Mother Teresa Essay
Many outstanding philanthropists in the world have helped many people while also establishing themselves as leaders and admirable individuals. Mother Teresa was likewise one of them. She is revered as a "living saint" who has profoundly influenced people's lives. She is the ray of hope for the homeless and poor, bringing light to their gloomy fate. But it wasn't an easy path for her. Even though she was ridiculed and vilified, she persisted.
The next query is, who was Mother Teresa? We can sum up her role as one of the twentieth century's finest philanthropists by noting that she was a missionary nun by profession. She established the Missionaries of Charity, a non-profit organization with a commitment to aiding the underprivileged. She had devoted practically her entire livelihood to assisting the Indian people though not an Indian.
Her real name wasn't Mother Teresa rather she was named as Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu when she was born in 1910 in Skopje, today, in the country of Macedonia. Nikola, a straightforward businessman, was Mother Teresa's father. Her father went away when she was only eight years old. She was left with her mother (Dranafile) to handle the entire family's duties. In her family, Mother Teresa was the youngest of her siblings. She was a lovely, diligent young lady who enjoyed singing. She decided to devote her life to helping people at the age of 12. She made the decision to join the Irish 'Sisters of Loreto' at just the early age of 18 years. After that, she travelled to Ireland to study English. She received training in Dublin for a few months before being transferred to India, where on May 24, 1931, she professed her first vows as a nun.
Initially, she worked as a teacher at St. Mary's High School in Calcutta from 1931 to 1948. When she first arrived in Calcutta, students adored her and respected her for being a helpful teacher. She had a strong passion for education. However, the misery and destitution surrounding her used to upset her. Countless individuals in Calcutta perished from famine in 1943. Nearly 3 million people passed away from diseases like malaria and malnutrition. Families lost their homes, and many women turned widows.
Furthermore, many widows in Bengali society eventually ended up begging on the streets of Calcutta since they were viewed as second-class citizens. Sister Teresa, as she was then known, led a rather pleasant living inside the boundaries of the school. Meanwhile the condition in Calcutta deteriorated in 1947 as a result of Hindu-Muslim rioting. She had, however, been intensely conscious of the misery all around her. She could see the starving orphans who frequently end up as victims of assault and the women beggars on the streets. Then, a train excursion to a retreat permanently altered her life.
Her Contribution Towards the Poor and Needy
Sister Teresa's second calling arrived when she was on the train. Sister Teresa's "call within a call"-which she regarded as a supernatural motivation to her in 1946, prompted her to dedicate her life to helping the ill and the needy. She claimed that Christ spoke to her on that decisive journey and instructed her to leave all behind and aid the most vulnerable members of society. With such strong determination she went to 'The Holy Family hospital' in Pune, where she completed and finished the necessary nursing training. In 1948, she returned back to Calcutta.
The misery and deprivation she saw beyond the convent walls left such a lasting effect on her that in 1948, she was approved by her superiors to quit the convent school and dedicate herself to serving the most impoverished people in Calcutta's slums. From then on, she made her first trip to Taltala, where she cared for the sick, helpless, and weak people. In response to her request, local officials provided her with a pilgrim dormitory close to the revered Kali temple, where she established her organization in 1948.
She established an open-air school for children living in slums despite having no money and relying on divine providence. A few years later, people began appreciating her work, and many of them joined her cause. This inspired her to form the Missionaries of Charity, a brand-new religious order in 1950.
Only a few people initially joined her new community. The majority of them were either former pupils or instructors at the charity school wherein she worked earlier. Donations poured in from all around India as soon as her work got noticed. Before she realized what was coming, word of her charitable activities had begun to quietly go around the globe. It also made people aware of the appalling conditions that street inhabitants in Calcutta and around India endure.
With assistance from Indian authorities, Mother Teresa established her first treatment center for the sick, poor, and elderly in Kalighat, Kolkata, in 1952. She accomplished this by seeking approval to utilise a dilapidated Hindu temple dedicated to the goddess Kali. The hospice, also known as the Kalighat Home for the Dying, offered those in need of medical care and the chance to pass away of their religious beliefs.
The Immaculate Heart Children's Home, Nirmala Shishu Bhavan, was established by Teresa's Missionaries of Charity in 1955. It served as their first children's shelter for abandoned children. The center accepted the children and gave them food, accommodation, and medical attention. The kids were adopted out whenever it was feasible. Those who were not adopted received schooling, picked up a trade skill, and got married.
In those days, several people in India were afflicted with leprosy, a condition that can cause severe disfigurement. Since many people were afraid of the contagious illness, Mother Teresa established the Leprosy Fund and Leprosy Day to assist spread awareness of the condition. She also started a number of mobile leper facilities to treat the afflicted and give them bandages close to where they lived. By the middle of the 1960s, Mother Teresa had established Shanti Nagar ("The Place of Peace"), a centre where lepers may reside and work.
