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Me, Mother Teresa, and her profound words about abortion

Mother Teresa (L) and Hillary Rodham Clinton
First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton met Mother Teresa at the opening of the Mother Teresa Home for Infant Children in Washington DC in 1995. |

In 1995, I joined a group of Christian theologians to teach Christian pastors in Calcutta, India. Knowing Mother Teresa and her ministry, The Missionaries of Charity, were there, I wrote to the Raleigh Catholic Diocese to see if I could obtain her address. The diocese was quick to reply with it. Forthwith, I shot off a letter to the Indian-Albanian Catholic nun, asking for the opportunity to meet with her and see the ministry she founded.

The woman Catholic who is now called a Saint was of such world-renowned fame that I doubted I would ever hear from her. You can imagine how thrilled I was when I received a letter back that read:

“Dear Rev. Mark H. Creech,

“Thank you for your letter of 25.10.1995.

“I am glad to know that you are coming to Calcutta — you are most welcome. We have 12 centers in Calcutta itself and I am sure that our poor people will be very happy to meet you.

“Please pray for us and our poor. The poor are very beautiful and have much to give us. Please join with us in thanking God for giving us the opportunity to share with our fellowmen who live and die in poverty and hunger.

“Assuring you of our prayer and asking your prayer and blessing.

“God Bless You,”

At the bottom of the letter and what I assume is her own handwriting, she wrote, “Let us pray,” and signed her name.

She and the Missionaries of Charity were prepared for my visit when I arrived in Calcutta. She was more than gracious, and we talked for quite some time. The most memorable part of our conversation was about the scourge of abortion.

I brought up the speech she gave during the previous year’s National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C. She was the guest speaker that year, with an audience of more than 3,000 people, including President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton, Vice President Al Gore, and his wife at the time, Tipper. A great deal of her speech was about the practice of abortion in America and worldwide. What she shared with me in conversation was mostly a repeat of what she had courageously declared in her speech.

The speech resulted in an enthusiastic standing ovation from the crowd while the president, vice president, and their wives scandalously remained seated in protest and did not applaud.

Her words were straightforward but exceedingly profound. They were so powerful they need to be shared repeatedly, primarily when violence against the unborn is erroneously and egregiously held as a human right.

Mother Teresa said:

“Jesus died on the Cross because that is what it took for Him to do good to us — to save us from our selfishness in sin … to show us that we too must be willing to give up everything to do God’s will …

But I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself. And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another? How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion?

As always, we must persuade her with love and we remind ourselves that love means to be willing to give until it hurts. Jesus gave even His life to love us. So, the mother who is thinking of abortion, should be helped to love, that is, to give until it hurts her plans, or her free time, to respect the life of her child. The father of that child, whoever he is, must also give until it hurts.  

By abortion, the mother does not learn to love, but kills even her own child to solve her problems. And, by abortion, that father is told that he does not have to take any responsibility at all for the child he has brought into the world. The father is likely to put other women into the same trouble. So, abortion just leads to more abortion. Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. This is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion.

Many people are very, very concerned with the children of India, with the children of Africa, where quite a few die of hunger, and so on. Many people are also concerned about all the violence in this great country of the United States. These concerns are very good. But often, these same people are not concerned with the millions who are being killed by the deliberate decision of their own mothers. And this is what is the greatest destroyer of peace today — abortion which brings people to such blindness.

We have sent word to the clinics, to the hospitals and police stations: ‘Please don’t destroy the child; we will take the child.’ So, we always have someone tell the mothers in trouble: ‘Come, we will take care of you, we will get a home for your child.’ And we have a tremendous demand from couples who cannot have a child — but I never give a child to a couple who have done something not to have a child. Jesus said, ‘Anyone who receives a child in my name, receives me.’ By adopting a child, these couples receive Jesus, but by aborting a child, a couple refuses to receive Jesus.

Please don’t kill the child. I want the child. Please give me the child. I am willing to accept any child who would be aborted and to give that child to a married couple who will love the child and be loved by the child. From our children’s home in Calcutta alone, we have saved over 3,000 children from abortion. These children have brought such love and joy to their adopting parents and have grown up so full of love and joy.

If we remember that God loves us and that we can love others as He loves us, then America can become a sign of peace for the world. From here, a sign of care for the weakest of the weak — the unborn child — must go out to the world.

If you become a burning light of justice and peace in the world, then really you will be true to what the founders of this country stood for….God bless you!”

I must say that I was already pro-life before Mother Teresa’s speech and before I visited her in Calcutta, but the conversation we had on that day sealed it airtight for me. I have spoken on this issue from the pulpit when I was a pastor and worked diligently alongside pro-life organizations and other concerned citizens to end this grievous injustice. I also believe our credibility on every other social issue hinges on where we stand on abortion. It is the plumb line.

Moreover, as the late Dr. Billy Graham once said, “Even history declares the tragic legacy of promiscuous societies — from Carthage and Rome to Renaissance France. And the Bible repeatedly declares God’s wrath on those who persist in such sin.”

Something I never thought I would see in my lifetime occurred in June this year. The United States Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade and sent the question of abortion back to the states to decide.

In the next session of the General Assembly, lawmakers will be deciding abortion policy for North Carolina. I am earnestly praying, and I hope every sincere Christian in North Carolina is doing the same, that state lawmakers won’t play politics with this issue. In the interest of all that is good and godly, may God give them the grace and courage to take the course which will save the most lives. I pray they might consider the tremendous words of Mother Teresa on abortion. I pray they would not be found “sitting in the seat of the scornful” but standing up for life.

Most of the legislators in the General Assembly profess to be Christians. Whether they are genuine believers, I don’t know. But I agree with the late Mother Teresa: Those who receive and protect a child’s life are receiving Jesus, and those who deny the child by abortion are crucifying Him afresh.

Rev. Mark H. Creech is Executive Director of the Christian Action League of North Carolina, Inc. He was a pastor for twenty years before taking this position, having served five different Southern Baptist churches in North Carolina and one Independent Baptist in upstate New York.

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