest friends just learned her husband has weeks to live.
Some of these people accumulated a lot of money during their lifetime. They were very proud of their stuff. Others lived simply, despite having the money to live a much grander material lifestyle. And some of them were financially struggling, even poor.
All of us fall somewhere on the spectrum of worldly possessions. But that’s not really the point. The point is: What do we really leave behind?
According to The Missionaries of Charity, Mother Theresa died owning the following: two pairs of sandals, two pairs of eyeglasses, a wooden wash bucket, a worn sweater, an olivewood rosary, and a well-worn Bible.
Today, as the Pope rightfully elevates Mother Theresa to her place among the world’s saints, we might all take some time to meditate on the eclipse.
For human beings, there is no greater eclipse than death. It literally blots out the sun. Long ago, the world’s greatest astronomer predicted how this upcoming eclipse would change our lives. Not incidentally, Mother Theresa devoted her life to this same astronomer, a man who could read heaven and earth and everything in between.
He told her:
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21)
Whether you’re Catholic or not, it’s fair to say Mother Theresa lived her life in full view of the eclipse.
“We cannot do great things in this life,” she once said. “Only small things with great love.”
May we each go and do likewise, in light of the eclipse.