Euphoric expressions of our love and admiration for Mother Teresa began several months before her Canonization was announced by the Vatican on 15th March 2016. People across the world also stormed heavens for her ‘speedy’ Canonization.
The Social Media, Church personnel, educational institutions, Hospitals, Charity organizations have been busy with Mother Teresa memorials and programs, writers scripting stories, film makers documenting films, speeches and sermons about her waft the air, suddenly ‘fond memories’ of meeting with her erupt from every corner and effervescent intercessory prayers to this Saint of our times are rife. Not-to-forget; celebrities going piggyback on her popularity, businessmen, promo-companies and even fraudulent ‘fund-raisers’ seizing opportunity over this Holy Icon nun.
So much is the euphoria that you may even end up receiving the same ‘material’ on Mother Teresa several times in your ‘In-Box’ from different quarters. We excitedly pass it on because as we love and admire her. Pass it on, yes. But what do we keep? How long will this last?
A quieter and prayerful look at that wrinkled face of this ‘saint of the gutters’ will speak a million words to any genuine God-seeker. A God-seeker will see those wrinkles as engraved smiles that the aging Mother Teresa always had. Smiles emerging whenever the hungry were fed, the homeless sheltered, the unloved and lonely loved, the diseased cured, the orphans parented and the dying braving death with hope and joy.
We grow old NOT by aging but only when we forget our mission here on earth. Mother Teresa grew younger by the hour, never forgetting the ‘Mission’ she was convinced of ever since she stepped out of the Loretto Convent on 17th August 1948, daringly venturing into the dark and stormy world of poverty disease and death.
Each of us have a Mission Mandate but we will never find it if we don’t seek it in silent resignation to The Lord’s Will. Mother Teresa waited upon the Lord and was renewed powerfully as Prophet Isaiah promises “those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles” (Isaiah 40:31).
She was not only mounted on ‘eagles wings but lived like an Eagle itself. The Eagle’s life-style can inspire us. Regardless of obstacles, she never shifts focus until she grabs her prey. Mother Teresa remained focused on her goal. Eagles don’t eat dead things. She never fed on a dead past of failures, disappointments or struggles. She lived in the present that The Lord had given her. Eagles dart into stormy winds to fly higher. She used her life’s storms to lift her Spirits higher. Eagles don’t make cozy nests because their young ones must feel uncomfortable and take to flight quickly. She left the comfort zone and secured zone of her convent to explore new life and possibilities for the poor and dying. She set an example of quitting comfort zones for her own Congregation by stipulating a life of hard work and simplicity for her nuns.
With aging, Eagles pluck out weak feathers break their beaks and claws against rocks and wait for new ones to grow. They then fly higher than before. When age was catching up with her, Mother Teresa did not retire. Even in her last days, she was directing her nuns and inquiring about the Congregation’s mission progress.
When she died on September 5th 1997 at the age of 87 congregation the ‘Missionaries of Charity’ was already providing succor to the dying, the destitute, the deranged and the diseased through over 3,000 nuns and thousands of volunteers, through a network of over 500 Missionaries of Charity homes across 132 disparate nations.
If Eagle’s could inspire us Mother Teresa’s Life and Mission should inspire us far greater.
You heard the great story of Saint Mother Teresa. Pass it on. But will you remember to keep her inspiration alive in your daily life. What better Tribute can you give this Saint?
Fr. Adolf Washington