Mother Teresa's prominence increased along with her congregation. They started orphanages, care centres, and lepers' homes all over India by the 1960s. Later in 1965, Pope Paul VI granted Mother Teresa's appeal to broaden her community to additional nations. The same year, it established its first unit in Venezuela. The Missionaries of Charity had more than 4,500 sisters by the year 2012, and they were operating in 133 nations.
Refugees, ex-prostitutes, the mentally challenged, unwell children, abandoned children, lepers, individuals with AIDS, the elderly, and the recuperating continue to receive care from it. More charitable homes were then built around the world due to this. Mother Teresa inaugurated the first house of charity in the US in New York in 1971. However, her particular brand of charity remained agnostic. She went to Beirut, Lebanon, in 1987 covertly. At the time, there was a severe segregation between the Christian and Muslim populations.
Criticism and Controversies
Mother Teresa's criticism and controversies are not new; yet, they are not widely known. Research concerning Mother Teresa started when rumours of her hardline Catholicism started to spread. Her image for helping Kolkata's most vulnerable people was damaged by recurrent claims of financial mismanagement, subpar medical care, and aggressive religious preaching in the institutions she established.
The Awful Environment at Mother Teresa's Hospitals and Missions
Although Mother Teresa's hospitals were designed to help people get better, her patients frequently endured situations that only served to exacerbate their illnesses. In 2003, Dr. Aroup Chatteree, a native of Kolkata, authored a book, the "cult of suffering" that existed in the Missionaries of Charity, Mother Teresa's institution, which runs the homes. He discovered tales of minors being strapped to their beds, dying patients receiving nothing but aspirin, and hypodermic syringes being reused throughout the course of years of inquiry.
Hemley Gonzalez, a renowned humanitarian who served as a temporary volunteer at Missionaries of Charity, recalled how medicine and other essential supplies were kept in storage for months on end, expired, and still occasionally used on patients. At the same time, workers reused needles after washing them in running water.
Helpers with little to no training performed risky tasks on patients who had extremely contagious cases of tuberculosis and other life-threatening infections, Gonzalez noted. He further added that the charity's administrators declined to accept and employ medical apparatus and equipment that could have securely mechanized procedures and saved lives.
Volunteers weren't the only ones who objected to Mother Teresa's care of the sick. Mother Teresa exercised her view that patients merely needed to feel valued and die peacefully with God in her hospice care facilities, and medical professionals pursued her for it.
The British medical journal The Lancet stated in 1994 that her clinics had a shortage of medicine and that patients were not even close to receiving the necessary care to alleviate their suffering. Because her Calcutta home for the sick had a death rate of over 40%, some doctors began referring to her missions as "homes for the dying" in the meantime. But she didn't think this was inherently a negative thing.
Mother Teresa is quoted as saying, "There is something lovely in witnessing the poor endure their fate, to bear it like Christ's Passion," in answer to all the condemnation. Their misery benefits the entire globe. Mother Teresa reportedly had a different perspective on her own suffering, though. She was treated in a modern American hospital when she started having significant heart issues.
Accusations of proselytization of the poor
Several tales of Mother Teresa trying to baptise the dying and convert the sick have also surfaced. In her new nation, Hindus occasionally accused her of attempting to convert the underprivileged to Christianity. Mother Teresa's organisation was labelled a cult by Christopher Hitchens for encouraging misery and failing to assist the poor.
The British documentary Hell's Angel, which exposed some of Mother Teresa's shortcomings, was reviewed by The New York Times, and the paper came to the conclusion that Mother Teresa was "less interested in assisting the poor than in serving them as an unrelenting source of miseries on which to power the advancement of her fundamentalist Roman Catholic beliefs."
In his documentary Hell's Angel about the Teresa, Christopher Hitchens memorably referred to her as "a lying, thieving Albanian dwarf." In the second half of his book, The Missionary Position, he continued to disparage Mother Teresa.
Mother Teresa needs to have worked a miracle from beyond the grave in order to be eligible for beatification, the first stage in the process of becoming a saint. Regarding this's veracity, there is doubt. Two miracles-almost typically of a medical nature-must be verified in order to be declared beatified and subsequently canonised. The consulta medica, a team of medical professionals, paid a small fee by the church, looks into whether a miracle can be explained scientifically.
The miracle featured a Bengali woman who asserted that she had a cancerous tumour removed by a ray of light that appeared from a photo of Mother Teresa that she just so happened to possess in her house. However, her doctor claimed that the tubercular cyst she actually had was treated with a prescribed medication and that she never really had a malignant tumour.
