Memorial of St. Mary Magdalene; July 22, 1993
Dear Father Tomas:
Yesterday I offered Holy Mass for the Missionaries of Charity. It reminded me of the first time I met Mother Teresa of Calcutta. When she came to Manila to establish her community, I was asked to celebrate Mass for her and her sisters.
After the mass I had the privilege of speaking privately with Mother Teresa. That's when she told me the story of her community. Sister Agnus, a small, dark-haired nun from India, was her first disciple. At first there were few sisters at Mother Teresa's side, while there were many people in need. From the elderly and the sick dying in the streets, to the abandoned babies and children who had no one to care for them, Mother Teresa wanted to reach out to everyone.
The question was: How to do it with so few followers? There was not enough time during the day to care for all those in need. Mother and the sisters prayed to know what to do. The answer was surprising. God wanted something very special in addition to their regular prayers. Even when it seemed that the hours of the day were not enough, God wanted something more. He wanted the community to set aside an extra hour each day to pray that holy hour together in the presence of His Son exposed in the Blessed Sacrament.
Mother Teresa states that this daily holy hour is the cause and reason why her community has flourished. The community has grown to over three thousand through the power and grace received in the daily holy hour. Mother Teresa has multiplied and is now present in every part of the world through her sisters. Because she was willing to take the time to join the "vine".
In the sermon at the Last Supper, Jesus said that whoever remained united to Him in the Blessed Sacrament would bear much fruit (Jn 15:5). The apostolic fruit of Mother Teresa and her sisters continues to amaze the world.
Her story inspired me to do what she did. I had been reading about the perpetual adoration apostolate and how Father Martin Lucia was successfully promoting it in the United States and other countries. I also wanted it to spread throughout the Philippines. That's why I founded the community called The Eucharistic Disciples of St. Pius X. Day and night, without rest, they approached the Blessed Sacrament in loving adoration. First they prayed that Father Lucia could come to the Philippines to begin the great apostolate of establishing perpetual adoration in the parishes. Then they prayed that it would spread throughout the country. At this time there are 500 chapels. Now the Eucharistic Disciples are praying that we can fulfill our goal of establishing perpetual adoration chapels in 1,000 parishes.
These two examples, that of Mother Teresa and that of the Eucharistic Disciples, demonstrate the truth of what Jesus said in today's Gospel: "Martha, Martha, you worry and fret about many things, and there is need of few, or rather, of only one. Mary has chosen the good part, which will not be taken away from her" (Lk 10:41-42).
The good part is to be with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. The best time spent on earth, dear Thomas, is the time you spend with your best friend, Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. And it is the surest way to produce great apostolic fruit.
Fraternally yours in His Eucharistic Love, Monsignor Ramirez