Tag Archives: Poverty

The Reliquary of Saint Teresa of Calcutta


Myself 

By T. V. Antony Raj

.

Statue of Saint Teresa in the National Shrine, Washington DC (Photo: T. V. Antony Raj)
Statue of Saint Teresa in the National Shrine, Washington DC (Photo: T. V. Antony Raj)

.

At every canonization ceremony in the Catholic Church, people connected to the new saint carry to the altar a relic in a reliquary which is often an ornate work of art in gold or silver.

A relic is a keepsake, a tangible reminder that the new saint was human yet heroically lived a life of holiness.

The relic may be the purported or actual physical remains of saints, such as bones, pieces of clothing, or some object associated with saints or other religious figures. The authenticity of any given relic is often a matter of debate; for that reason, some churches require documentation of the relic’s provenance.

In the Catholic Church, a reliquary, also known as a shrine or by the French term châsse is used as a container for relics.

.

The reliquary containing the relic of Saint Teresa
The reliquary containing the relic of Saint Teresa

.

The relic presented at the Mass for St. Teresa of Calcutta was a few drops of her blood contained in a phial embedded within the centre of a wooden reliquary in the form of a simple cross reflecting her life and values.

The back of the cross-shaped reliquary is made from Lebanon cedar (Cedrus libani), a species of cedar native to the mountains of the Mediterranean region, known as a symbol of nobility and spiritual greatness.

The front of the large cross is made of wood taken from places associated with Mother Teresa’s works of mercy: The first home for the dying she established in Calcutta, a home for those with Hansen’s disease, an immigrants’ boat, a Gypsy shack, and wood from the kneeler of a confessional because Mother Teresa believed the “Sacrament of Penance” also known as “Confession” or “Reconciliation” was the greatest expression of God’s mercy.

In the centre of the cross,  the phial of Mother Teresa’s blood is sealed in a glass orb in the shape of a water drop as a symbol of her vow to quench the thirst of those literally without water and those dying in the aridness of being unloved.

A roughly sculpted wrinkled hand supports the glass to symbolize that it carries this drop of water, full of love, in response to the cry of Jesus “I thirst” on the cross echoed by millions of people around the world.

The religious dress of the Missionaries of Charity bears special significance. The white colour of their sari stands for truth and purity and the three blue borders each signify the vows that the nuns of the Order take: the first thin band represents “Poverty”, the second thin band represents “Obedience”, and the third broad band represents the vows of “Chastity” and of “wholehearted free service to the poorest of the poor”.

The water drop on the reliquary is framed by a heart of three sweeping bands of blue on the left and a white band on the right to symbolize the sari St. Teresa adopted as a habit for her sisters of Missionaries of Charity as well as to express devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The three sweeping bands of blue on the left side of the heart are curved and bent to represent St. Teresa’s own curved form bent in prayer. The white band on the right side of the heart displays the words, “I thirst in gold, reproduced in St. Teresa’s handwriting.

The base of the reliquary is made of battered iron to represent how society always sees the poor people whom Mother Teresa loved with her whole heart.

.

RELATED ARTICLES

Advertisements

The Canonization of Mother Teresa of Calcutta in Vatican City


Myself 

By T. V. Antony Raj

.

At the end of life, we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, how many great things we have done. We will be judged by “I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless, and you took me in.”
– Saint Teresa of Calcutta

 

Mother Teresa - A painting by Mark Sanislo
Mother Teresa – A painting by Mark Sanislo

.

Mother Teresa of Calcutta, the “nun of the gutters”, a champion for the poor, the dying and the unborn died on September 5, 1997.

Scarcely two years after her death Monsignor Henry D’Souza, the then Archbishop of Calcutta, requested Pope John Paul II to dispense with the five-year waiting period required before beginning the process of beatifying and canonizing Mother Teresa.

As a fitting climax to a process that stretched on for almost 19 years, Pope Francis on Sunday, September 4, 2016, a day before Mother Teresa’s 19th death anniversary, formally declared  Mother Teresa, as the newest saint of the Catholic Church at a ceremony that drew 100,000 pilgrims from around the world to St Peter’s Square in Vatican City.

