I came across the late Mother Teresa’s acceptance speech for her Nobel Peace Prize in 1979. I could somehow relate to this part of what she shared:
“[Some] time ago about fourteen professors came from the United States from different universities. And they came to Calcutta to our house. Then we were talking about the fact that they had been to the home for the dying… And they came to our house and we talked of love, of compassion. And then one of them asked me: "Say, Mother, please tell us something that we will remember". And I said to them: "Smile at each other, make time for each other in your family. Smile at each other." And then another one asked me: "Are you married?" and I said: "Yes, and I find it sometimes very difficult to smile at Jesus because he can be very demanding sometimes". This is really something true. And there is where love comes - when it is demanding, and yet we can give it to him with joy.” (Emphasis mine.)
My thoughts exactly!!! By the way, this story is also in the collection of quotations from Mother Teresa, “In My Own Words”. Sometimes I go to mass, or spend time at the Blessed Sacrament, and I am before Jesus, and I cannot smile. I just cry until I realize that the sampaguita vendors are staring at me, or more like waiting for me to notice them, because perhaps “Crying Lady” would like to buy some flowers. I cry because He asks too much, or I feel that way. But I love Him and I can never say “No” to Him even when He asks me to take in more sufferings than I already have; even when He disciplines me through situations I would rather avoid; even when He allows me to experience failure and pain and denies me my dreams.
Indeed, God can be very demanding sometimes. I am reminded of another Teresa (St. Teresa of Avila), who was said to be riding a donkey from one of her convents to another, when they came to a big mud-puddle and then the sassy donkey balked and threw the saint right into the muck. St. Teresa, always in touch with God, said, “Lord, why this?” He answered (she felt Him answer), “That is the way I treat my friends.” Teresa came back, “Then no wonder You have so few!”
So if saints could do this, I shall continue to talk to God with honesty of emotion. I cry and I struggle, yet I know that I would only know true joy if I keep saying yes to him. My friend Vannie noticed how I often argued, discussed, and wrestled with God, as if having a say on everything could change things. I often end up obeying God, anyway, but not without acknowledging, expressing and accepting my difficulties with His commands first.
Like right now, He’s doing it again. Treating me like a very dear friend, turning my world upside down, molding me, pruning me, and taking control of my life. I know, I know. I asked Him to!