Blue and white are the colors. Faith, Hope and Love are the sources of energy. Being a “light” is the calling. Providing for the poor and weak is the goal. Praying that the world will truly be a better place is the dream.
On August 27th of the year 1910, a woman of great purity blessed the world with her presence and gifts of genuine and Heaven-given adoration. Born as Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu in Skopje, Macedonia, the lady of passion grew to be a devout follower of God, an endless fountain of giving, a shoulder to the wounded, an open door to the needy, a friend to the forgotten, a Sister to many, a Mother to the world, a symbol of humbleness and fidelity, and a leader to the followers who walked in her footsteps.
Though descriptions have been provided, there are many that could partake in the portrayal of the ever-beautiful Mother Teresa.
Thousands of articles have been written, hundreds of web sites praise her name, books have been published and quotes of have been restated, but though words and pictures are joined to depict the life and stories of Mother Teresa, it is no surprise that it cannot match who she truly was.
Just to touch on the life she lived, Mother Teresa was born into a family of Albanian descent, and once she became the age of twelve, she felt her calling to God. To be a missionary and spread the love of Christ, she left her home at the age of eighteen and joined the Sisters of Loreto, which was an Irish community of nuns with missions in India. Mother Teresa was then trained for a number of months in Dublin and then sent to India. There, on May 24, 1931, she took her initial vows as a nun. For the next seventeen years, till 1948, Mother Teresa had taught at St. Mary’s High School in Calcutta, the starting point, so to speak. It was during this time that Mother Teresa had seen the suffering and extreme poverty of those living there and followed that path in her life’s mission to leave the convent school and give herself completely to working among the forsaken loved ones in the darkest parts of Calcutta.
Receiving permission from her superiors in 1948 was the turning point in Mother Teresa’s life. With no money but absolute dependence on Divine Providence, Mother Teresa initiated an open-air school for slum children. Fortunately, volunteers and financial support eventually came her way.
The birth of “The Missionaries of Charity” came on October 7th, 1950, when Mother Teresa was granted her wish from the Holy See to start her own order. The key objective was “to love and care for those persons nobody was prepared to look after”. It was in 1965 that the Society had become an International Religious Family by a decree of Pope Paul VI.
“Today the order comprises Active and Contemplative branches of Sisters and Brothers in many countries. In 1963 both the Contemplative branch of the Sisters and the Active branch of the Brothers was founded. In 1979, the Contemplative branch of the Brothers was added, and in 1984 the Priest branch was established.”
As a side note, the beloved Mother Teresa received the Pope John XXIII Peace Prize in 1971, the Nehru Prize for her desire to spread international peace and understanding in 1972, the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979, the Balzan Prize in 1979 and all of this along with the Templeton and Magsaysay awards as well. Given the fact that the number of awards should not dictate who the person is, but that the person who receives it is what makes the award so special, Mother Teresa had been recognized across the globe, it was not for the number of distinctions, but for the care she gave to all throughout the days of her life.
It is with thanks to Nobel Lectures (especially Editor-in-Charge Tore Frängsmyr and Editor Irwin Abrams, along with the World Scientific Publishing Co. in Singapore) that the information regarding Mother Teresa’s life was stated above. In fact, a new book, titled Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light; “The Private Writings of the Saint of Calucutta”, author Brian Kolodiejchuk, was released on September 5th, 2007, the day marking the 10-year anniversary of the day our Blessed Mother Teresa was called back home (she passed away at the age of 87).
News of this newly published book has recently brought forth controversy with many because Mother Teresa openly expressed her writings that even she, at one point in her life, doubted her Faith. While some take the positive perspective and proclaim that all members of faith have a doubtful moment in their lifetime, it is a natural phase and that it can actually help the person feel stronger and become more connected with their spiritual side, many, unfortunately, bring it down and state that the ideal figure presented before the world is nothing more than a fake.
It is important to remember that reaching a high level in one’s spiritual devotion cannot be something that occurs overnight. With strenuous obstacles, numerous stages and hard work, an increase in faith and dedication takes the time that it deserves, for it is no simple matter. Especially when speaking of Mother Teresa: to see a woman sacrifice earthly rewards and everything of her life and give it to God is, in no way, an easy task. As stated in one of her many quotes, “The miracle is not that we do this work, but that we are happy to do it”. To be happy to help the forgotten of this world is more than just a calling, but a gift and talent, which she had bestowed upon her by the grace of God.
Mother Teresa’s relationship with God, Jesus and Mary was of a special kind, naturally. In point of fact, below is a prayer by Mother Teresa to Mary in her own handwriting:
(Mary, My dearest Mother,
Give me your heart
So beautiful, so pure, so immaculate, so full of love and humility,
That I may receive Jesus as you did, and go in haste to give Him to others.
God Bless you )
It is with hope that Mother Teresa’s impact on life remains embedded on the hearts of many all around the world and is anchored in the history of our days. On October 19th, 2003, without the mandatory five-year waiting period before the process of beatification takes place, Mother Teresa was the 1319th person beatified by Pope John Paul II after her death on September 5th, 1997. Even in the years after her death she has a role she wishes to fulfill. As she once proclaimed, “If I ever become a Saint- I will surely be one of ‘darkness.’ I will continually be absent from Heaven- to light the light of those in darkness on Earth.”
To say the daily prayer of Mother Teresa, lovingly implore the request below:
Dear Jesus, help me to spread thy fragrance everywhere I go. Flood my soul with Thy spirit and love. Penetrate and possess my whole being so utterly that all my life may only be a radiance of Thine. Shine through me and be so in me that every soul I come in contact with may feel Thy presence in my soul. Let them look up and see no longer me but only Jesus. Stay with me and then I shall begin to shine as you shine, so to shine as to be a light to others. Amen.
Evon Elias is an Oakland University, Michigan student with a deep understanding and interest in religious and spiritual matters. Ms. Elias writes for www.CHALDEAN.org and publishes her work in the religious and spiritual section of the community website. Comments regarding this article or suggestions for future articles can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or directly to Ms. Elias at WithHisLove48@yahoo.com