For the honour of the Blessed Trinity, the exaltation of the Catholic faith and the increase of the Christian life, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and our own, after due deliberation and frequent prayer for divine assistance, and having sought the counsel of many of our brother bishops, we declare and define Blessed Teresa of Calcutta be saint and we enroll her among the saints, decreeing that she is to be venerated as such by the whole Church. In the name of the Holy Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Pope Francis, however, acknowledged that despite the fact she now has a formal title as “Saint Teresa of Calcutta“, she will always remain “Mother Teresa” to the world. The pontiff said:

“We may have some difficulty in calling her ‘Saint’ Teresa, her holiness is so near to us, so tender and so fruitful that we continue to spontaneously call her “Mother”. She made her voice heard before the powers of this world so that they might recognize their guilt for the crime – the crimes of poverty they created.”

.

.

A Thanks Giving Day story: The Letter Addressed to God.


.

Myself 

By T.V. Antony Raj

.

A still from the film "Slumdog Millionaire"
A still from the film “Slumdog Millionaire”

.

A few days ago, during the incessant rain and floods in Chennai, Tamilnadu, India, a little boy wanted 100 rupees to buy food for his family who had not eaten for two days. He prayed to God. When nothing happened and no one officially came to help them, he decided to write a request letter to God.

A puzzled post office staff on seeing the letter addressed to God forwarded it to the Chief Minister.

The amused Chief Minister thought that 100 rupees would be a lot of money for a little boy to buy food. So, she instructed her secretary to send the little boy 30 rupees instead from the Chief Minister’s relief fund.

When the little boy received the money he was delighted. He wrote the following ‘Thank you’ letter to the CM:

Dear God, I thank you for sending me money through the Chief Minister’s Office Secretariat in Chennai. However, I would like you to know that corrupt asses there must have swindled 70 rupees as their commission! “

.

RELATED IMAGES

Images of floods in Chennai in November 2015 (google.co.in)

.

RELATED ARTICLES

Chennai floods and the aftermath (thehindu.com)

Khanittha ‘Mint’ Phasaeng, the Thai Beauty Queen Is a Garbage Collector


Myself

By T.V. Antony Raj

.

Khanittha “Mint” Phasaeng,, the beautiful Miss Uncensored News Thailand 2015 - invoking the blessings of her mother amidst trash bins (Source: bangkok.coconuts.co)
Khanittha “Mint” Phasaeng,, the beautiful Miss Uncensored News Thailand 2015 – invoking the blessings of her mother amidst trash bins (Source: bangkok.coconuts.co)

.

Many Asians, kneel and prostrate before their elders invoking their blessings. The above down-to-earth photo of Khanittha ‘Mint’ Phasaeng, the beauty queen who won the title Miss Uncensored News Thailand 2015, prostrating and invoking the blessings of her 47-year-old mother Orathai Pormaun, a garbage collector, amidst garbage bins, has won the heart of everyone who saw it on the internet.

According to the Bangkok Post, the 17-year-old Khanittha’s parents had separated when she was young and her mother had remarried. Khanittha lived in a 4-by-5-metre shack with five other family members where her mother also stored garbage for separation before sale.

Because of the crowded conditions at her home,  Khanittha had to move and live with an aunt. Due to poverty, Khanittha was then adopted by a salon owner named ‘Know’, who sent her to school until she completed primary school or Mathayom 3.

Khanittha adores her mother. She has never been ashamed of her background or what her mother does to earn a living.  “What I am today is because of my mother. There is no reason why I should feel inferior because my mother and I earn our livelihood by doing honest work.”

.

Khanittha Phasaeng sorting garbage with her mother (Source: women.asiaone.com)
Khanittha Phasaeng sorting garbage with her mother (Source: women.asiaone.com)

.

The teenager helps her family by assisting her mother sort recyclables from the trash. She also takes on  menial jobs and sells used clothes to help cover household expenses and her brother’s education.

Because she is tall and good looking, some friends suggested that she should enter the beauty contest “Miss Uncensored News Thailand 2015” launched by “Exclusive Star“, the Tabloid magazine, which had just celebrated its 3rd anniversary and entering its fourth year with aims to promote gender equality and same-sex marriage.

The aim of this pageant contest with the slogan “gender equality” was to bring all women together in a beauty showdown, whether identified as female at birth or have transformed to be one over the years. The contest allowed the participation of only Thai women and trans-women between the age of 17-25 years, to show off their beauty and talent for a reward. Applications were available from August 29, 2015, at Imperial World Samrong.

Encouraged by her friends, Khanittha decided to take part in this somewhat cut-throat competition.

