Sunday, September 07, 2003

A stick

Dear Mouse, Shame on me. I keep on praying to win a lotto so I can start a kitchen soup for the poor (don't mind me mouse, I am just running a temp) while Mother Teresa started her apostolate with one stick and the ground. Some people may think that it was her early exposure to the poverty in Calcutta that inspired her to get out of her religious order to be able to work outside the convent but it was not. In fact, she started her life as a novice in Darleejing, a fashionable resort where balls and fetes were attended by British officials, bejewelled Maharanis and Maharajahs. According to her biographer, she worked as a teacher for 17 years and later on became a principal of a girl school run by the Church.Then the CALL came. As to what really motivated her, was the same question I attempted to ask a group of nuns in the province, I visited. Living simply, these nuns try to make a diffrence in the lives of poor people they serve. They are not the conventional nuns that many people know. One can drive, the other can be a poor mechanic and the rest teach the poor children in the community.They still wear their white habits though, although the hemlines are a little higher. Their lives are so simple that many of them did not have the opportunity to own ordinary stuff that we take for granted because we have more than one too many. One nun had the, I-wish-I -have-one-too-look when my sister brought the pair of shoes she had promised during her previous visits. Everytime I get inside a Wallgreen store and see those inexpensive made in China umbrellas, I am reminded of the young nun trying to shield herself from the onslaught of rain and wind with her small broken umbrella, the only property that she can claim as hers. I cannot forget the facial expression of the nun who for the first time rode a plane. It was a mixture of delight and fear as she prayed the rosary throughout the duration of the flight. It was not her fear of flying that made her request that the fare that was supposed to be for her flight back to the City be donated to the convent. She felt guilty for enjoying the ride while her "sisters" endured the uncomfortable road trip in a rickety van. Mother Teresa felt the same way when she was offered a bed for a night. She thought of the poor people sleeping in the cold concrete . I never thought of it when the Mother Superior assigned me the only airconditioned room that was meant for Visiting Important People. She thought that being used to cold weather, I might not be able to tolerate the heat. I could have declined and stayed in an ordinary room. I guessed I am not really cut out to be a nun. My older brother thought so too when he saw my notebook filled with my handwriting, I want to be a NUN and started teasing me 'till I cried. Anyhoo, I cannot imagine a CAT and a mouse in a convent. The nuns can break their meditation to shout.eeeek a mouse. The CAT


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