In the Abode of Simplicity

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It was a wet morning in Kolkata when Raaji and I reached there, on our trail of reaching the beloved ones of the Almighty God. The compassion and care of Mother Teresa had captured my heart long, long ago. I always feel sad when I remember Mother Teresa because I did not see her when she was alive even though I could have. However I take consolation of the fact that 25 years ago, I did not have the spiritual gifts of today and my priorities were different. A couple of years after her demise, I visited the Mother’s House where she is entombed.    

That was two decades ago. There has not been much changes since then – the filthy streets, rickshaws carrying human beings being pulled by human beings, the flurry of aging Ambassador cars which are almost extinct in other states and the rusted old shabby trams which are overcrowded as before still remain a landmark of Kolkata. It was drizzling and a Sister from Mother’s House was there at the start of the narrow lane leading the visitors to the Mother’s House where Mother Teresa lived and was later entombed when she left for her heavenly abode. Another Sister at the reception showed us the way to the chapel where Mother was entombed.

God gave me the opportunity to visit the final resting places where some of His beloved ones were entombed ever since I set out on the trail of His beloved ones who had done mighty things for Him while they were on earth. The faithful had built beautiful, magnificent tombs in their love and adoration for these saints. Of these, the tomb of Mother stands out as the simplest tomb of a saint I have ever seen – just an elevated box-like structure which is around 7ft long, 4ft wide and 4 ft high covered with simple Mosaic (which is fading) with a small epitaph on top. Though it is situated in the Chapel of the Mother’s house adjacent to the noisy main road, an aura of peace, calmness and silence prevails the place. There was a continuous flow of people praying at the tomb, some touching it, some embracing it and some others prostrating before it with tears.

These were sign posts of the solace, comfort and compassion of her Master showered by her prayers on the helpless and hapless even after her time here on earth. I had penned and tuned a hymn while I was meditating before her tomb 25 years ago. My love for her had increased tremendously in the last two and half decades as I experienced her love more and more, though I was far, far away from her simplicity and compassion. 

The visit to the museum next door and the bedroom she used for decades were all beacons of her piety, humility and simplicity to her Lord and Savior Jesus. I am not a Catholic but I seek her prayers and experience the power of her intercessions. She offered herself as an embodiment of sacrifice and service showing her Master’s love to the destitute, desolate and dying not by fiery words but by works of care, compassion and consolation. I do not know of anyone else canonized in history other than Anjeze Gonxhe Bojaxhiu from Albania, who became Mother Teresa of Kolkata, who was bestowed the greatest honors of this world including the Nobel Prize, The Ramon Magsaysay award and the Bharat Ratna while alive.

As time rolls on more and more are fascinated by her simple, humble and holy life on earth, and her prayers lead millions of helpless, hopeless and broken hearted every day to experience the peace, hope and the joy of her Savior and master Jesus Christ.

Praise the Lord!