To celebrate the canonization for this gal yesterday, a good friend and I went to the cathedral in our diocese for Mass honoring St. Teresa. It was awesome because in Detroit there is a community of Missionary of Charities and to see their joy and happiness in the celebration for such a happy day was beautiful.
As we were leaving the cathedral, a reporter from the Detroit News came up to us and asked us why we came today, what about Mother Teresa's life mattered to us. We had a really good conversation.
The reporter made reference to a point in the Archbishop's homily where he asked us to reflect on what our Calcutta is in our own lives. So the news reporter asked each of us. I told him my Calcutta in life right now is young people: young people who know Jesus, don't know Jesus, or have no faith at all. My Calcutta is to love them and walk alongside them wherever they are.
I have fiercely loved Mother Teresa since I was a little girl. As a child who loved me some dress-up there are plenty of pictures of me playing dress-up as Mother Teresa. No I didn't have a sari, but it was complete with my blue baby blanket. I remember taking off all the clothes on my baby dolls and scooping them up in a basket like she picked up dying people off the street.
It is one of the most distinct memories of my early childhood.
As I got older, I was always so struck of Mother Teresa's challenge for people to "find Calcutta" in their own lives. While its a wonderful to go out, for many of us our mission field will be found in our own back yards, in the suburbs of downtown USA.
While I may never go on an international mission or make it to Calcutta, I know there are plenty of ways and places I can find Calcutta right here where God has me.
Yes Calcutta can be found in the burbs, prisons, hospitals, detox clinics, high schools, tantrums, and in changing poopy diapers.
We find it anywhere. As long we open our eyes to the needs of others.
And wherever my Calcutta is at varying times in life, I hope I can reflect some of what St. Teresa's life was totally about....Jesus, always Jesus.