Saturday, December 04, 2021
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Op-Ed

A Tribute to “Saint of the Gutters – Mother Teresa”

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By EMN Updated: Sep 04, 2013 9:55 pm
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Fr. Joe Mariadhas

THE ‘saint of the gutters’, ‘angel of mercy’, an inspiration and a role model for the modern society, Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, was born on August 26, 1910 at Skopje in former Yugoslavia, in a devout catholic family. God chose her for a particular mission and at an early age itself Agnes wanted to become a nun. In 1928, she joined a convent and later she was sent to India, first to Darjeeling and then to Kolkata to teach at the Loreto School in the city. On the 10th September, 1937, during a train journey to Darjeeling, she heard the voice of God telling her to leave the convent and to go out and serve his abandoned children. She left her sheltered life of the convent on 18th August 1948 and started her new mission. She began her work with a school for slum children of Kolkata. She adopted as her dress a simple white sari with blue borders and with a cross pined at the shoulder. Gradually, many young girls came to be part of her work. She organized them into a dedicated group of sisters ready to serve the poor in any form. They are known as the Missionaries of Charity. She breathed her last on the 5th September 1997.
A Leader: The legacy that mother has left for us to follow her footprints has to be relived in our midst. Mother saw the image of God in the poor, the orphan, the sick, and the abandoned and so served them whole heartedly as if she was serving God himself. Her self-less service to the cause of the poor and the sick won her international recognition. Our society is not seeing the image of God in our fellow brothers and sisters, the poor are becoming poorer while the rich enjoy all benefits of life. There are people sick without love, forgiveness and charity. We are selfish and we do not want to share our resources with others. Even in our attitudes and actions we have become coarse and cold that we do not feel the pain of the sick and the suffering. We are weary of making our lives miserable and we search for things that do not give us lasting happiness. She is a challenge to our modern leaders.
A Visionary: Mother Teresa was one woman, one mission and that’s all it took care, comfort and to change the world. Mother Teresa, an Angel of Mercy, was God’s greatest gift to humankind. Her life was a true story of love and compassion. It was she who brought shine on the faces of millions who were sick and poor. She has to be imitated in the lives of young people who aspire to achieve great things in life. She has taught each one of us with her very life and she is the role model for the modern society. How many of us really know her and her contribution to the humanity.
A Role Model: Throughout her life she did the service of the ‘poorest of the poor’. She had firm belief that through serving the poorest, she was serving the God. We have people today in our society who serve the poor, the downtrodden, the weak and the marginalized and yet their voices are not heard and the vices are on the increase. We are losing our vision to reach heaven while we are all comfortable with the benevolence of God and show a little gratitude by offering help to the needy.
A Patriot: She was a woman of vision, courage and foresight. She was a sincere daughter of motherland. We need leaders who have vision for the promoting human values, developing human resources, building intellectual capacities of young men and women. We need leaders as role models and not as models without personal integrity. She lived and showed by her very life and we have leaders who tell us live according to their wishes and not according our human concerns. She is a challenge to the modern leaders and her service was an example of serving our society. We cannot forget her and her contribution in the progress of our nation.
A Woman of Faith: She found prayer to be essential in her life and spent many hours in prayer communicating with God. Mother Teresa brought great awareness not only to the people but to many countries on the concerns with the poor and terminally ill. She brought the equation of love and compassion to the world, causing people to take a closer look at themselves and how they treat one another. I believe her faith in God that gave her the courage to bring such awareness, during those very difficult times. She is an incredible role model to follow in helping others and her strong beliefs in God. By her actions alone, people started to reach out and help the needy who were in distress instead of ignoring the problems they faced. Mother Teresa was an incredible individual that showed the world many things about religion, love and compassion for humankind.
God raises men and women of outstanding quality and holiness with indomitable spirit to guide the society. To see her was to love her and to know her is a source of inspiration. Mother will be remembered for her courage, determination and specific qualities of leadership. Today on the 5th September on her death anniversary, not only the church admires her saintliness, noble virtues, depth of dedication and selfless service but the whole world considers her as a ‘symbol of the poor and an ever shining light’. In a world engulfed by gross materialism and ‘survival of the fittest’ she remains as an ever shining beacon, showing us the true path of living. Mother Teresa showed us the path of service. Our best tribute will be to follow that path. “In this life we cannot do great things, we can only do small things with great love”. – Mother Teresa

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By EMN Updated: Sep 04, 2013 9:55:48 pm