When Mother Teresa received her “call within a call” to minister to the poor in India, she was quite adamant that the Sisters who joined her be Indian or become as closely identified with being Indian as possible. “God wants Indian nuns”, she said repeatedly. She chose as a habit the ordinary dress of an Indian woman – a simple white sari with blue trim.
Mother Teresa knew that the only way the impoverished families of Calcutta would accept the Sisters was if they became poor themselves, walked in their shoes and lived their life. The Sisters would be welcome into their “holes”, (as Mother called the hovels they lived in), only if they understood their suffering. In one of her letters she wrote: "To be an Indian - to live with them - like them - so as to get at the people's heart...The Sisters are to cling to perfect poverty." And think about it - didn’t God do the same for us? Didn't He send His Son to be one of us, in perfect poverty, to show us that He understands our problems, our temptations, and our pain?
We cannot all work in the slums of Calcutta, but we can do our best to better understand those around us. There are always people in our lives who we misjudge because we do not take the time to try to empathize with them. “If you judge people, you have no time to love them”, Mother Teresa reminds us. In our western society, many live in a spiritual “slum” and need us to enter into their suffering to bring the love of Christ. Let’s follow Mother Teresa’s example and go wherever God leads us…
Bl. Mother Teresa, pray for us!