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Mother Teresa is “a lady with a huge, clear heart, dawned upon by love of the God and bearing it in the darkest and the dirtiest corners”. So many children, doomed to the most terrible beggarly existence, found bread, a shelter, and the most important — love thanks to her. So many beggars, homeless, sick, and decaying in ditches accepted a bowl with rice from her hands; they were washed, and the most important thing — they felt love and found the God. The hearts of so many derelicts of the society: leprous people, sick with AIDS, drug addicts, and alcoholics — shined with her love, learned a complete transformation. So many people who yearned for love received it before the death and became happy, so much happy as they, probably, were not all their life.

This paper focuses on Mother Theresa, who in the XX century became not simply a mercy symbol, but together with her nuns, she showed a real force with which even the authorities should reckon. She was admired, she was worshipped, and she was idolized.

She kissed everyone dying in his/her forehead not paying attention to all the ideas of normal human fastidiousness. This woman radiated with light, she bore the light of the God, and she shone with it. She could make a dinner for six thousand people; she could not sleep for a lot of days; she always smiled; she came into the embassy of Iran and left a note on the table with a request to call her urgently to discuss a problem of hostages; she forgot a medal of the Nobel prize winner of the world somewhere in clothes of the royal palace.

Doors, and huts, and palaces opened to Mother Teresa. She made friends with the mighty people of the earth — popes, presidents, kings1. But despite all this, being a person of a huge popularity, she continued doing the most ordinary work in her Order. And she did it with great love. She spoke to kings and beggars, made speeches in the crowded halls. And she never wrote speeches. She only needed to pray to know what to tell.

Being the honorable doctor of theology in the Oxford University, she decorated her life with Virgin Mary's figurines. She was treated for fatigue and for diseases with a prayer and fasting. She could be called at any time at night and the conversation was received.

Where does she take ideas and forces? Who helps her? Who advises her? Who supports her? “Jesus Christ”, Mother Teresa answered steadily. The journalists who asked her so many questions were disappointed. However, Mother Teresa told the truth. She always felt the presence of the Christ in her life. And she had been building the relations with Him for long time.

As Mother Teresa retold, on September 10th, 1946:

I was going on a train to take part in spiritual exercises and was praying peacefully, when suddenly I felt clearly the other God’s calling to what I should follow. This message was absolutely exact. I should go away from the monastery and devote myself completely to help the poor people and live among them. This statement was like a command. I knew the purpose of my way, but I did know neither the way nor means of following it.

And shortly before the revelation, there was one episode in Mother Teresa’s life, an awful and usual occasion for Calcutta. Mother Teresa saw how the woman, covered with a scab, alive decaying, immobilized, was brought on a wheelbarrow to the city hospital by her son and left at an entrance. Mother Teresa tried to attach her in this hospital but the woman was not taken there. Mother Teresa tried to help the dying, but not everything was in human forces:

I could not be near her, touch her, bear her smell. I escaped. And I began to pray: “Sacred Maria! Give me the heart full of purity, love and humility that I could accept the Christ, touch the Christ and love the Christ in this destroyed body”. I returned to the sick woman, I touched her, I washed her up, and I helped her. She died with a smile. It was the sign for me that Christ's love and love to the Christ is stronger than my weakness.

Years later a journalist, observing daily Mother Teresa and nuns’ “fuss” with dying people, said: “I would not do it for one million dollars!” Mother Teresa answered: “For one million I would not do that. Only for free. For the love of the Christ” (Egan, 1985). From this point, Mother Teresa’s way to her mission, which was appointed by the destiny in her life, began.

For days she walked along the streets, trying to ask handouts from time to time. She founded a “school” in the heaps with garbage. She tried to teach the children, who were necessary to nobody, to wash hands and to write on the ground. (Then she, certainly, “did not realize that thereby she started the system of the children's shelters of the Mercy Order Shishu Bhavan for unnecessary and unwanted children” — infants from the garbage boxes, little disabled people, orphans).

She pulled down dying homeless people somewhere under the roof and did her best to facilitate their sufferings. She did not realize that time would pass and the gossip about the blissful nun would reach the authorities, who were not able to forbid millions of the homeless to die anywhere, and they were censured by newspapers for it. Then she will be found and she will be offered: to be developed in a huge dark room adjoining the temple of the goddess of Cali, where the sacrificial cattle were contained and where was enough place to die. So in Calcutta, there was a house for dying, called by the locals “the House of Clear Heart”. This shelter will never be empty any more.

Only in 1949, the first Mother Teresa’s disciple, one of her former schoolgirls, appeared. She became the first nun of a not existing Order. In the same 1949, eleven more followers joined Mother Teresa, generally her former schoolgirls. And in 1950, “after long doubts, Rome gives a permission on the foundation of the mercy missionary Order”.

