Friday, August 27, 2010


KOLKATA (PTI) - As Mother Teresa’s birth centenary celebrations commenced here yesterday, Pope Benedict XVI sent a message to the Missionaries of Charity, joining “spiritually” in the celebrations and giving the order and the people they serve his blessings. In a letter to Superior-General of the Missionaries of Charity Sister Prema, Pope Benedict said: “This year will be for the Church and the world an occasion of joyful gratitude to God for the inestimable gift that Mother Teresa was in her lifetime.” Pope Benedict said Mother Teresa exemplified the words of Saint John: “Beloved, if God so loves us, we ought also to love one another. If we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.” Expressing the hope that this love would continue to inspire the Missionaries of Charity in their work, the Pope said: “I encourage you to draw constantly from the spirituality and example of Mother Teresa.” The letter was read out at a special mass held at Mother House, headquarters of the Missionaries of Charity, by Archbishop of Calcutta Rev. Sirkar.

“Today people from all nations, castes, creeds and walks of life celebrate God’s love and light, which radiated on our cold and darkened world through Mother Teresa,” Sister Prema said. As part of these celebrations, it was India Railway Minister inaugurated ‘Mother Express,’ an exhibition train with photographs depicting the life and philanthropic deeds of Mother Teresa, at the Sealdah Station. At the inauguration, Sister Prema spoke about the close association Mother Teresa had with the Railways. It was on a train she took from the same station to Darjeeling when Mother Teresa received what she herself described as “the call within a call” - the moment when she received a message from God to leave the convent were she was a nun and begin her work in the slums of Kolkata. When several other centres of the Missionaries of Charity came up in other cities, she would often travel to them, but always in third class and without reservation. “Mother liked to travel like the poor and among the poor,” Sister Prema said. A Mother Teresa International Film Festival 2010 was also inaugurated.

The birth centenary celebrations of Mother Teresa remind us of the enormous potential that resides in human beings, to serve humanity with unwavering faith and abiding love. She has been called “the nun who moved mountains” and she still continues to inspire us with her life and message of love.

Radhanath Swami arrived at the convent of Mother Teresa, a simple one story building, where a Catholic sister received Radhanath Swami with a modest smile, “Welcome to the Missionaries of Charity,” she said. “How may I serve you?” ... The sister then led Radhanath Swami into a small room, offered him a seat, and told him that Mother would come after washing the pots. ... Other visitors entered the room just then. One British woman asked Mother, “Why do you wash the pots? Is there not someone else who can do this?” Mother Teresa looked warmly on her interrogator. “Serving God and humanity is an honor, not a chore. Any type of service to God is a blessing. There is no high or low.” “But Mother,” the woman’s husband inquired, “where do you get your strength from?” Mother Teresa held up her rosary. ... “All my strength comes from the Lord’s Holy Names.” She turned to Radhanath Swami and spoke. “If you are humble, nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know who you are. God is our witness. Never be disheartened by any failure as long as you have done your best.” ... She then excused herself to scrub more pots.

Śrīla Radhanath Swami Mahārāja :
“Radhanath Swami Meets Mother Teresa”

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