The beauty pageant, Miss Uncensored News Thailand 2015 open to both women and Transgenders was held on Friday, September 25, 2015, at the Imperial World Samrong,

.

Khanittha 'Mint' Phasaeng, the beautiful Miss Uncensored News Thailand 2015 (Source - daliulian.net)
Khanittha ‘Mint’ Phasaeng, the beautiful Miss Uncensored News Thailand 2015 (Source – daliulian.net)
Khanittha 'Mint' Phasaeng, the beautiful Miss Uncensored News Thailand 2015 - with other participants (Sourc: daliulian.net)
Khanittha ‘Mint’ Phasaeng, the beautiful Miss Uncensored News Thailand 2015 – with other participants (Sourc: daliulian.net)

.

When the referee announced Khanittha the winner, she thought it was a dream and wondered how an ordinary girl like herself could have won the title of “Miss Uncensored News Thailand 2015.”

Almost immediately after crowning Khanittha ‘Mint’ Phasaeng as Miss Uncensored News Thailand 2015, many universities contacted the organizers offering her scholarships. This prompted the organizers to scrutinize her application form. They discovered that Khanittha had lied about her education. She had submitted that she had completed senior high school or Mathayom 6 (Level 12) whereas she has only completed primary school or Mathayom 3.

On Thursday, October 15, 2015, a news conference was held near Khanittha’s house in Samut Prakan province, to end speculation whether she would lose the crown.

Somchai ‘Daisy’ Leknoi, director of Miss Uncensored News Thailand 2015, told the press that the contest, held for the first time at the Imperial World Samrong, aimed to provide opportunities to people from all social classes. She said the organizers and the two runners-up held no grudge against her as the event did not limit the gender or education of competitors.  Nobody would take away her prizes, but she should not have lied about her education. Somchai Leknoi said, “However, we think she should apologize for her mistake. We just want all candidates to tell the truth, so they do not face any problems in the future.

.

Khanittha Phasaeng, the winner of Miss Uncensored News Thailand 2015, and organizer Somchai Leknoi (Source -bangkokpost.com)
Khanittha Phasaeng, the winner of Miss Uncensored News Thailand 2015, and organizer Somchai Leknoi (Source -bangkokpost.com)

.

Khanittha apologized to Somchai Leknoi, claiming she had no intention of lying about her education; her uncle had filled the application form for her and she had failed to check it before submitting it. She thanked the committee for not withholding her prizes. She said that she would spend the money on her brother’s education.

Khanittha THB 30,000 in cash as part of her prize.

After the win, Khanittha ‘Mint’ Phasaeng has gained advertising, film and television work which she hopes will improve the situation at home, and would continue to help her mother collect garbage for a living.

.

RELATED ARTICLES

.

 

 

“I Cried Because I Had No Shoes…”


Readers have viewed this post more than 27,463 times.

Myself

 

 

 

 

BT. V. Antony Raj

.

I have come across several websites that cited the quote: “I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet” and its variants.

Sadly, the claims of the origin of this quote vary. Some cite it as Chinese, Indian, Jewish, Irish, etc. Usually, it is quoted as anonymous with source unknown.

In Goodreads, we find two instances of the quote. One says Helen Keller said it and another says it was said by Wally Lamb.

In her book “EFFECTIVE LIVING,” Lois Smith Murray says on page 154:

Tolstoy wrote, “I cried because I had no shoes until I met  a man who had no feet.”

In his book “A FOR ARTEMIS,” Sutton Woodfield says on page 44:

Over Goldie’s bed, tacked on the wall, was one of those mottoes you can buy at Woolworths for a bob. This one said, “I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet.”

However, the most common claim points to the Persian poet Abū-Muhammad Muslih al-Dīn bin Abdallāh Shīrāzī (Persian: ابومحمد الدین بن عبدالله شیرازی‎), better known by his pen-name Saʿdī (Persian: سعدی‎) or Saadi Shirazi or simply Saadi. Born in Shiraz, Iran, c. 1210, he was one of the major Persian poets and prose writers of the medieval period.

Saadi Shirazi (1190 - 1290)
Saadi Shirazi (1190 – 1290)

.

His best-known works are Bustan (The Orchard) completed in 1257 and Gulistan (The Rose Garden) in 1258.

.

Saadi in a Rose garden, from a Mughal manuscript of his work Gulistan, c. 1645
Saadi in a Rose garden, from a Mughal manuscript of his work Gulistan, c. 1645

.

