Guests of Kalighat Nirmal Hriday Believe He Is Enough

Wednesday, July 27, 2011 Posted by Katie

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One evening we went out and rescued four people off the streets. One of them was in a desperate condition. I told the sisters, "You take care of the others. I will care or this one who is worse off." I did everything for her that my love could do. I put her into bed, and I saw a beautiful smile light up her face. She squeezed my hand and only managed to say two words, "Thank you." And then she closed her eyes.

I couldn't help but ask myself there beside her body, "What would I have said if I had been in her place?" My answer was very simple. I would have said that I was hungry, that I was dying, that I was cold. Or I would have said that this or that part of my body hurt or something like that. But she gave me much more. She gave me her grateful love. And she died with a smile on her face.

- Mother Theresa

Founded in 1952, Kalighat Nirmal Hriday, or the Home of the Pure Heart for the dying and destitute of Calcutta, is Mother Theresa’s flagship ministry. Though this “flagship” has served as a launching point for a countless web of other ministries worldwide, the vision of its originating purpose was quite simple: Go out into the streets. Find those who are destitute and dying alone. Bring them back to Nirmal Hriday. Bathe them. Clothe them. Let them die with dignity, knowing that in their final moments they were loved.

It is with the residents of Nirmal Hriday in mind that I puzzle over the misleading “prosperity gospel” understanding of Jeremiah 29:11’s promises of prosperity, hope, safety and a special plan for one’s future. I am reminded of a line from The Princess Bride, altered slightly here for my purposes: “You keep using that verse. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

What if, in our final days, it didn’t matter whether we could look back on our life and say, “Wasn’t that something?”

What if, in our final days, it mattered more that we could look back on our life and say, “Isn’t He something?”

Fast Fuel for thought…

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