Mother Teresa – A National Highway
Recently when I was going through a News Letter of Goa Diocese, I read some news on Mother Teresa’s Canonization and her great works. Suddenly a bit of news that I had gone through made me think about Mother Teresa and her work and dedication to our Mother India. The news is as follows:
A new highway in Bhubaneswar is named after Mother Teresa, coinciding with her canonization ceremony at the Vatican. This is to show the love and homage to her from the part of Odisha government for the great work and service she rendered to India and in a special way to Mother India. (Renewal Novsornni Renovacao, Pastoral Bulletin of the Archdiocese of Goa and Daman – Vol. LIV No.18, Sep 16-30, 2016.) This news made me think of Mother Teresa as a great angel who not only connected all of us Indians but also reminded each one of us the meaning of India and Indians. When I am just looking for a phrase or an expression to give a title to her where there are no differences, where unity in diversity is seen in, India is where I felt a Highway where anyone can travel. I think Mother Teresa fits exactly as the Highway leading all of us and connecting all of us in the journey of our life
A National Highway:
A National Highway is the largest road that connects many places and allows all kinds of vehicles to travel. These are the roads, which control the traffic in the cities. These roads connect many national and state capitals, major ports and rail junctions and link up with border roads and foreign highways. National Highways not only serve as the transportation but also become the economic backbone of the country.
Mother Teresa – A National Highway, I say because She and Her work exactly fits the description of architectural connectivity of National Highways. As a special and linking point, the National Highway is the only place where Indians do not lay the stamp of caste, religion, race and even special reservations. All are become equals and anyone is welcome to travel on this road. Such was the indiscriminate heart of this great woman of Kolkata, She was a saint who lived and showed us how to love. She brought meaning to life and enhanced the dignity to every form of life, specially the handicapped, the crippled, the deformed, the destitute, the orphaned. She was a mother open to all with her kind and loving heart connecting all of us in God’s Love. She won everyone allowing to travel on her road of love and treated all as mother and never created a traffic jam on her road of love. Yes, dear friends she with her motherly kindness and gentle approach won the hearts and admiration from every one of us and thereby connecting all of us in the network of her love. Let us see some of her life incidents that support my phrase, Mother Teresa – A National Highway.
Her Life as a Missionary: Her life as a missionary broadened and stretching her roads of life with humanism. She pitched her place as a missionary in India by welcoming every one into her loving home.
Her Life in the Loreto Convent: Though she was a little strict, yet, the gentle firmness won the hearts of the young girls and sisters in the convent with her little acts of love and kindness. Her tender heart towards the slums around the convent makes us understand as the first pillar or foundation for highway of humanism.
Her Life in the Calcutta Slums: Though she was initially not allowed to carry out her calling in the slums of India, nor accepted by them, she opened her little ways and shortcuts to make them enter her broad highway by being with them and loving them and serving them. She became a great Network of Love extending her kindness and little acts of mercy to everyone far and wide. She won their hearts and made them ply their little vehicles on the highway with her service and love. E.g.: An Old woman, thanking her for the great work and love she has shown towards her before she died.
Her Life with her own Sisters: She taught her sisters to be Missionaries of Christ. She trained them to be ever available to go to the place they would never dare to go. Not only her sisters, she was always present where there were crises and famine. E.g.: Even though she was not feeling well, she was present in the drought areas of Africa when they were in need. Her watch word in her work was: “They are in need of Jesus.”
One of the important and admirable traits that this woman was that she contributed not only to the Indian dynamism but also to the world’s greatness and nobility through the Inter Religious Dialogue and respect for all faiths. The constitution of the Missionaries of Charity expresses profound respect for all religions. It recommends never to impose Catholic Faith on others even as the sisters reach out to people of all faiths. This is how her large and broad highway paved way for everyone to love and serve. By means of her kindness, she not only won the hearts of the people but also revived the faith in many nations.
Yes dear friends, let us also travel on this highway where encounter, dialogue and love has its first place to become a truly human being. Let us also turn our small narrow roads of petty mindedness often spewing traffic jams of hatred, anger and indifference into a highway where it opens and connects with a great network of Love. Let us pray to our dear Saint Mother Teresa, that we may imbibe her spirit of love, charity and peace to make this world a better world and we better beings.
This is my humble tribute to Mother Teresa! Long live Mother Teresa in the heart of the people, not only who received direct services from her, to know her, but to me as well who had been much inspired by her singular motive of love her God in the person who were despised and disowned in this world. She lived to make known that God who took the human form to enhance the dignity of humankind, to share the divinity with the humanity.
Cl. Palla Velangani Joseph