Nuns of the Mercy Order, who apart from ordinary monastic vows (poverty, celibacies, and obedience) give a vow of helping the poorest of the poor, exist as their wards: they have neither refrigerators nor washing machines; they are more than unpretentious in food; they wash with a simple soap, use only public transport. “Their property is sandals, a sari, an umbrella, a lean mattress. But from the poorest of the poor nuns are distinguished only by a small crucifixion on the left shoulder” (Warren, 1995).

In 1953, “flooding heavens with prayers”, nuns achieved the possibility to buy the first house. This spacious house became the General Headquarters of the Order. In the same street, the nuns opened a shelter for orphans: it was for the children of the locals who died in a hospice. “I agree to accept any child at any time, whether it is at night or in the afternoon. Only tell me and I will come for him” — Mother Teresa writes.

In 1965, there were three hundred nuns in the Order who had arrived from every corner of the world, and there were also some houses. In Rome, the Pope Pavel VI, according to the recommendation of the bishops of Asia, declared the Order to be “worthy praising” and approved it as a full initial reality in all the instances. The immediate invitation of the bishop Barquisimeto from Venezuela to open a shelter there noted the beginning of an improbable missionary success.

From 1965 to 1971 worldwide — by the invitation of local bishops — new houses were opened in Africa, in Australia, and in Europe. The members of the Order show love which surpasses international and interreligious barriers. The God’s love to people has no borders: “The highest love cannot be measured, it only gives, not takes”.

The God chose Mother Teresa to bring love to people not because she was very strong, clever or special. She simply did not imagine her life without it:

I think there is nobody who would need help and the God's good fortune in such degree as I do. I can feel so weak and unarmed. But I think that is why the God uses me. As I cannot rely on own forces, I resort to Him 24 hours a day. And if there were more hours in days, I would address to His support and a good fortune all these hours. All of us should keep the God through a prayer.

Mother Teresa’s all life is a prayer, “a prayer as a unification with the God, the unification which brings a result, a result is everything we do, what we make by our hands: food, clothes, money, everything”.

A great number of people offered donations for the needy. Mother Teresa did not accept everything; she did not want to take what was given because of the surplus. She wanted the giving person to learn the pleasure of gift and to feel that he/she needs something, too. It was important for her that people would learn to look each other in the face, learn to smile, learn to accept and forgive each other.

Mother Teresa received some international awards: Kind Samaryanin's award in the USA, the Templeton Award in England, and John's XXIII Award for work for the world benefit in Italy. In 1979, Mother Teresa was awarded with the Nobel Prize. In her speech, on December 10th, she said that she accepted this award only for the sake of the poor whom she devoted her life.

She arrived at New York in1985, in the heat of the hysteria connected with an epidemic of AIDS. She visited the prison where three infected criminals died. She was terrified. Then she visited the mayor of New York. By Christmas, in Greenidge-village, the first shelter for patients with AIDS had been opened. And Mother Teresa told the Americans in a television interview that AIDS was the God’s caution, the God’s sign. It was a sign that it was necessary, eventually, to open hearts and to love each other.

In 1988, the Missionaries of Mercy opened a big shelter for the homeless in Rome; it was called “Maria's Gift” — in honor of the year devoted to Maria. “I think that it is easy to feed the hungry or to provide a bed for the homeless, but for consoling, effacing bitterness, anger and loneliness which root in a spiritual alienation, an infinite patience is required”.

On September 5th, in 1997, Mother Teresa died. The whole world mourned over the woman whom the international press called “a modern sacred”. Shortly before her death, one journalist asked her a question: “Are you afraid of death?” Mother Teresa answered: “No, I am not afraid at all. To die means to come back home. Are you afraid to come back home to your relatives? I expect the death with impatience, then I will meet Jesus and all people whom I tried to present with love during my mortal life. It will be a wonderful meeting, will not it?” When Mother Teresa was speaking it, her face was shining with pleasure and rest.

Tens of thousands of people died having learned a fine death. They, who had yearned for love during their lifetime, received it before death.

It is possible to read her prayers and her books infinitely because they are incredibly deep; each word is gained and lived. Her affairs and her experience touch the heart, respond in it, and give hopes and strength. It would be desirable to open eyes and to see how many those who need love, and sometimes they are absolutely nearby. It would be desirable to give a smile from the heart, to show tenderness and softness, which the world looked for and needed, to share other's sufferings, to learn to accept everything with pleasure, to learn to hear other people and the God, to learn to serve, to be devoted, and, the most important, to treat for this terrible illness — from shortage of love.

Mother Teresa is an example of the person whose all life was a prayer: a prayer in thoughts, in actions; a prayer in each word, each look, and even in each gesture.

Mother Teresa’s mission was to bring love and care to the poorest, the most neglected, whom there is nobody to take care of: to the dying orphans and the leprous people. Her mission was to treat souls and bodies of all those who came to her. And the very first medicine the people need is love. “Love is the very principle which directs the Universe. Look what love can make!”. Carrying out this love, Mother Teresa made a great number of miracles.

Code: Sample20

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