Reading Mother Teresa’s Work…

by Vince

…definitely changes me. I checked out her little compilation book In the heart of the world. It truly is elegant in its brevity. Each of the chapters are no more than four pages and breath life into my life. Her stories of first hand experiences are remarkable. Another book that I am reading that is serving extremely well as a complimentary book is A tremor of bliss. Both books put me into a different world, one that hears the remarkable stories of our saints and live for a moment in one of their extraordinary lives.

Back to reading Mother Teresa’s work, the last chapter I read of hers was on the distressing disguise of suffering. She told the story of one of her sisters who was working at the home of the dying destitute in Calcutta. Her job was to take in those hurting and care for them. One final caveat from Teresa to her sister was to care for them with “Jesus being there in distressing disguise” in mind.

Later on, this sister emphatically reported back that she had been “touching the body of Christ for three hours(!)” and had been caring for a man who had fallen into a drain and had been covered with dirt and maggots.

This all connects to my life far, far away from Calcutta. I was sitting in the quiet reading section of the Martin Library today, passing my time after an appointment and before I started my shift volunteering at the library. A man sat down next to me and asked what time it was. I marveled at this question because in this beautifully wooden paneled room there were no clocks on the walls. I told him the time (4:04pm) and went on unloading my thoughts to him on there being no clocks in the room. He cut me off by saying that he had to be down to the mission to get dinner at 5pm. Him telling me this completely changed my train of thought from one of quasi-philosophy to the simplicity of eating a meal.

A conversation was then struck up with ‘Banks’ and I truly enjoyed listening to him. I then asked if I could drive him to the mission. He said yes and invited me to join him (I couldn’t; I start volunteering at 5pm and dinner is served at the same time). I drove him over and got to hear more of how he came to York (he too is from Philly). I was amazed by how far of a walk he would have trekked (in Timberland boots, mind you) just for a hot meal. I dropped him off, told him to stop by the library on any given Monday and hoped to see him again. He told me which church he attends and I hope to stop in sometime.

I have Mother Teresa to thank for changing my heart with just a few pages each day. Her stories inspire me to live with others and have stories to cherish.

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