Here is my 2nd article for The B.C. Catholic
By Father Anthony Ho
藍色是聖母瑪利亞的色標，三條帶則代表天主的三位一體。在聖母無玷聖心瞻禮, 這些標誌提醒我們仁愛女修會的精神 —— 效法耶穌和聖母的生活，活在愛的信賴、全然的付託和喜樂中。
The Society of the Missionaries of Charity (MC) celebrated their annual Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary on Aug. 22.
If you don’t know who the Missionaries of Charity are, then their signature habit, or the name Mother Teresa, will surely remind you. Mother Teresa designed the now iconic white sari-like habit with three blue stripes for the religious order she established in 1950.
Blue is the colour of Mary, and the three stripes represent the Holy Trinity. On the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, these symbols remind us of the spirit of MC as stated in their constitution. It reads, “The spirit of our society is one of loving trust, total surrender, and cheerfulness, as lived by Jesus and His mother.”
We should trust in the loving care of God the Father, the teaching of God the Son, and the transforming grace of God the Holy Spirit. Trust is expressed in prayer. We should believe in the power of prayer and the intercessory power of Mary, the angels, and the saints. Submission to the authority of the Church is also an expression of our trust in God.
MC sisters nurture this trust in God by spending time in prayer, daily and punctually. They wake up early in the morning for prayer, spiritual reading, and meditation. The sisters centre their lives on the Holy Eucharist, daily Mass, and a holy hour. The sisters always set out to their work in pairs and say the Rosary as they go.
Jesus came into the world to do the will of the Father by emptying Himself, and Mary emptied herself by saying “yes” to God at the Annunciation. We empty ourselves in order to be filled with God’s grace. We offer all that we are and all that we have to God. We accept everything from God with resignation.
The MC sisters empty themselves by living a life of utmost simplicity. Each sister has only three saris (one to wear, one to wash, and one to mend), a pair of sandals, two sets of underclothes, a rosary, a small crucifix, a metal spoon, a rimmed plate, a canvas bag, and a prayer book. They never wear socks. They sit on chapel floors, wash their clothes by hand, and sleep on thin mattresses.
Joy is the fruit of the Holy Spirit. His Spouse, Our Lady, is “the cause of our joy.” Joy is the result of love and prayer. A joyful person preaches without preaching and is like the sunshine of God’s love. MC sisters are asked to live out their vows joyfully. In their constitution, it states, “The best way to show our gratitude to God and people is to accept everything with joy.”
MC sisters share their joy with one another during their daily recreation. They express their joy through songs and hymns on different occasions. Mother Teresa pointed out that the reason why the sisters are always smiling is that they are not just social workers, but contemplatives in the heart of the world. To be an MC sister is to be a carrier of God’s love.
Let us gratefully pray for the Missionaries of Charity in our archdiocese, and follow the example of Mother Teresa in prayer, simplicity, and love.