Amplifying the power of compassion

Amplifying the power of compassion
Pope Francis to declare Mother Teresa a Saint, on September 4, 2016: to be more Ablaze in the Glory of God.

Anthoni Jeorge Kunnel

image-bmadreteresadicalcuttathumb3-942D_53E40F21I thank God almighty and share with everyone all over the world the Cherished Memories and lasting impression of my interaction with Mother Teresa of Kolkata. I am a witness to the angel of compassion. When you walk with her, you walk differently because you know that MOTHER walked with the very deposit of God inside her soul, the very source of compassion. By words and in deeds Mother was a treasure of Compassion who has left behind us a milestone legacy. My long-standing yearning to see Mother finally arrived in the year 1994. I was blessed to work with Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta for six months from June to November in the same year. Looking back, I vividly recall those ineffaceable moments on July 4, 1994 when, together with my companions, we climbed up the stairs to greet Mother at her residence.

Face-to-face with Mother, I was dumb stuck by her radiant, glowing smile and gentle greeting. I leaned forward and kissed her palm. I never imagined how deeply and completely that event would shape the rest of my life afterwards. The saint I kissed is my lifelong inspiration. Very gently, mother picked up some prayer cards from the window of her room and sat on the wooden bench on the veranda. She signed one of it and gifted that prayer card saying, “thank you for coming.” The prayer card reads:  ‘Mary, Mother of Jesus, give me your heart, so beautiful, so pure, so Immaculate, so full of love and humility that I may be able to receive Jesus in the Bread of Life, love Him as you loved Him and serve Him in the distressing disguise of the poorest of the poor’. Amen. I hold on to this “treasure beyond measure.”

In the days spent in different houses of Missionaries of Charity for six months caring for the sick and dying, I could see Mother’s extraordinary nature of expressing compassion had gripped the hearts of all. She rendered lifelong service to the poorest of the poor. Mother Teresa became an icon of compassion to people of all religions. One fine morning I accompanied a Missionaries of Charity brother to give out some medicine to a family under a bridge. As we walked along, brother noticed a very sick man almost taking his last breaths. Truly, I had no courage to stay long there. However, to my surprise he told me to stay with that man until he returns with a vehicle to take the man to the home for the dying destitute at Kalhighat. I stood there helpless trying to avoid looking at the man. Shortly, thereafter, he returned in a car, we took the man in and placed him on our lap. This was my first ever such experience, just as the car stopped in front of the home for dying destitute he took his last breath on my lap. Thousands are the destitute women, men and children who have experienced a final fulfilment in the love of the extraordinary services by Mother and her associates. Mother was prepared to care for the sick, the dying, and thousands of others nobody would care for.

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