Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Bob the Builder Award: Mother Teresa and her "thirst"

It's not what you think.

Mother Teresa is not a Bob the Builder because of what she did for humanity.  As Ben Franklin said in his autobiography, there is much written about her works in other accounts. 

This is a blog about what you DON"T know about her. 

She didn't wake a saint every morning.  She had some help getting there.

She seems like she had a stubborn streak in her.  Didn't always take well to authority.  Hummmm...it is all sounding a bit familiar.  Maybe that is why I like her.  Maybe that is why she ushered in so much change.

Some little facts you didn't know about Mother Teresa until now:

Mother Teresa started out as a teacher.  "I am a teacher, and I love the work.  I am also the Head of the whole school and everybody wishes me well, " she wrote her mother.  Mom:  "Dear child, do not forget that you went to India for the sake of the poor."  Translation:  get over yourself and stick to your plan.

Rule breaker.  "One day there was no food to feed the teachers and the hundreds of girls at the school.  Mother Teresa broke the enclosure rules and walked out of the nunnery to find food.  The day she choose to do this happened to be the day of one of the worst riots in Calcutta history.  She was shocked and horrified by the gore an the violence, but persevered and found some rice.  She had to be escorted back to the convent by police."

She listened to the Still Small Voice.  One September 10th, 1946 MT heard a voice calling her to start a new order based on two words of scripture:  "I thirst."  John 19:28.  Her big boss, the Archbishop, didn't agree.  He wanted her order to be organized as lay people, not as nuns.  She disagreed.  Eventually she was forced to write a letter to Rome in the manner the Archbishop wanted her to.  Apparently the Still Small Voice agreed with her because her letter never arrived to Rome and she organized the way she originally intended.

Holy cow, she was strict.  For the sisters in her order--"Our rigorous poverty is our safeguard.  In order to understand and help those who have nothing, we must live like them" and she meant it.  They only used cold water to wash.  They cleaned their teeth with ashes from the kitchen stove.  They were allowed a small piece of soap to wash themselves and their saris."  They were not allowed to speak to each other all day.  They were only allowed to speak in English, even though most of the nuns were Indian.  Their saris, the plain white with blue trim, were the cheapest she could find in the local market bizarre.

My two favorite quotes:"God doesn't require us to succeed; he only requires that you try."

"At the end of life we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, how many great things we have done.  We will be judged by, "I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was naked and you clothed me.  I was homeless and you took me in."  Hungry not only for bread--but hungry for love.  Naked not only for clothing--but naked of human dignity and respect.  Homeless not only for want of a home of bricks--but homeless because of rejection." 

I heard a quote once:  Well-behaved women seldom make history.  Who knew Mother Teresa fit the mold?  :)  Here is a toast to misbehaving chicks...