MOTHER TERESA AND THE STRESS OF CALCUTTA

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THERE IS NO WAY AN ORDINARY PERSON CAN MAKE AN EXTRAORDINARY CHANGE IN THIS WORLD, THE STRESS IS TOO MUCH RIGHT? WELL MARTIN LUTHER KING JR PROVED WHOEVER MADE THAT STATEMENT WRONG.

HOWEVER, THAT IS FOR THE PREVIOUS ARTICLE. TODAY, WE ARE LOOKING AT THE LIFE OF ANOTHER GREAT PERSON WHO SACRIFICED HER LIFE, AND EXPERIENCE STRESS, IN A DIFFERENT KIND OF WAY. SHE DEMONSTRATED THE LOVE OF GOD IN SUCH AN UNPRECEDENTED MANNER THAT THE WHOLE WORLD HAD TO PAY ATTENTION TO HER.  MOTHER TERESA IS A MOTHER TO THE BEGGARS, THE SICK, THE DYING, AND THE POOR, OF INDIA.  IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, SHE HAS BECOME THE MOTHER OF CHARITY. AND IN THE SECULAR WORLD, THE EPITOME OF SELFLESS SERVICE TO MANKIND.

JUST IN CASE YOU ARE UNFAMILIAR WITH HER ORIGINS, HERES A SUMMARY OF HER HISTORY.

MOTHER TERESA BRIEF HISTORY

BORN TO NIKOLA AND DRANAFILE BOJAXHIU, ON THE 26TH OF AUGUST 1910, AGNES WAS THE LAST OF THREE CHILDREN. HER YOUNG DAYS WERE NOT MUCH RECORDED, BUT SHE LOST HER FATHER AT AGE OF 8 YEARS. AND HER MOTHER, A RELIGIOUS WOMAN HAD TO OPEN UP AN EMBROIDERY AND CLOTHES BUSINESS TO SUPPORT THE FAMILY.

AGNES GREW UP KNOWING THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION AND PRAYED ON A DAILY BASIS. FROM A YOUNG AGE, SHE HELPED HER MOTHER CARE FOR THE ELDERLY, AND QUICKLY LEARNED THE VALUES OF LIFE. SHE UNDERSTOOD THAT IT WAS FAR MORE IMPORTANT TO HELP PEOPLE WITH THE SHE HAD, THAN TO STOCK UP MONEY FOR HER LUXURY.

BY THE AGE OF 12 SHE WAS CONVINCED THAT SHE WOULD DEVOTE SHE LIFE TO GOD AND SPREADING THE GOSPEL. IN PREPARATION OF HER MISSIONARY WORK IN INDIA, SHE JOINED THE SISTERS OF LORETO AT LORETO ABBEY, IRELAND, AT AGE OF 18, TO LEARN ENGLISH. A YEAR LATER, IN 1929, SHE ARRIVED IN INDIA TO TEACH AT ST TERESAS SCHOOL NEAR HER CONVENT.

ON MAY 24, 1931, SHE TOOK HER FIRST RELIGIOUS VOWS, AND DECIDED TO BE RENAMED AFTER ST THERESA OF LISIEUX, THE PATRON SAINT OF MISSIONARIES. BECAUSE, HOWEVER, ANOTHER NUN IN THE CONVENT HAD ALREADY CHOSEN THE NAME, SHE TOOK UP ITS SPANISH SPELLING (TERESA). HENCE SISTER TERESA WAS BORN.

THE CALL TO THE SLUMS OF CALCUTTA

AFTER NEARLY TWO DECADES OF SERVICE IN HER SCHOOL AND CONVENT, SISTER TERESA HAD AN EXPERIENCE THAT WAS TO CHANGE HER MINISTRY FOREVER. IT WAS ON TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 1946, ON A TRAIN RIDE BACK FROM HER ANNUAL RETREAT IN CALCUTTA. AN INSTRUCTION FROM THE LORD CAME TO HER;

I WAS TO LEAVE THE CONVENT AND HELP THE POOR WHILE LIVING AMONG THEM. IT WAS AN ORDER. TO FAIL WOULD HAVE BEEN TO BREAK THE FAITH.”

THOSE WERE THE VERY WORDS OF MOTHER THERESA HERSELF.

THE STRESS SHE FACED IN CALCUTTA

MOTHER TERESA WAS ONE OF THE WORLD CHANGERS WHOSE STRESS (OR SOME ASPECT OF IT) WAS VISIBLE FROM THE NATURE OF HER WORK. HER WORK WAS ONE THAT REQUIRED A TRUE HEART OF LOVE; SHE CARED FOR THE UNLOVED, THE CRIPPLE, THE LEPERS, THE BLIND, THE HOMELESS, THE HUNGRY, ALL THOSE WHO WERE UNWANTED, AND HAD BECOME BURDENS ON THE SOCIETY.

