St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Mother Teresa is remembered for the work she did for the impoverished people of Calcutta, India, and for good reason. After leaving her comfortable life as a school principal to live on the streets with the sick, the poor, the unwanted, and the dying, she founded the Missionaries of Charity. She worked with volunteers to help those who could not help themselves and she brought attention to the epidemic of poverty that was right under our noses. By the 1960s, they had opened orphanages, hospices, and other facilities known as houses of charity. They soon began opening these houses in different countries including the United States.

And Mother Teresa’s work knew no boundaries. It knew no creed, no race, and no borders. She worked in Lebanon with both Christians and Muslims, groups that had their differences, to say the least. She received honors and awards from countries and organizations across the world including the United States, the Soviet Union, India, the Philippines, the International Balzan Prize Foundation, and the Albert Schweitzer International University. She also received the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize “for work undertaken in the struggle to overcome poverty and distress, which also constitutes a threat to peace.”

But Mother Teresa was doing more than fending off poverty. She was doing more than providing beds and medication for the sick and dying. She was not handing out welfare. She was handing out love. Mother Teresa was not just a protector of the lower class. She was a protector of life. Strewn across the filthy streets of Bengali territories, lining the city blocks of New York City, and trapped in the slums of Venezuela were people who were starving. And while they may have been starving for food, they were also starving for love. That’s what Mother Teresa gave them.

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And that’s why Mother Teresa spoke out so much about the tragedy of abortion. “And I feel one thing I want to share with you all, the greatest destroyer of peace today is the cry of the innocent unborn child. For if a mother can murder her own child in her own womb, what is left for you and for me to kill each other? … To me the nations who have legalized abortion, they are the poorest nations.” (Mother Teresa, 1979) “Abortion has become the greatest destroyer of peace, because it destroys two lives, the life of the child and the conscience of the mother.” (Mother Teresa, 1988)

When she looked into the faces of the unwanted, the terminally ill, and the homeless, she did not see an unclean person. She saw Christ because there is Christ within every one of us, including the unborn. A nation that has legalized abortion has allowed its most vulnerable to be sacrificed for the sake of personal comfort and desire.

We are not called to get comfortable. We are not called to find luxury. We are called to serve Christ in every person, whether it is easy to see or not.

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John Hanretty serves as a Digital Media Producer for Relevant Radio®. He is a graduate of the Gupta College of Business at the University of Dallas. Besides being passionate about writing, his hobbies include drawing and digital design. You can read more of his daily articles at relevantradio.com and on the Relevant Radio® app.