Friday, May 30, 2014

Do We Treat the Poor as Our Dustbins to Give Whatever We Cannot Use or Eat?

In the book Mother Teresa: Contemplative at the Heart of the World, she writes,

Do we treat the poor as our dustbins to give whatever we cannot use or eat? I cannot eat this food so I will give it to the poor. I cannot use this thing or that piece of cloth so I will give it to the poor. Am I then sharing the poverty of the poor? Do I identify myself with the poor I serve? Am I one with them? Do I share with them as Jesus shared with me?

This is the wonderful part of our vocation, that as M.C.s (The Missionary of Charity Sisters, she founded) we have created an awareness of the poor in the whole world. Twenty years ago no one would believe that there were hungry, naked men and women around. Today the whole world knows our poor because of our work. Because they know they want to share.

The other day, a group of Hindu school children came from very far. They had won prizes in a contest at school and had asked the headmistress to give them money instead of the prizes. Then they said, ‘Now, take us to Mother Teresa. We want to give this money to her poor people.’ How wonderful it was that they did not use that money for themselves! Because we have created this awareness the whole world wants to share with the poor.

Whenever I accept money or an award, I always take it in the name of the poor, whom they recognize in me. What am I? I am nothing. It is the poor whom they recognize in me and that they want to give to, because they see what we do. Today people in the world want to see. Why is our congregation spread all over the world today? It is because people see what we do: feeding the hungry Christ, clothing the naked Christ, taking care of the sick, the dying, the leprosy patients (she was referring to Matthew 25:34-36). Because they see, they believe. How sad it will be if we are not sincere in what we do.

Our poor people suffer much, and unless we go with joy we cannot help them. We will make them more miserable.”

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