The mother of all orphans and the needy has been canonized and the “official” acknowledgment of her virtuousness is being celebrated worldwide.
Mother Teresa, a Catholic Albanian-born nun who opened her eyes in the Ottoman Empire, has been an emblem of unconditional service to humanity for more than half a century. Not only the devoted philanthropists idealize her fidelity to aid surpassing all distinctions of skin color, languages and ethnicity but also she is esteemed by mystics of all religions as a spiritually enlightened person of divine grace. This woman of infinite dignity lived in Macedonia and then in Ireland and India and established the “Missionaries of Charity” whose “Religious Sisters” till date help the disabled, rehabilitate drug addicts, treat those with fatal illnesses, provide food to refugees and guide former prostitutes towards a fresh beginning.
Ever since she was young, Mother Teresa had her soul acquainted with the true purpose of her existence. “Do ordinary things with extraordinary love”, she taught mankind and her abundant warmth towards fellow men and women was recognized through 1962 Ramon Magsaysay Peace Prize and 1979 Nobel Peace Prize. She stands tall among those who take on their shoulders the duty of holding God and His creations as their eternal beloveds.
Before she gained international popularity, Mother Teresa reported her extra-ordinary spiritual experiences to her loved ones. Thousands yet follow her methods of meditation that enabled her to stay calm and composed and gave her the strength to live a selfless life. As she exhorted her followers to live a charitable life, she emphasized on the gigantic impact that an individual’s actions can make. She said, “We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop”
There are those who accuse her of preaching poverty as the way of life along with promoting and celebrating misery but that indeed is a misinterpretation of her message. She is criticized for supporting Indira Gandhi in India due to her personal terms with the Prime Minister and for accepting Legion of Honor from the corrupt dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier in Haiti. It should be understood that her teachings do not advise man to deliberately choose indigence but encourage him to stay firm in times of hardships and neither were her motives political at all. Her interactions with both common and powerful men were innocent and non-judgmental and had no agenda besides making life easier for the deprived.
After 19 years of her death, when Pope Francis has declared her “Saint of Calcutta” in front of a huge crowd of those benefiting from her efforts, it is to be remembered that she is not a symbol of Christianity or Calcutta alone. Her religion was love and peace and she holds a universal holy position. “I see somebody dying, I pick him up. I find somebody hungry, I give him food. He can love and be loved. I don’t look at his color, I don’t look at his religion. I don’t look at anything. Every person whether he is Hindu, Muslim or Buddhist, he is my brother, my sister”, she said in an interview. In contrary to what some people believe, evangelizing India was never her aim.
Being capable of performing miracles, Mother Teresa came up to the set “merit” for the title of a Saint and she has been labelled one now but her greatness naturally places her among those who are born to teach and rescue. It would be justified to say that she was more “spiritual” than “religious” and a “born Saint” enrolled and honored among heavenly register of the pious.