"Love follows knowledge."
"Beauty above all beauty!"
– St. Catherine of Siena

Friday, September 29, 2017

Faith Filled Friday: The Oil and the Lamp

Here is another excellent passage from Heart of Joy by Mother Teresa.  This comes from a section of a collection of her statements to her daughters in the Order.  This is one particular statement, titled in the book as “The Oil and the Lamp.”

Do not think that love, in order to be genuine, has to be extraordinary.  What we need is to love without getting tired.

How does a lamp burn?  Through the continuous input of small drops of oil.  If the drops of oil run out, the light of the lamp will cease, and the bridegroom will say, “I do not know you” (Mt 25:1-13). 

My daughters, what are these drops of oil in our lamps?  They are the small things of daily life: faithfulness, punctuality, small words of kindness, a thought for others, our way of being silent, of looking, of speaking, and of acting.  These are the true drops of love that keep your religious life burning like a lively flame.

Do not look for Jesus away from yourselves.  He is not out there; he is in you.  Keep your lamp burning, and you will recognize him.

The Biblical passage alluded to is the parable of the ten virgins, half who have run out of oil for their lamps and cannot meet the bridegroom.  What I find remarkable here is that Mother Teresa considers the oil that burns the lamp to be our little efforts of love and faith.  Those efforts are little drops of oil into the lamp.  And therefore it’s what brings light to the dark places of life.  I would read this passage to coincide with her order’s purpose, which she quotes a few pages later: “A Missionary of Charity is a messenger of God’s love, a living lamp that offers its light to all, and the salt of the earth.  We are to take Christ to those places where he has not been taken yet.”


  1. She was brilliant. Thanks for this.

  2. Thank you for a wonderful homily.

    God bless.

  3. Do not look for Jesus away from yourselves. He is not out there; he is in you. Keep your lamp burning, and you will recognize Him.

    Great words to live by... Man, "I" mean Manny... Keep praying for me, myself and iii... WHO'S LAUGHING?

    God Bless you and yours

    1. Victor, thank you for this, but I think you missed my post with my son Matthew singing at Mass. I know you wold have commented on that. It's a few posts before this one, but here's the link nonetheless:

      I hope you see it.

    2. Thank you for the heads up Manny.

      Long story short, I enjoyed Matthews performance.

      You and your wife are doing a great job.

      Keep UP the good works and words.