Mother Teresa

5 Sep

“I think, perhaps, we may have some difficulty in calling her St. Teresa: Her holiness is so near to us, so tender and so fruitful, that we continue to spontaneously call her Mother Teresa,”

― Pope Francis

Mother Teresa is  now St. Teresa of Calcutta. Pope Francis bestowed that title at Mother Teresa’s canonization on Sunday at St  Peter’s square.

My generation grew up in pre internet, democratic and socialist India. Mother Teresa was one of our greatest public figures. Gandhi, Nehru and Mother Teresa inspired me and many of my generation.  Her unconditional love and service to humanity is near godly. Mother Teresa  said on winning Nobel peace prize in 1979 ” I am unworthy.” She may have displayed the same humility had she some inkling of times to come.

As always mine is a individual journey and want to share my experience. For my generation Mother Teresa was a saint. In a country where there is so much poverty and suffering, her service and care for poor and sick is a great service to mankind. In a country where the rich- poor divide is ugly and startling, she cared for ones whom nobody bothered – sick, poor, destitutes.

I started going to  “Missionaries of charity” center in my city fifteen years ago. I was introduced to the center by my college going sister. I was overwhelmed by my young sister and her two friends desire to make a contribution to Mother Teresa’s center. I started going to the center annually and sometimes biannually to make a little contribution. It became a practice. Sometimes would go with my sister. Sometimes alone. The sister’s there would always enquire about us and our family.

I must admit there were times when was scared of entering the center, as the women inmates were very sick and crowded into a place, but when would enter, they would come to you and guide you to the sister and her room. May be they knew ” you came because you thought of them.”  The sister would then talk to you, they were regular talks -about you, where you work and your family. Finally would say do pray for family and give a humble contribution.

I would go even when had lost my Job to make a contribution.  The sister would tell me ” Now you must come only after you get a job with a smile ” They cared for you as much as you cared for them.

This is my experience with Mother Teresa’s ” Missionaries of Charity”. I always found peace and liked talking to sisters. I will go again and haven’t gone in a while..

So what can i say? She is truly a saint. I believed so all my life.

Yes she has had detractors too – facilities were not upto mark, she received donations from disreputable world leaders like Haitian dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier and American financer Charles keating. Her views on abortion are well known. There is a documentary by Tariq Ali.

In my opinion she cared for people no one cared.  It is societal shame that her facilites could have been better.  I would not bring religion in her compassion and service. If she served in the name of god, so what?

None of us have met god in our life time. Mother Teresa is what comes close to a living god. She is truly a saint.

For more on Mother Teresa’s canonization and journey:

Please see: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/05/world/europe/mother-teresa-named-saint-by-pope-francis.html?_r=0

Please see: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/09/01/world/europe/mother-teresa-saint-timeline.html

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”

― Mother Teresa

We must try to do that.  We must strive to do that.

Hope Mother Teresa’s work inspires you as it inspires me. Peace and love.

Have a nice sunday dear friends!

Love, Suresh

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