Building a Culture of Life
By Natalie Wujick, grade 9
“Peace begins with a smile,” said Mother Teresa. Just a little smile can brighten someone’s day and inspire love and happiness. Small acts of kindness can lift a burden from a loved one or even a stranger. Every human life has a purpose, and, when we give ourselves to others, we can learn things about others and even ourselves. Taking on the sufferings of individuals guides us to become like Christ. Mother Teresa sacrificed herself every day for the will of those in need—for their happiness and well-being. She valued the dignity of every human life with her devotion and service to others.
The act of loving involves suffering. When we love someone, we are willing to do anything for that person. We make sacrifices for that person’s well-being. Every one of us is called to help others, to love all people. Mother Teresa certainly followed this command. She always gave herself to those in need of help or support. She welcomed the poor and sick with open arms. Through her actions and deeds, we see her love for anyone and everyone. She aided those who seemed so unloved, seeing the dignity and value in every life. Like Mother Teresa, we are all called to see and assist the great worth of every precious human life. Every life has meaning; every life is sacred.
Throughout her life, Mother Teresa was devoted to serving her brothers and sisters, especially the poor and burdened. After growing up with a strong faith, she joined the Loreto Convent in Dublin, Ireland. Teresa transferred to Calcutta and stayed in the Loreto Convent there, teaching at St. Mary Bengali’s Medium School during the 1930s and ‘40s. While traveling from Calcutta to a neighboring city, Teresa felt a call to start an institute devoted to the poor, which later became the Missionaries of Charity. In the decades following, the Missionaries of Charity grew and spread its reach worldwide. Because of her work and devotion to the poor, Mother Teresa won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979. She founded houses throughout many nations, including many Communist and war-ravaged countries. Toward the end of 1985, Mother Teresa started a house in New York for those with AIDS. Even with her declining health, Mother Teresa journeyed to various countries, supporting those in need. By the time of her death, the Missionaries of Charity had founded close to 600 houses and had almost 4,000 members throughout the world.
In our secular world, many people find comfort and ease in going along with what society deems right. These include acts such as abortion, euthanasia, and suicide. In truth though, these acts do not fulfill us. Mother Teresa says, “If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” Only by giving ourselves to each other, do we really have true harmony and fulfillment in our lives. Mother Teresa is such an inspiring icon of the pro-life nation. She dedicated her life to the poor, giving herself to others so that they might have happiness and joy in their lives. Not only did she help the poor, but she also assisted the sick and unfortunate. She created houses to serve those with AIDS and traveled to countries ravaged by war and terrorism. Mother Teresa carried the sufferings of others on her shoulders every day of her life, becoming a model of Christ and His cross.
Mother Teresa valued the dignity of every human life with her devotion of service to others. We have her as an example to live by. But we must live by it. We must stay vigilant in our cause and embrace the suffering of our lives and the lives of others. When we offer up our sufferings to God, He looks kindly upon them. Just as Christ carried His cross for us, we need to carry our cross for others. Here is a final thought, one that we should all strive to live by: “Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier” – Mother Teresa.
“Mother Teresa of Calcutta” Catholic Online, catholic.org/clife/teresa.
© 2018 Natalie Wujick. Published with Permission.