I wish you and your families and loved ones a fervent Advent and On the first Christmas night, the angels sang, "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to people of good will." May their message fill our minds and hearts, for God alone is worthy of all glory. Glory to God for He has wonderfully created us and
sustains us in existence moment by moment.
In this world of disorder, confusion and strife, may we be people of good will who receive the blessing of peace so that we can share it with others. Saint Augustine says that, "Peace is the tranquility of order." It is sin that has brought disorder into the world, destroying peace, affecting our relationship with God, self, others and creation. At Christmas, Jesus, the Prince of Peace, came among us to restore the original tranquility of order. He says, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you." (Jn.14:27; May we be people who love God above self, all persons and things, in their rightful order.
Peace is the fruit of the loving and trusting acceptance of God*s will. We burden ourselves unnecessarily with tension, anxiety, sadness and conflict when we are unable to accept the will of God that is made known to us through persons, events, and circumstances. By surrendering ourselves to the will of God, we are truly set free to become channels of His peace and blessings for our families, friends, neighbors, colleagues and the poor.
In July one of our sisters in Ranchi, India, was accused of involvement in child trafficking. I am grateful for your prayers. Please continue to pray as her case is not yet closed. In Delhi on the 29th of October, I met Mrs. Maneka Gandhi, the Minister of Women and Child Development. We will continue to take care of the mentally and physically challenged children and also care for motherless babies for as long as their families cannot take care of them. We are not, however, going back to doing the adoption work, which we decided to discontinue in 2015.
I entrust to your prayers our sisters and those under their care in the troubled areas of the world, including Yemen, Gaza, and Pakistan. Thank you for your love and prayers and all you do to share in our humble works of love.
At Christmas I, together with my sisters, shall be with you and your families in prayer.
May you have a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year.
God bless you
Sr. M. Prema M. C.
My dear Co-Workers, Active, Sick & Suffering, Lay Missionaries of Charity, I Thirst Movement members, Volunteers ,
Happy Easter to you and your families and loved ones. May the peace and joy of the Risen Lord absorb every darkness weighing on our hearts and minds.
Recently a young volunteer at Motherhouse asked me, “Does God will that children be born with disability? Does God will that innocent people should suffer?”. Our young people are disturbed. When they come in contact with our poor who suffer from sickness, poverty, deformity and rejection, they experience turmoil, anger, sadness and helplessness. They question, “Why?”. The world suggests through advertisements that pleasure, good health, fitness, wealth and success are the sources of that happiness for which we all long. Suffering is considered an evil to be avoided and to be gotten rid of at any cost even if it means causing greater harm to oneself or others.
The volunteers observe the joy and dedication with which the sisters, brothers and fathers give themselves in the service of the poor day after day. Their questions arise from an earnest search for the deepest meaning of life and their longing to know that God exists and that they are known and loved by Him.
Those who are gifted with the light of faith believe:
- that God is almighty and He has the power to stop evil
- that God is all-knowing and no evil is hidden from Him
- that God is love and in the mysterious designs of His Providence, He can draw a greater good from evil.
Let us pray for all who are seeking,
- that their hearts be opened to receive the gift of faith, which will free them from the preoccupation with self
- that they may find God who accepts them and promises them a true, indestructible love
- that they may enter into a personal relationship with Jesus to know and to be known, to love and to be loved, to receive His forgiveness and the grace to forgive themselves and others.
“He is the one who always accepts you, when not accepted by others, even by yourself sometimes.” (Mother Teresa)
Our Mother appreciated Jesus’ call to belong to Him alone and to be precious to Him. She allowed Jesus to love her by accepting everything, including suffering, from His hand, with a big smile, because it is Jesus who gives it, therefore it is good. Mother eagerly welcomed hardship and deprivation as a privilege coming from union with Jesus who kissed her. Mother’s reverence and tenderness in the chapel and in her dealing with the poor witnessed to her conviction that Jesus is present in the Eucharist and in the poor. Mother was so free that she could depend totally on God’s providence for all her needs. She joyfully gave herself in wholehearted service to the poor without seeking any recognition.
By her life and work Mother answered the question, “Does God will that innocent people should suffer?”. God is Love and He wants each person to live and to know how precious he/she is to Him. He is moved by every tear and He wants to turn it into joy and a greater benefit for the person in this life and in eternity when we accept the redemption worked out by Jesus on the Cross. The Cross remains a stumbling block and a folly to the world, but for those who belong to Jesus, the Cross is the proof of God’s greatest love, our salvation and the promise of eternal happiness.
Last year one of our sisters was bravely accepting the pain caused by cancer. The nurse asked her, “Do you believe that suffering is meritorious?”. She answered, “Suffering is not meritorious but the love with which we suffer is meritorious.” I pray that our Mother may help us to grow in intimate union with Jesus, He will cast out of our hearts and minds all fear of suffering and death and that our lives, like Mother’s life, will witness to God who is Love, and who works everything out for the good.
Father Tom Uzhunnalil SDB was abducted on 4 March 2016 by the terrorists in Yemen who killed four of our sisters. He was released on 12 September 2017 in Oman after 557 days in captivity. On 26 February 2018 Father celebrated Holy Mass in our Motherhouse chapel, Kolkata, for a large crowd of the MC family and friends. Fr. Tom’s account of the abduction and captivity was a testimony of serene acceptance of God’s will in the face of uncertainty and threat to life. Lovingly entrusting his fate to God, he lived one day at a time, spending his time in prayer, forgiving his captors.
I pray that God may grant you, your families and loved ones the grace to rejoice always in His love and goodness even in times of trial and suffering.