People questioned why the church would continue with this canonization process after the claimed supernatural cure Mother Teresa performed was debunked. As Hitchens argued, that might be because Mother Teresa is the most well-known face the Catholic church has been able to establish in the past century, as Hitchens argued. She had a captivating personality, was skilled at writing love phrases, and was admired by famous people, including Princess Diana. Mother Teresa is a source of goodwill for the Catholic Church that they may rely on to flourish.
Her anti-contraception stance
In her acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize, Mother Teresa openly criticized abortion, contraception, and women's reproductive choice. Mother Teresa advocated abstinence as a method of family planning in Kolkata, a city that was overcrowded and extremely underdeveloped.
Mother Teresa was essentially sentencing the "poorest of the poor" to life under the sway of the same elements of deprivation that previous generations of Indians had to endure by resisting family planning. She wrote to the Irish people in 1997, urging them to reject the divorce referendum as part of her dedication to the purest Catholic teachings. Stating that divorce "breaks, ruins, and produces tremendous impulses," resulting in "spiritually weak" adult offspring. Family, love, and unity are among the most severely damaged by divorce.
Her lifelong association with dubious people
Mother Teresa was criticised for not attending to the needs of the sick and for socialising with some powerful, unethical international leaders. This included Jean-Claude Duvalier, the despot of Haiti, who was ultimately punished with crimes against humanity due to his mistreatment of fellow Haitians.
Furthermore, Mother Teresa was also accused of receiving $1.25 million from her another friend Charles Keating. Keating was a prominent player in the housing market and loan speculation that caused the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s, ultimately costing American taxpayers $124 billion.
Mother Teresa also appealed to the judge overseeing his case while he was on trial to ask for mercy for him. She stated, that she had no knowledge of Mr. Charles Keating's business, work, or the issues he was handling. She continued saying that she knew he had consistently shown kindness and generosity to God's needy and that he had been available to assist whenever necessary. She did not want to forget him now, while he and his family were going through a difficult time.
Although Keating's co-prosecutor wrote to Mother Teresa following his sentencing but never heard back despite mentioning that one of the victims Keating robbed was a struggling carpenter. And there were other issues with Mother Teresa's finances as well. Throughout the decades, Mother Teresa's charitable organizations received donations from innumerable well-intentioned Catholics, yet many of these never saw their kind contributions put to use.
One caregiver stated that "even when bread was running out in the food pantries, nothing was purchased unless sponsored," despite the fact that Keating's $1.25 million donation itself would appear to be sufficient to elevate every single person in her care out of poverty.
Mother Teresa once declined to leave the queue until somebody else cleared her $800 food bill in order to feed the recipients of her charity. According to a 1991 article in the German magazine Stern, she contributed just 7% of the millions of dollars she garnered to charity. One is left to speculate about the true purpose of all of that money and what transpired after Mother Teresa passed away.
Her disconnect from God in later years
Despite being optimistic and having a strong devotion to God, Mother Teresa's letters-which were compiled and published in 2007-show that she did not experience God's existence in her soul for the final 50 years of her life. Her sorrow and belief that Jesus had deserted her at the beginning of her journey are both made clear by the letters she wrote. She continued to feel spiritual darkness and eventually began to think that she was experiencing Christ's Passion, especially the portion where He asks, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
Final years and death
Mother Teresa opposed abortion, marital separation, and contraceptive methods in her final decades. In 1989, she reportedly experienced health issues and endured a heart attack. She left her position as head of the organization in 1990, but was quickly elected back; hers was the lone voice in opposition.
In 1997, the order appointed Sister Nirmala, an Indian-born woman, as her replacement when a deteriorating heart condition compelled her retirement. Mother Teresa's organisation comprised scores of centres in more than 90 countries, 4,000 nuns, and hundreds of thousands of lay workers at the time of her passing. The procedure to canonise her started within two years of her passing, and Pope John Paul II granted a special exemption to hasten the procedure. On October 19, 2003, she was declared beatified, marking the quickest period in the church's history for a person to join the ranks of the blessed. On September 4, 2016, Pope Francis I declared her to be a saint.
Awards and Recognition
Mother Teresa received the Padma Shri, one of India's highest civilian awards, in 1962 for her contributions to the country's citizens.
She received the ceremonial limousine owned by Pope Paul VI during his 1964 visit to India, which she quickly raffled off to raise money for her leper colony. In 1968, she was asked to establish a hospice in Rome, which was staffed mainly by Indian nuns. On January 6, 1971, Pope Paul rewarded her by giving her the maiden Pope John XXIII Peace Prize in appreciation of her apostolate.
She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 for her humanitarian efforts, and the Indian government then presented her with the Bharat Ratna, the nation's highest civilian honour, the subsequent year.
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