…I was also extremely blessed to meet Mother Teresa on several occasions. On one occasion, I had the opportunity to repair her rosary, which had broken in two. Presumably from so much use. On another occasion I was able to sit alone with her in the chapel for about 15 minutes. We conversed about my vocation and about my family, and then we prayed together. It was a most profound experience. I was very cognizant of the fact that I was in the presence of a saint… and of our Eucharistic Lord.
Needless to say, Mother Teresa has had a profound impact on my life and my prayer. After spending two years volunteering with the Missionaries of Charity sisters in Baton Rouge and two years in formation with the Missionaries of Charity Fathers in Mexico, it makes sense that I would be naturally inclined to pray the “MC way.” What do I mean by that? Well, first of all, I mean that prayer is something that permeates everything else and fills in all the “empty” spaces of the day. The day begins and ends with prayer and scripture. So do meals. Driving or riding in a car is always the perfect time to pray the Rosary. Walking is also an excellent time for the Rosary. Praying the “MC way” means focusing on the presence of the Lord at every moment of the day. We encounter Jesus in the Eucharist, in the brothers and sisters in our community, and in the poor and the rich that we meet throughout the day. Every moment gives us a new opportunity to love Jesus himself and to quench his thirst.
Then there were the formal prayers of the community. We prayed certain rote prayers at specific times of the day, and some we prayed just whenever. Many of those formal prayers sunk roots deep in my heart, and they effortlessly form on my lips at just the right time. The Memorare is one such prayer. I can give you so many examples of times that I have been asked to lead a prayer or someone asks me to pray for a particular need and the first words that come to mind are “Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary…” Without even thinking, I launch into the Memorare. The Memorare was a favorite prayer of Mother Teresa.
There is a “funny” but powerful story about Mother Teresa and this prayer, the Memorare. She was known for getting what she wanted (and what she wanted was always for holy purposes). Time and again, she would overcome seemingly insurmountable problems. The miraculous happened around her every day. She was a strong woman of prayer, a woman very close to God, and a woman who rarely took nofor an answer. She had boundless confidence in God. She knew that God answered her prayer.
The Memorare was one of her secret weapons. She had a very deep love for Our Lady, and she prayed the Rosary all day long. Literally. Her rosary was always in her hands. Her lips always moving in prayer… whether silently or out loud.
In times of great need, when there seemed to be no solution to some obstacle in her way, she turned to the Memorare:
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother. To thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.
When facing difficult circumstances, she did not pray this prayers just once. No. She would offer an “express” novena. Nine Memorares in a row. And, as you will read below, she always prayed a 10th Memorare in thanksgiving, confident that her prayers would be answered.
Prayer is not magic. No. Prayer is a relationship, a conversation with the greatest friend in the universe. Mother Teresa did not pray this express novena as a magic formula, rather she prayed from the heart knowing that God would act. This repetitive prayer was a tangible expression of her great faith in God.
We can learn from Mother Teresa, and we can be edified and encouraged by her simple yet great faith. She can help us to grow in faith. That is why I want to share this story with you. It’s just one example of Mother Teresa’s confidence in Our Lady’s intercession.
ABOUT JEFF YOUNG
Jeff Young, perhaps better known as The Catholic Foodie, is an author, blogger, radio host and podcaster.