A small, plain-looking nun arrived on the streets of Calcutta in 1948 with a few rupees in her pockets. She wrote in her diary that she had no income, no place in which to live, and resorted to begging for food and supplies. During her first year in Calcutta, she experienced doubt, loneliness, and the temptation to return to the comfort of her prior convent life. Yet, she fervently followed what she believed was a true calling from God: To live in the slums of Calcutta, devastated by disease, filth, and misery to bring comfort, compassion, and boundless love to the sick and dying. A short excerpt from her diary tells us about an unshakeable spirit, an unwavering faith, and an endless compassion and love for all.
Our Lord wants me to be a free nun covered with the poverty of the cross. Today, I learned a good lesson. The poverty of the poor must be so hard for them. While looking for a home I walked and walked till my arms and legs ached. I thought how much they must ache in body and soul, looking for a home, food, and health. But, of free choice, my God, and out of love for You, I desire to remain and do whatever be Your Holy Will in my regard.
Mother Teresa did not cry for herself, or complain, in those early months of her ministry. Within two years she founded The Missionaries of Charity, dragging the dying, sick, leprous people, and even small fetuses from the streets of Calcutta to her ‘safe harbor’ where they were loved into living, or loved on to death. Regardless of the outcome, most assuredly they were loved.
Mother Teresa said, the hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread. Yes, love is the greatest gift.
I took this image with a film camera many years ago in a church ruin on top of a mountain in Switzerland. Among the rubble in this forsaken church, I found this remnant of a painted, chipped shattered statue. I resurrected this image, for I believe it reflects Mother Teresa’s heart for unlimited compassion and limitless love.
1 Corinthians 4-7, 13 (New Living Translation)
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures every circumstance.
Three things will last forever — faith, hope, and love — and the greatest of these is love.
With blessings for each of you, in Jesus’s name I pray~
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