Paint Your Prayers in Silent Solitude
“Believe much more in his love than in our own weakness.” – Mother Teresa
The room quiet, only a few young reflective observers. A candle lit at the head of the marble tomb, giving a soft ambient glow in comparison to the fluorescence above. Distant laughter creeps in from volunteers sitting just outside the room.
Mother Teresa died in 1997. Her marble tomb resides in the Motherhouse, ’s of Charity’s first home. Mother arrived in India in 1929, founded the Missionaries of Charity in 1950 and ministered to the poor, sick and dying for over 45 years.
A nun wearing the habit with a blue-and-white-checkered apron enters, wipes the marble with a wet cloth and sets a small bouquet of flowers atop next to a box titled “Prayer Intentions”. With gentle hands and great care, she forms the words “Suffering – the kiss of Jesus” with fresh flower pedals.
Each day the sisters write different messages on Mother’s tomb with flower pedals. Today’s message, “Suffering – the kiss of Jesus.”
Fans move the stagnant air, while rows of benches wait to be warmed by prayerful sojourners. Sister opens the windows; a soft cool breeze blows in.
He walks in, barefoot, kneels down and kisses Mother’s tomb. His salt and peppered hair give away his age; that and the fanny pack buckled around his waist. He crosses himself before beginning his prayers.
I wonder what he is praying.
A large crucifix with the Mother’s renowned message “I Thirst” hangs on a wall. A four-foot statue of Mary sits in the corner, as if to watch over Mother’s tomb.
A young girl takes a photo in an effort to preserve her time in Kolkata.
I wonder what effect this city is having on her.