One of the most loved people in the world, Mother Teresa devoted her entire life in a selfless deed of humanitarian acts. Being canonized as a saint by the late Pope John Paul II, her existence is forever cherished by those who came to love her and experienced the charitable works she did extending her self to the outcast and poorest sector of society. One of the most comprehensive and intimate autobiography written about Mother Teresa, is T. T. Mundakel’s Blessed Mother Teresa: Her Journey to your Heart which has been published in October 19, 2003 which happened to her beatification as well.
This autobiography pertains to the most personal account of Mother Teresa’s life where the author maintained a close relationship with the saint herself. The one-on-one dialogue presented personal narratives coming Mother Teresa’s own words. Mundakel penned her struggles in life, her boundless faith in God, and her works as a nun reaching out to the poor in her country India, as well as her life before her sainthood and how this shaped her to the person that she is, loved and cherished even after death.
This essay will delve into Mundakel’s work and how Mother Teresa’s life has created such impact to the world. She is clearly considered as a global leader who greatly reached out to her ‘constituents’ serving as manifestation of God’s kindness and selflessness. Born from a wealthy family situated in Albania, Mother Teresa does not have a close encounter with poverty just yet. Showing an interest to the stories of missionaries and their lives, this already manifested Mother Teresa’s innate selfless character.
In the midst of wealth where her world has been limited to that kind of environment, the lives of the missionaries may have trigged her interest for an adventure accompanied by faith. The fact that missionaries are able to go from one or another to be able to serve ignited Mother Teresa’s interest the different world which missionaries’ visit and must have wanted to feel the kind of spiritual passion in which motivated the missionaries to do great works. Her desires to be a missionary pushed her to the goal of pursuing that dream by becoming a nun.
By the time she arrived India, she has attained one of the things she may have wanted to experience like the rest of the missionaries she have heard of – a different world to where she can devote her service. When she was exposed to poverty, a whole different world has been brought in front of her. She cannot contain that such suffering and pain were being inflicted in this part of the world that Mother Teresa decided to give her full time to charity works. From the experiences that she had when she was submerged into poverty, Mother Teresa was to accomplish one of the most dedicated congregations aimed for the welfare of the poor.
She started the Missionaries of Charity which is patterned on Franciscan aim of serving those in need, especially the outcast and most distraught sector of the society (Baldoni, 2003, p. 136). She also built a home for the orphans and homeless children called Nirmala Shishu Bhavan, for she was able to experience how it was to not have a home when she was just starting out as a missionary. Her missionary work did not aim in just helping the poor but to live and suffer with them.
Ever since as a kid, Mother Teresa had already had a clear path that she wanted to take – a life committed in faith and to reach out to others. When she had witnessed the extreme poverty happening in Calcutta, it became an eye-opener for her and that further strengthened her vow and her faith to her mission and to God. In this present time, the Missionaries of Charity have grown into a significant number of approximately 4,000 nuns and still counting. From this aspect, it can be considered that Mother Teresa was successful in attaining her goals.
The fact that her mission still exists in the presence of the congregation and the homes she spearheaded to be built, it is a manifestation of continuing her goals even after death. From Mother Teresa herself, one of the factors why she became successful in achieving her aim is due to her unwavering confidence to God by constantly communicating with prayer. The strong faith she pushed her to be a missionary is the same faith which made her stronger to surpass all the struggles she experienced in pursuing her missionary goals.
That faith reminded her that it is a vow that she have been fated to serve and should be continued for the rest of her life. Mother Teresa was deeply honored in the global community. For she did not only focus on helping the poor of India but expanded it throughout other places in the world which experience famine, poverty, and calamity victims, the moment the missionary membership expanded as well. Through her consecutive efforts in helping suffering people from different places of the world, her name became recognized as the forefront of missionary works centering on humility and empathic deeds.
Gaining recognition for her works, this influenced sectors of the society such as the government and the church to strengthen and intensify their work in reaching to the poor. Mother Teresa and her congregation became a good example on how service to the poor should be done and how to reach out to the people. The life and achievements of Mother Teresa is a hard path to follow. As the Christian Church preached to live a life like what Jesus did, emulating Jesus or Mother Teresa’s path is one hard task. She experienced a lot of hardship with her faith as her weapon and guidance for survival.
From that, an ordinary individual will find it difficult to live a selfless life. Her accomplishments are not to be taken lightly for it took years to be able for the congregation to be built and its goals to be continually performed with so much strength and vigor. This autobiography made by Mundakel is indeed a tribute to the late missionary. The consistent gratitude honored for Mother Teresa shows a deep appreciation to the contemporary saint, despite of living in a fast-pace modern world, was able to attain a goal which helped a lot of people.
Though it can be said that Mother Teresa’s life is hard to follow, her strength and passionate faith should be imitated or an individual to conquer life’s struggles and difficulties. Mundakel’s work is a manifestation of Mother Teresa as her love for God and her love for people brought her to be the most-loved person by the world. References Baldoni, J. (2003). Great Communication Secrets of Great Leaders. New York: McGraw-Hill Professional. Mundakel, T. T. (2003). Blessed Mother Teresa: Her Journey to Your Heart. India: Liguori.