PHYSICAL STRESS

AFTER A LONG WAIT FOR THE PERMISSION, FROM ROME, TO LEAVE THE CONVENT, MOTHER TERESA LEFT WITH VERY LITTLE MONEY ON HER. SHE HAD NO PLACE TO LIVE AND NOWHERE TO PUT THE DYING PEOPLE SHE WANTED TO TREAT. BUT THAT DIDNT STOP HER; SHE LEFT SIMPLY TRUSTING GOD. SHE SOON FACED HARDSHIPS, HOWEVER, AND HAD TO BEG FOR FOOD AND SUPPLIES NEEDED TO SET UP THE HOME FOR THE DYING.

DUE TO LACK OF MONEY, SHE WAS FORCE LIVE IN SERIOUS POVERTY, EATING LITTLE A DAY AND WAKING MOST OF THE TIME. HER BODY EXPERIENCED SEVERE STRESS IN THE SLUMS OF CALCUTTA. IN THE FIRST FEW MONTHS, SHE WAS WITHOUT ANY HELP AND WAS FORCED TO BEG FOR FOOD.

EMOTIONAL STRESS

BEING ALONE WITH SO CHALLENGES BROUGHT ALONG SOME EMOTIONAL STRESS, AS WELL. THE PEOPLE WERE, AT FIRST, UNWILLING TO HELP HER THINKING THAT SHE WANTED TO CONVERT THEM TO CHRISTIANITY. SOME THREW STONES AT HER AND ASKED HER TO LEAVE. SHE FELT DISCOURAGED AND, AT TIMES, HOMESICK. THERE WERE COLD NIGHTS WHEN THE WARMTH OF THE CONVENT, OTHER MEMORIES, WOULD DRIFT INTO HER MIND.

SHE WORRIED A LOT ABOUT THE SICK, AND DYING, IN HER HOME. WORRIED BECAUSE OF THE LACK OF SUPPLIES. SEVERAL TIMES SHE HAD TO BEG TO BE ABLE TO FEED, AND TREAT THEM.

SHE WAS ALSO DISAPPOINTED BECAUSE MOST PARENTS OF HER FORMER STUDENTS DID NOT WANT THEM TO JOIN HER IN TAKING CARE OF THE DYING IN HER HOME.

HOWEVER, AFTER A YEAR OF EMOTIONAL STRESS, SOME CAME WILLINGLY TO HELPED HER TAKE CARE OF THE POOR.

MENTAL STRESS

MOTHER TERESAS LOVE FOR GOD AND MANKIND WAS SERIOUSLY TESTED DURING THE FIRST FEW MONTHS ON THE STREETS OF CALCUTTA. SHE FINALLY RAISE A 13 MEMBER TEAM TO TREAT AND CARE FOR THE POOR AND DYING, OF THE STREETS OF CALCUTTA.

HER HOME EXPERIENCED SEVERE FINANCIAL CHALLENGES, BUT HER PERSEVERANCE CAUSED HER TO BEG, SEVERAL TIMES, TO GET THE SUPPLIES NEEDED.

MY THOUGHTS ON HER STRESS

EXPERIENCING SO MUCH DIFFICULTIES, MANY PEOPLE WOULD HAVE GIVEN UP. BUT THERE WAS A GENUINE LOVE FOR GOD, AND FOR THE POOR DYING SOULS, THAT PROPELLED HER FORWARD.

I HAVE NEVER SEEN SUCH A SELFLESS ACT OF LOVE DISPLAYED ANYWHERE ELSE. MOTHER TERESA SHOWED US HOW TO LOVE BEYOND OURSELVES. HER SACRIFICES AND DEMONSTRATION OF LOVE HAS DISPROVED THE ASSUMPTION THAT WE CAN ONLY LOVE THOSE WHO LOVED US FIRST.

ALL THE STRESS THAT SHE WENT THROUGH HAS GONE A LONG WAY TO OPEN THE EYES OF THE WORLD TO FORSAKEN MILLIONS LYING, AND DYING, ON THE STREETS. SHE WAS A WORLD CHANGER, WHO DID IT ONE SOUL AT A TIME. IT’S NO WONDER SHE IS THE MOST WIDELY ADMIRED PERSON OF THE 20TH CENTURY.

#HJTruth #HarmoniousJoy #HJCommunity #HJTruthers


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