Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Mother House


May God break my heart so completely that the whole world falls in.
--Mother Teresa 

Mother Teresa's Tomb in a small chapel at Mother House
During our last trip to Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), we were able to explore some of our Baptist roots with a trip to William Carey's old stomping grounds on the outskirts of modern Kolkata.

A few weeks ago, however, we realized that during our just-completed trip to the city, we should see a part of the life of a saint (well, not technically a saint according to the Roman Catholic Church... yet) whose name is much more common than Carey's: Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, or Mother Teresa.



The compound where Mother Teresa lived the last half-century of her life is just a plain building down a small alley off one of Kolkata's busy streets. We wouldn't expect anything more pretentious or extravagant of her.


Mother Teresa lived in a small room at the top of these stairs, with a bed, an old wooden table with two benches, and various boxes for filing papers and letters related to her work as the founder and head of the Missionaries of Charity.


The small museum in no way led you to think of Mother Teresa as any super-Christian. Rather, the entire compound (which is still active) led you to see Mother Teresa as just an ordinary person (Um, yeah, they saved the toothpaste and toothbrush she was using at the time of her death... a little weird, but yeah for Colgate.) who gave her life--like Carey did--in uncomfortable circumstances in order to show the love of her Savior.


And they heard James had sat on William Carey's 200-year-old chair, so they made sure to enclose Mother Teresa's stool (and the chair she used after she was sick) in glass.


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