Saʿdī composed his didactic work Gulistan in both prose and verse. It contains many moralizing stories like the fables of the French writer Jean de La Fontaine (1621-95) and personal anecdotes. The text interspersed with a variety of short poems contains aphorisms, advice, and humorous reflections. It demonstrates Saʿdī ‘s profound awareness of the absurdity of human existence.

In Persian lands, his maxims were highly valued and manuscripts of his work were widely copied and illustrated. Saʿdī wrote that he composed Gulistan to teach the rules of conduct in life to both kings and dervishes.

In Chapter III On the Excellence of Contentment, story 19, Saʿdī  wrote:

Persian shoes (Source - hollywoodpsychotherapist.homestead.com)

I never lamented about the vicissitudes of time or complained of the turns of fortune except on the occasion when I was barefooted and unable to procure slippers. But when I entered the great mosque of Kufah with a sore heart and beheld a man without feet I offered thanks to the bounty of God, consoled myself for my want of shoes and recited:

A roast fowl is to the sight of a satiated man
Less valuable than a blade of fresh grass on the table
And to him who has no means nor power
A burnt turnip is a roasted fowl.

.

Funerary Monument of Sa’di, in Shiraz, Iran (Source: findagrave.com)
Funerary Monument of Sa’di, in Shiraz, Iran (Source: findagrave.com)

.

Saʿdī died on December 9, 1291, in Shiraz, Iran.

Modern versions of his story are often cited erroneously as Arabian proverbs, with wordings such as:

I thought I was abused because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet,”

I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet,

I felt sorry because I had no shoes, then I met a man who had no feet.

In the case of Helen Keller the quote “I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet” derived from Saʿdī ‘s story had been her credo. It helped her overcome self-pity and to be of service to others.

Recently I saw this quote on Facebook that cited the author as William Shakespeare. Facebook is a notorious medium where people post quotes without verifying who said it in the first instance. For example, the recent trend has been to take someone’s quote and add a picture of some dignitary and post it saying it was said so by that dignitary. Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam happens to be one of those favourite dignitaries. So, someone might even post this quote with the picture of Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and claim that this was said by him. And some people to keep up with the Joneses will immediately copy the quote and propagate it believing in the false axiom that “whatever is in print must be true.”

.

RELATED ARTICLES

.

Money Is the Root of All Evil…


.
Myself  .By T.V. Antony Raj

.

For the love of money is the root of all evils, and some people in their desire for it have strayed from the faith and have pierced themselves with many pains. – 1 Timothy 6:10  (The New American Bible, Revised Edition – NABRE)

.

Money Is the Root of All Evil

.

When he has no money and even when he works in a hotel he comes home to eat.

When he has money and even when food is cooked at home he goes to a hotel to eat.

When he has no money he uses the bicycle to fill his shrunken belly.

When he has money he uses the bicycle to reduce his fat belly.

When he has no money he yearns for food.

When he has money he yearns for wealth.

When he has no money he acts as if he is rich.

When he has money he acts as if he is poor.

When he had peace he longed for money.

Now when he has money he longs for peace.

.

I was hungry and you gave me food, …


Myself 

By T. V. Antony Raj

.

.

Seated there on the snow, the old destitute was shivering. A middle-aged woman walked up to him and said: “Good morning!”

The man looked up at the woman. Her coat was new, a woman accustomed to the finer things in life. She looked healthy and virile as if she had never missed a meal in her life.

“Are you hungry?” she asked gently.

He thought the woman wanted to make fun of him like many others had done before.

“No,” the destitute answered with a sarcastic grin. “I’ve just come from dining with the president… Now go away.”

To his amazement, the woman continued standing there. She was smiling.

“Leave me alone,” he growled.

She bent towards him and placed her right hand gently under his arm and tried to raise him up.

“What are you doing, lady?” the man hollered. “I told you to leave me alone.”

Just then a police officer appeared from nowhere.

“Madam, is there any problem?” the police officer inquired.

“No. No problem here, officer,” the woman answered. “I am just trying to get this gentleman on to his feet. Will you help me?”

The officer hesitated and scratched his head.

“That’s old Jack. He’s been around here for a couple of years. What do you want with him?”

She pointed at the hotel a few yards away and said: “I want to take him there and get him out of the cold and keep him warm for a while and then get something for him to eat.”

