That is how old Blessed Mother Teresa of Kolkata would be today if she were alive. Three summers ago I went to Kolkata to serve with the Missionaries of Charity and it was one of the most extraordinary summers of my life. When I was a missionary a student once asked me when I really encountered God in a personal way. The answer was and always will be in India. At Mother Teresa’s tomb, in front of the Blessed Sacrament with the Sisters, on the streets of Kolkata, admits the noise and filth of city, in the beauty and tender love of the patients I served at Kalighat (Mother Teresa’s home for the dying). To this day I still say those patients gave me so much more than I ever could have offered them – for they showed me Jesus in a radical way, and for that I will always be eternally grateful. Below are some stellar words from Mother in honor of her birthday today. Ponder them, apply them, live them.
Photos from my trip to Kolkata, India.
And Sister said: “This is the way it is nearly every day. They are expecting, they are hoping that a son or daughter will come to visit them. They are hurt because they are forgotten.” And see, this neglect to love brings spiritual poverty. Maybe in our own family we have somebody who is feeling lonely, who is feeling sick, who is feeling worried. Are we there? Are we there to be with them, or do we merely put them in the care of others? Are we willing to give until it hurts in order to be with our families, or do we put our own interests first? These are the questions we must ask ourselves, especially as we begin this year of the family. We must remember that love begins at home and we must also remember that “the future of humanity passes through the family.”
I was surprised in the West to see so many young boys and girls given to drugs. And I tried to find out why. Why is it like that, when those in the West have so many more things than those in the East? And the answer was: “Because there is no one in the family to receive them.” Our children depend on us for everything – their health, their nutrition, their security, their coming to know and love God. For all of this, they look to us with trust, hope and expectation. But often father and mother are so busy they have no time for their children, or perhaps they are not even married or have given up on their marriage. So the children go to the streets and get involved in drugs or other things. We are talking of love of the child which is where love and peace must begin. These are the things that break peace.
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?