Mother Theresa, a gift to humanity

Peace begins with a smile(Published in Monitor newspaper in Uganda on 5th September 2016)

Mother Theresa is undoubtedly one of the greatest human being and a Christian witness in our time. She was born on August 26, 1910 in Skopje in former Yogoslavia and went to India as a missionary nun in 1929 and lived all her life in Calcutta, a congested city full of slums. Only at her death in 1997 many Indians came to know that she was an European, because she lived a life of Indians better than Indians themselves.

From 4th September, after a rigorous scrutiny of her life, the Catholic Church will officially name her a saint. Besides a strong religious message she stands for a humane message that ‘we are all called to be human’. Her life’s goal was to humanize the world. As the title of Saint conferred to her, internet and Social Media are aglow with her images, quotes and prayers. As it keepsmultiplying day after day, we can conclude that her inspiration lives on forever and she always remains a model human being with outstanding Godly virtues. A serious thought to the following pithy sayings of Mother Theresacalls for retrospection own lives calling us to live a conscious and thought lives every day.

“Love takes shape not in words, but in actions. Peace begins with a smile. Conflicts in the world begin with the divisions in families. Selfishness is the greatest poverty in people. With charity, you can heal the world. It is not important how much you give, but what matters is the attitude with which you give. Helping hands are greater than praying lips. Loneliness is the modern day leprosy. If you are busy criticizing others, you will have no time to love them. Joy is the most creative energy. Life is not counted in years, but number of people you have loved. We are all destined to die, let us be merciful until then.”

“People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God.
It was never between you and them anyway.”

Trained as a teacher, Mother Theresa headed a rich and popular school for elites near Calcutta, but her heart was itching for the poor who lived in the slums just outside her school gates. She began to ponder over her life and spend more time in prayer and discernment how to spentthe rest of her life. With due permission from Church’s authorities on August 17, 1948, she dressed for the first time in a white, blue-bordered sari and passed through the gates of her beloved school and convent to enter the world of the poor in the slums.

In the slums, she visited families, washed the sores of lepers, cared for the sick and the abandoned on the roads and nursed others dying of hunger and Tuberculosis. She always said, in serving “the unwanted, the unloved, the uncared for I serve the God I worship.”Inspired by this after some months, she was joined, one by one, by her former students and several others. Now her followers, The Missionaries of Charity are engaged in her mission all over the world.

This simple woman’s life seems to say, ‘before you are categorized as belonging to a nation, a religion or a culture you are a human being.’ Being a human person and becoming a human person is a vocation of everyone in the world. And it is easy to be a good human being when one takes the ordinary life lived with care and concern for others.
Mother Theresa’s life and her message spoken and lived, brings out her deep seated love for humanity. She would say, “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples…We know only too well that what we are doing is nothing more than a drop in the ocean. But if the drop was not there, the ocean would be missing something…A life not lived for others is not a life.”

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