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1. Mother Teresa was not Indian. She was an ethnic Albanian. Her willingness to serve the poor only stands out more when you consider that she left her own native land in Europe to travel halfway across the world. That’s love. Real, incarnational love.
2. Although a minority religion in Calcutta, Christianity was not new to India. The subcontinent is one of the oldest cultures in world history, having developed its civilization centuries before others. It was also one of the first cultures in the world to hear the gospel. The Christian community in the Indian state of Kerala traces its roots back to the Apostle Thomas, who evangelized their ancestors not long after the death of Christ.
3. She was criticized for building a “cult of suffering,” but in reality was simply reflecting a fundamental Christian theology of redemptive suffering. Through our suffering, united to Christ, we are able to die to self, to focus more directly on Christ, to uproot from our lives those things that separate us from God. We are purified by suffering, and it becomes our joy because it brings us to our Creator.
4. Remember when she won that Nobel Prize? What do you suppose she did with it? She signed the check and told her sisters to buy all the rice they could and distribute it to the poor. Then she stuck the medal in a drawer. In a cellar. She never looked at it again. The Noble Prize was just an instrument of mercy to her.
5. Mother Teresa served the poor of every religion, with a special love of the Hindus who were a part of the untouchable caste, so ostracized by their peers that they could not be shown even the slightest love of human contact by higher castes. We also are called to love others to extremes.
6. BONUS! Mother Teresa is now – as of September 6, 2017 – patroness of the Diocese of Calcutta. To celebrate, here’s a FREE COLORING PAGE!