“Are you crazy, lady?” Jack yelled.  ““I’ll not go in there!””

As he felt the strong hands of the police officer grab his other arm and lift him up Jack pleaded, “Let me go, officer. I didn’t do anything.”

Finally, and with some difficulty, the woman and the police officer got Jack into the cafeteria. It was eleven in the morning, and most of the breakfast crowd had already left. They seated him at a table in a remote corner.

The hotel manager saw the trio and came over to their table.

“What’s going on here, officer?” the manager asked the police officer. “Is this man here to create trouble?”

“Sir, this lady brought this man in here to be fed,” the policeman answered.

“No. No. No. Not in here!” snorted the manager. “Having a person in a prestigious establishment like this is bad for our business.”

Toothless old Jack grinned at the woman sarcastically. “See, lady. I told you didn’t I? Now can you both let me go? I didn’t want to come here in the first place.”

The woman turned to the restaurant manager and smiled.

“Sir, are you familiar with Eddy and Associates, the banking firm down the street?” she asked.

“Of course I am,” the manager answered irritatingly. “Their weekly meetings are held in one of our conference rooms.”

“And you make enough of money at these weekly meetings by renting the conference room and catering food?”

“What business is that of yours?” the manager snorted.

“I, Sir, am the president and CEO of that company. My name is Penelope Eddy.”

“Oh,” the manager gasped.

Penelope Eddy smiled again. “That makes a difference. Isn’t it?”

She glanced at the police officer stifling a giggle and said, “Would you like to join us and have something to eat, officer?”

“No thanks,” the officer replied. “I’m on duty.”

“Then, perhaps, a cup of coffee to warm you?” Penelope asked.

“Yes. That would be very nice,” replied the officer.

The manager turned on his heel. “I will get your coffee for you right away, officer.”

As they watched the manager hurrying away, the police officer said: “You certainly put him in his place.”

“That was not my intent,” she smiled. “Believe it or not, I have a reason for all this.”

Penelope stared intently at the bemused Jack and asked him: “Sir, do you remember me?”

Old Jack searched her face with his old, rheumy eyes. “I think so … I mean … You do look familiar.”

“I am perhaps a bit older than what I was when you worked here,” she said. “Maybe I have filled out more than the day I came through that door, lean, cold and hungry.”

The police officer could not believe that such a magnificent woman could ever have been hungry.

“I was just out of college,” Penelope continued. “I had come to the city looking for a job, but no one wanted to hire a fresher. Finally, I was down to my last few cents. I walked for hours. It was February and I was cold and starving. Then, I saw this place and walked in hoping to get some leftovers to eat.”

Jack lit up with a smile.

“Now I remember,” he said. “I was behind the serving counter. You came up and asked me if you could work on something to eat. I said that it was against company policy.”

“But, then you made me the biggest roast beef sandwich that I had ever seen. You gave me a cup of coffee and told me to go over to a corner table and enjoy my food. I was afraid that you would get into trouble. Then, when I glanced at you, I saw you taking cash from your wallet and putting it in the cash register as payment for my food .”

“So you started your own business?” Old Jack said.

“I got a job that very afternoon. I worked my way up. Eventually, I started my own business. With God’s help, I prospered.”

She opened her purse and pulled out a business card and gave it to Jack.

“When you are finished here, I want you to pay a visit to a Mr Lyons. He is the personnel director of my company. I will talk to him and I am certain he will find something for you to do around the office.”

She smiled. “I think he might even find the funds to give you a little advance so that you can buy some clothes and get a place to live until you get on your feet. If you ever need anything, my door is always open to you.”

Tears welled in the old man’s eyes. “How can I ever thank you?” he asked.

“Don’t thank me,” Penelope said. “To God goes the glory. He led me to you.”

Outside the cafeteria, the police officer and Penelope Eddy paused at the entrance before going their separate ways. “Thank you for all your help, officer,” she said.

“On the contrary, Ms Eddy,” he answered. “Thank you. I saw a miracle today madam, something that I will never forget. And … And thank you for the coffee.”

The above story reminds me of what I read in  Matthew 25:34-45.

Then the king will say to those on his right,

‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father.

Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’

Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’

And the king will say to them in reply,

‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’

Then he will say to those on his left,

‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’

Then they will answer and say,

‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’

He will answer them,

‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’

.

