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Monday, April 26, 2010
Imitating Mother Teresa by Recognizing Calcutta in Our Midst
Inspire: Imitating Mother Teresa by Recognizing Calcutta in Our Midst
Here is a very good article out of Catholic Online by Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle. For all of my MC family friends, I know you will enjoy it!!
NEW MILFORD, CT - What struck me the most about Mother Teresa when I saw her for the first time was her diminutive size and the rounded hump on her back. I attributed the hump on her back to her constant stooping to care for the poorest of the poor. Here was this world renowned peacemaker, lover of the world's poor and a Noble Peace Prize recipient - a giant - but in the body of someone not much taller than my young daughter!
I first caught sight of Blessed Teresa about twenty years ago in the Missionary of Charities convent chapel as she came in for daily Mass. I had been visiting the sick and dying at the convent with my family and the Missionary of Charities Sisters invited us to come back to their private Mass the following day.
My family arrived at the chapel door the following morning, took off our shoes, as was the custom there, and filed in quietly. Well, as quietly as we could with three children; one of them under two years old and a little squirmy. We knelt down and bowed our heads to say our prayers before Mass. It was truly a treasured experience to be able to participate at holy Mass with a chapel filled with holy nuns and then to top it all off, in walked Mother Teresa! I felt her presence as she walked right by me quietly and unobtrusively. She then took her place on the bare chapel floor, kneeling to pray. We celebrated holy Mass together; an experience that is etched in my memory.
By the grace of God, I was given a privileged opportunity to converse with Mother Teresa after Mass when she came over to me because of my children. She had seen my daughter, Chaldea genuflect before the Blessed Sacrament and was touched to see a child remember to bid Jesus "good bye" before leaving the chapel. She gave Chaldea a big hug and then focused her attention on my lively daughter, Jessica who was in my arms, while my oldest child, Justin stood nearby taking it all in. Blessed Teresa gave us each a blessed Miraculous medal and talked to us about the poor that she cared for, about the blessing of families and about her love for life. She asked for our prayers and promised us hers. What an incredible and blessed conversation! I felt as if I were standing with Jesus Himself, if I am allowed to make that analogy. Incredible love and joy radiated from that petite saintly woman.
That blessed meeting with holiness led to a correspondence between the two of us that spanned almost a decade. I have learned remarkable insights and wisdom from that humble little holy woman who continues to teach me even after her death. Her courageous, "Yes" to God in her living out the Gospel has changed the way the world views the poor and our responsibility to care for them. She taught us that the poor are not only those who are hungry for a piece of bread but also those who are hungry for love.
"God has identified himself with the hungry, the sick, the naked, the homeless; hunger not only for bread, but for love, for care, to be somebody to someone; nakedness, not for clothing only, but nakedness of that compassion that very few people give to the unknown; homelessness, not only just for a shelter made from stone but for that homelessness that comes from having no one to call your own," Blessed Teresa has told us.
Blessed Teresa has admonished each one of us to do our part to help the poor in our own lives. She has opened our eyes to look for the poor right in our midst. She said that we can find Calcutta all over the world if we have eyes to see. She reminds us again and again about Jesus' message to us in the Gospel of Matthew and how to see and find the poor so that we can care for them. "Today, the poor are hungry for bread and rice - and for love and the living word of God. The poor are thirsty - for water and for peace, truth and justice. The poor are homeless - for a shelter made of bricks, and for a joyful heart that understands, covers, loves. The poor are naked - for clothes, for human dignity and compassion for the naked sinner. They are sick - for medical care, and for that gentle touch and a warm smile."
Read the rest of the article HERE