Subtitled A Personal Portrait of Mother Teresa, this book is also the story of Jim Towey’s own spiritual journey. Towey met Mother Teresa in the 1980’s when he was working as a congressional staff member and a lawyer. Through her influence, he began volunteer at the Missionaries of Charity soup kitchen in Washington D.C. Over the years, he traveled with Mother Teresa, arranged meetings with politicians and donors, and provided pro bono legal work for her organization. Through his volunteer work as the Missionaries of Charity AIDS home, he met his future wife, Mary. The entire family considered Mother a family friend and trusted spiritual mentor.
When he first met Mother Teresa in the 1980’s Towey says:
“Nearly all my activities were dedicated to my professional and social advancement–those not dedicated to my own pleasure, of course…I looked around the chapel and saw people my age …who had come to India to serve others… and there I was, seated among them as a spectator. I was the gatherer incarnate.”
By the time Mother dies in 1997, he has changed:
“… I have become a better person, a better Christian, a better version of myself. I am a giver, not a gatherer,”
His association with Mother shaped his spiritual life in a profound way.
This book is, indeed, a personal glimpse of Teresa of Calcutta, not as a saint, but as a very human friend and mentor–something we can all aspire to be.
VERDICT: 5 STARS. An inspiring and enjoyable read!
For more spiritual autobiographies see these posts:
The Great Good Thing by Andrew Klavan — Book Review
In My Grandmother’s House by Yolanda Pierce–Book Review