P.S.: There are many versions of this story circulating on the Internet. This is my version adapted from some of them. The 2008 book “Reminisces of Happy Times” by Robert Wiley, is a collection of humorous and inspirational pieces, many of which are known to be fictional, compiled by the author from other sources. This story appeared under the title “The Lifestyle of a Street Man.” So, that book is not the original source for this tale. To be frank, I do not know where this story originated and whether Ms Penelope Eddy, and her banking firm Eddy and Associates really existed.

.

United States: A Cold, Inhospitable, and Cruel Country for the Poor


.

Myself By T.V. Antony Raj

.

Poor-in-US-2.jpg
“Family in Need. Due Lay off. Any help Appreciated. Thank you God Bless.” (Photo: T.V. Antony Raj)

The United States can be a cold, inhospitable, and cruel country for the poor, where mercy and compassion are not particularly evident.

Poverty continues to grow each year, and the middle class continues to shrink as unemployment stays high. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2011, due to rising living costs, nearly half the Americans have fallen into poverty or are scraping by on earnings that classify them as low income. In other words, more than 146 million Americans are categorized as poor or have a low income, and this does not include those classified in the “near poverty” category. These figures follow years of stagnating wages for the middle class that has hurt millions of workers and families.

Though the federal government claims that the recession is over and things are getting better, the number of layoffs last month in the United States was 30 percent higher than a year ago. What the poor in this country really need are jobs.

Mole people living under New York City
Mole people living under New York City.

Poverty has driven thousands of people out of their homes and has transformed them in to mole people, living under major U.S. cities – in abandoned subways, railroads, flood and sewage tunnels and heating shafts. They are also called “tunnel people” or “tunnel dwellers”. Mole people are found in New York City, Las Vegas and even in Kansas City, Missouri.

Besides the thousands of mole people living under the major U.S. cities, there are thousands living in tent cities, thousands that living in vehicles. It is pathetic to know that more than a million public school children do not have a home to go back to at night.

.

.

Six Word Saturday – June 23, 2012 : A miracle


Here’s my entry for Six Word Saturday:

I WAS HUNGRY, YOU FED ME.

The man slowly looked up at the woman. Her coat was new. She looked as if she had never missed a meal in her life. A woman clearly accustomed to the finer things in life.

“Are you hungry?” she asked.

His first thought was that she wanted to make fun of him, like so many others had done before.

“No,” he answered sarcastically. “I’ve just come from dining with the president. Now go away.”

To his amazement, the woman continued standing. She was smiling. Her even white teeth displayed in dazzling rows.

“Leave me alone,” he growled.

The woman’s smile became even broader. Suddenly the man felt a gentle hand under his arm.

“What are you doing, lady?” the man asked angrily. “I told you to leave me alone.”

Just then a policeman appeared from nowhere.

“Is there any problem, ma’am?” the policeman asked.

“No problem here, officer,” the woman answered. “I’m just trying to get this man to his feet. Will you help me?”

The officer scratched his head.

“That’s old Jack. He’s been a fixture around here for a couple of years. What do you want with him?”

“See that cafeteria over there?” she pointed. “I’m going to get him something to eat and get him out of the cold for awhile.”

“Are you crazy, lady?” the homeless man yelled. “I don’t want to go in there!”

Then he felt strong hands grab his other arm and lift him up.

“Let me go, officer. I didn’t do anything,” he moaned.

“This is a good deal for you, Jack. Don’t blow it,” the officer said.

Finally, and with some difficulty, the woman and the police officer got Jack into the cafeteria and seated him at a table in a remote corner. It was the eleven in the morning, and most of the breakfast crowd had already left and the lunch bunch had not yet arrived.

The manager saw the trio and strode across the cafeteria and stood beside their table.

“What’s going on here, officer? Is this man here to create trouble?” the manager asked.

“Sir, this lady brought this man in here to be fed,” the policeman answered.

“Not in here!” snorted the manager angrily. “Having a person like this here is bad for business.”

Old Jack smiled a toothless grin.

“See, lady. I told you didn’t I? Now can you both let me go? I didn’t want to come here in the first place.”

“ The woman turned to the cafeteria manager and smiled.

“Sir, are you familiar with Eddy and Associates, the banking firm down the street?” she asked.

“Of course I am,” the manager answered impatiently. “They hold their weekly meetings in one of my banquet rooms.”

“And don’t you make enough of money catering food at these weekly meetings?”

“What business is that of yours?” the manager retorted.

