Desiccated ChristianityMother Teresa was once asked how she could go on, day after day, year after year, caring for the sick and dying and poor and offering them so much comfort. “It’s not hard,” she answered. “Because in each one I see the face of Christ in one of His more distressing disguises.”
It’s important to emphasize this Christological dimension of Christian charity because many Christian agencies and even whole religious orders of consecrated men and women, originally founded on the basis of this original Christian inspiration, appear to have settled for a kind of Christian gloss over charitable work that is secular at its core. These religious communities have unwittingly allowed themselves to be guided by a kind of materialist framework for helping the poor.
Such groups would do well to understand that Mother Teresa’s words are not an expression of mere sentiment or outdated piety. They are a reflection of a core Christian idea, one that inspired those armies of missionaries who sought out “the lost”--so as to tend their material needs, certainly, but also to share the message of eternal life in Christ. Their great sacrifice, heroism, ingenuity and generosity flowed from their understanding of their mission—they were more than social workers; they were bearers of the eternal Good News.http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2012/10/24/desiccated-christianity