By: Klinsa Kurien, Bureau Chief-ICN Kerala
Yesterday I had a beautiful vision about my mother, not my own mother who brought me to this earth, but a lady with a heart of God. She is none other than Mother Teresa. I have always adored this woman like anything. Imagine somebody who left her life full of comforts and willingly surrenders it for the well-being of others.
Coming to my own vision, I visualised that I was in a world full of happiness which knew no bounds. I could never even feel a spark of sadness instead felt secure and happy. The reason was the magical power that this mother had on me. It was her birthday yesterday. Yes, August 26th in my experience has been a blissful day for me every year.
Mother Teresa was a shoulder for the young and the old to lean on. She founded the missionaries of charity with an intention to serve the poor and needy people. She truly is an embodiment of God’s love. She would personally clean the wounds of leprosy patients.Clad in a simple white cotton saree with a blue border, she started dispensaries, free kitchens for the poor. She made friends with the destitute people and fed them food with her own hands. She assured the lonely people of a warm friendship. The greatest quality she ever possessed was to leave her own country and serve India.
Not many of us would listen to our inner voice. Inner Voice is like an intuition or call which inspires one to take up something. Mother Teresa describes it as “the call within the call”. Her original name was Anjeze Gonxhe. Anjeze refers to Agnes a Saint and Gonxhe is a rosebud. She blooms beautifully into a sick person’s life and makes it joyful.
She was the youngest child of her parents and at the age of 12, decided to dedicate her life to the highest order of religious life. She became a nun and stayed with the poor to serve them. She lived in just a small room and felt lonely and hungry. But with her strong will and dedicated spirits, she fed the poor and cared for them. In her own words, “I would care for the hungry, the naked, the homeless, the crippled, the blind, the lepers all those people who feel unwanted, unloved, uncared for throughout society, people who have become a burden to the society and are shunned by everyone”.
She built a hospital called “Nirmal Hriday” which served the dying people. They would die in a peaceful manner. Apart from this, she established a home for leprosy patients called “Shanti Nagar” where free dressing and medication were provided. She helped many refugees, earthquake victims and the hungry people. What’s exemplary about mother is that she had continuous association and undertook services for the poor. She also received many awards and honours. One of them was the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Peace and International Understanding. Many other prizes and honorary doctorates adorned her shelf. She stayed humble throughout. Her humble views on abortion stunned the world and the exact words were “Abortion is the greatest destroyer of peace today”. Because if a mother can kill her own child- what is left for me to kill you and you kill me- there is nothing between”. She saw the relationship between the mother and child as the most precious of all human relationships.
Mother was trying to find a cure for people filled with poverty and suffering. According to her, suffering is a gift from God. She saw other people’s suffering as a way to serve them. Her strength for service comes from her innate spirituality and deep devotion to God. The world remembers her for all the good work she did.
Some of her memorable quotes are 1. “There are no great things, only small things with great love. Happy are those!”. 2. If you cant feed a hundred people, then just feed one”. 3. Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless”. These quotes almost pierce through our heart’s innermost chamber.
My memories of Mother Teresa are truly mesmerizing. If she has become a celebrated figure, it is only because of her ability to listen to her “call”. We all must learn to enliven and listen to that inner voice. It can change lives!