Mother Teresa is often cited as an example from the 20th century of one who lived a Christ-like life. You don’t even have to be a Christian to see that she lived according to the Sermon on the Mount and the teachings of Jesus. Thousands of preachers hold her life up as an example for their congregations. Rarely, however, do I hear anyone explain the years of contemplation that Mother Teresa practiced in order to become the kind of person who could serve as Christ served. For most of us in our daily lives, the way of the cross still seems like a bad idea. Sure, it is a wonderful thing that Jesus died for us. Choosing to die for my enemies, though, is not something I’m hardwired to do. Mother Teresa learned to see the world differently. After years of adoring her crucified savior in contemplation, she became the kind of person who could love denying herself for her neighbor’s sake. She did not serve the poor because they made her feel guilty. She lived among the poorest of the poor as a humble servant because she could not imagine a better life. She had experienced a ‘change of mind.’ Mother Teresa had received the mind of Christ.
— Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove,
“Commitment to a Disciplined Contemplative Life” in
School(s) for Conversion: 12 Marks of a New Monasticism