I learned something extraordinary about Mother Teresa and her Missionaries of Charity today: their first work is not taking care of the poor, but rather prayer. A professor, searching for meaning, for how her work and her new found commitment to Christ might be combined, visited. She was surprised to find that the nuns said their first obligation was prayer; that Mother Teresa came to Calcutta because Christ spoke to her from the cross; the work is worship, not social work.
And further, the visiting professor found that a heavy peace pervaded the Missionaries of Charity building. It was like another world, she said, coming in from the chaotic streets of Calcutta, and walking into the peace, brought on by the prayer of Mother Teresa’s nuns.
This is profound. This is the way. There is so very much work to be done, but the way to do it is in the rest of worship. Worship shows the way. Following the way of worship, also cuts off the distraction, the chaos, of that which should not be done. It enables a human to do more than human but not by the short-lived burning up the limited human trying to do God-sized work. That might be laudable, but this is more effective, efficient, fun, joyful and glorious. Rather than sacrifice all to work, worship.