Ron Pappalardo
speaker and author of Reconciled by the Light

A memoir by Ron Pappalardo

Author's Blog

Mother Teresa's Wisdom

Posted on September 12, 2011 at 1:25 PM

“I can understand the greatness of God but I cannot understand his humility. It becomes so clear in him being in love with each one of us separately and completely. It is as if there is no one but me in the world. He loves me so much. Each one of us can say this with great conviction.”   — Mother Teresa, from Mother Teresa: Her Essential Wisdom, p. 12.


I found this quote from Mother Teresa recently while reading a short book of sayings from her, and it really grabbed me, because I had a similar experience with God years ago while praying in the woods near Accord, New York.


I had been struggling with my faith, and a dear colleague counseled me to go deep into the woods until I knew I had total privacy, and then “lay all your cards on the table” to God. In other words, she wanted me to tell God exactly how I was feeling. She especially wanted me to make sure I expressed any bad feelings, bitterness, or anger I was holding on to regarding God. That was a scary proposition, because the God of my Catholic upbringing was a scary guy. I figured she must have some special weight with God, so if I said anything that got him mad, she could stop him from zapping me with a bolt of lightning.


So I began by talking about my miserably lonely childhood, and accused him of being a heartless uncaring God, who was ultimately responsible for all human suffering.


Then something amazing happened; he showed up. I could feel his presence so strongly that I burst into tears. He stunned me by saying:


“You are right. I am responsible, and I accept total responsibility for the situation.”


Like Mother Teresa, I was shocked by the absolute humility of God’s heart. He was apologetic to me personally, saying he was sorry for the suffering I had experienced in life. These words were accompanied by the most powerful atmosphere of absolute unconditional love, so strong that I couldn’t stop crying. I felt totally accepted, understood, and embraced. What a feeling!


Even though I had thought of myself as a spiritual person for years, it wasn’t until that day that I truly “fell in love” with God.


He ended by inviting me to talk to him like this regularly; he said he could really help me in my life if I did so. To this day, my minimum goal in life is to carry on this conversation with God as the anchor of my life.


I’m pretty sure that anyone can have an experience like the one I had.  To do this, we must go to the place where God is.  If we have misconceptions about God, these misconceptions can actually block God from touching our hearts.


For example, some of us are convinced that we are such miserable sinners that we don’t deserve God’s love, so if God tries to hug us, we can’t receive the hug because we think we’re not worthy.  So we have to be open to letting go of our concepts about God in order to give him a chance to make contact with us.


Finally, I believe the only reason God was able to break through to me on that occasion was because I was really desperate and ardent for answers. Secondly, I was honest, both with myself and with him. I discovered that he is not offended by any sincerely held feelings we have towards him, good or bad. What’s important is that we express them. By doing that, it allows him the opportunity to tell “his side of the story.”


I’m so grateful for that day. It was a true “rebirth” for me. I discovered I had a truly loving Heavenly Father, who has been my most trusted friend ever since.


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