Monday, August 9, 2010
Fr. Sebastian Vazhakala M.C.
Is it difficult to be a follower of Mother Teresa in today’s world? She was a great lady but she was tough. Not everybody can be a follower of Mother Teresa.
Actually we are not followers of Mother Teresa, we are followers of Jesus, and Mother Teresa followed Jesus very closely and loved Him with all her heart. She tried to know Jesus better and better every day, tried to love Him more ardently and serve Him more closely in the poorest of the poor. Serving the poorest of the poor Mother always said: you must love until it hurts you. Love is always in a certain sense a tough thing because you don’t do the things which you like to do but you must do the things which the person is in need of. One time I was working in the home for the dying in Calcutta and one man was brought into the house and Mother Teresa was there with me. I told Mother Teresa: "There is no sense in taking this man in, because as he gets a little better he goes out; this had happened 10 to 15 times". She looked at me and said: "Fr. Sebastian, what is important is not what you did yesterday or what he is going to do tomorrow. The question is whether he is in need of your help now". I said: "Yes Mother". Then she said: "Do it. So don’t waste your time asking how many times you have helped this person or that person but what this person is in need now. And then do it".
Mother Teresa had her strong convictions. When people have strong convictions and they are very clear about them, they will be very demanding out of love. I saw she was a very tough woman but full of love and therefore the toughness disappears in the light of love.
I met her first in 1966, when I was doing my philosophy in the seminary Then I came to Calcutta to meet her again. What attracted me was not the person of Mother Teresa, because she was not famous then and I didn’t know her much, but what touched me was the work she was doing and the kind of life she was leading, which was so close to the Gospel.
* from an "Interview with Fr. Sebastian Vazhakala M.C. (Vatican Radio)"
** above image - Fr. Sebastian Vazhakala M.C. accepting written vows from the Lay Missionaries of Charity - St. Louis retreat 2007