“I, Sir, am Penelope Eddy, president and CEO of the company.”

“Oh,” the manager gasped.

The woman smiled again. “I thought that might make a difference.”

She glanced at the police officer stifling a giggle and said, “Would you like to join us in a cup of coffee and something to eat, officer?”

“No thanks, ma’am,” the officer replied. “I’m on duty.”

“Then, perhaps, a cup of coffee to go?”

“Yes, ma’am. That would be very nice.”

The cafeteria manager turned on his heel. “I’ll get your coffee for you right away, officer.”

They watched the manager hurrying away.

“You certainly put him in his place,” the police officer said.

“That was not my intent,” she smiled. “Believe it or not, I have a reason for all this.”

She sat down at the table across from Jack, her bemused dinner guest. She stared at him intently.

“Jack, do you remember me?” she asked.

Old Jack searched her face with his old, rheumy eyes.

“I think so .. I mean … You do look familiar.”

“I’m a little older perhaps,” she said. “Maybe I’ve even filled out more than in my younger days when you worked here, and I came through that very door, cold and hungry.”

“Ma’am?” the officer said questioningly. He couldn’t believe that such a magnificently turned out woman could ever have been hungry.

“I was just out of college,” the woman began. “I had come to the city looking for a job, but I couldn’t find anything. Finally I was down to my last few cents and had been kicked out of my apartment. I walked the streets for days. It was February and I was cold and nearly starving. I saw this place and walked in on the off chance that I could get something to eat.”

Jack lit up with a smile.

“Now I remember,” he said. “I was behind the serving counter. You came up and asked me if you could work for something to eat. I said that it was against company policy.”

“I know,” the woman continued. “Then you made me the biggest roast beef sandwich that I had ever seen, gave me a cup of coffee, and told me to go over to a corner table and enjoy it. I was afraid that you would get into trouble. Then, when I looked over, I saw you put the cash for my food in the cash register. I knew then that everything would be alright.”

“So you started your own business?” Old Jack said.

“I got a job that very afternoon. I worked my way up. Eventually I started my own business, that, with the help of God, prospered.”

She opened her purse and pulled out a business card.

“When you are finished here, I want you to pay a visit to a Mr. Lyons. He’s the personnel director of my company. I’ll go talk to him now and I’m certain he’ll find something for you to do around the office.” She smiled. “I think he might even find the funds to give you a little advance so that you can buy some clothes and get a place to live until you get on your feet. If you ever need anything, my door is always opened to you.”

Tears welled in the old man’s eyes. “How can I ever thank you?” he asked.

“Don’t thank me,” the woman answered. “To God goes the glory. Thank Jesus. He led me to you.”

Outside the cafeteria, the officer and the woman paused at the entrance before going their separate ways. “Thank you for all your help, officer,” she said.

“On the contrary, Ms. Eddy,” he answered. “Thank you. I saw a miracle today ma’am, something that I will never forget. And … And thank you for the coffee.”

Matthew 25:34-40

Then the king will say to those on his right,

‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

For I was hungry and you gave me food,
I was thirsty and you gave me drink,
a stranger and you welcomed me,
naked and you clothed me,
ill and you cared for me,
in prison and you visited me.’

Then the righteous will answer him and say,

‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?
When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?
When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’

And the king will say to them in reply,

‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’

Click on the badge above for more details on this challenge.

Add this anywhere

On Poverty – Blessed Teresa of Calcutta


.

Myself 

By T. V. Antony Raj

.

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta
Blessed Teresa of Calcutta

.

“The greatest disease in the West today is not TB or leprosy; it is being unwanted, unloved, and uncared for. We can cure physical diseases with medicine, but the only cure for loneliness, despair and hopelessness, is love. There are many in the world who are dying for a piece of bread but there are many more dying for a little love. The poverty in the West is a different kind of poverty — it is not only a poverty of loneliness but also of spirituality. There’s a hunger for love, as there is a hunger for God.”

“Each one of them is Jesus in disguise.”

“It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.”

“Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty.”

“The most terrible poverty is loneliness and the feeling of being unloved.”

“Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.”

“When you don’t have anything, then you have everything.”

.

Poverty

Poverty

Poverty

Poverty

Poverty

Poverty

Poverty

Poverty

Poverty

Poverty

Poverty
Poverty

Poverty
Poverty
.
RELATED ARTICLES
.
.

Add this anywhere