Kolkata (AsiaNews) - Brother Yesudas is a Missionary of Charity, the male branch of the order founded by Mother Teresa. He has worked for years in the "Shanti Bhavan (House of Peace") in Calcutta, where, along with other brothers and volunteers he cares for people suffering from AIDS and other serious diseases. This Christmas he has shared this reflection with us which we publish below . This Christmas 2010 is special for it is the centenary of the birth of Mother Teresa.
(With contributions from Nirmala Carvalho).
I continue to make my journey in life with the poor and suffering people around me. The year 2010 started with a beautiful reflection of Blessed Mother Teresa in preparation of the centenary of her birth; “We have been created for greater things, to love and to be loved.” We are all created for greater things!
In our life’s journey, surrounded with the poor and suffering people, “we all learn lots of profound wisdom”.
As the wrinkles appear on our faces in our life journey, we come to admit that our external contribution is totally dependent on the inner energies we generate, the spiritual strength we come to recognize within us. That is what Christmas is all about - it proclaims God is within us as He continues to do His wonders with us.
Our world today sees greater things as our progress of science, the technical advances, our great qualifications , electronic media, entertainment channels, and internet information etc. They are all admirable and amazing achievements of human beings. But in the midst of these admirable achievement we also have lost our innocence , we have lost something of our frankness.
Our true greatness does not make any claim to special qualities, abilities or importance. In true greatness there is simple beauty and transparency of loving and being loved. It is a love that brings life and a life that is ready to die in love. Christmas is a story of love that gives life and a life that is ready to die in love.
For us here in Shanti Bhavan the year has been a discovery of greater things. We have improved our facilities for HIV/AIDS patients and we are in touch with death and life. We accompanied Mr.Omesh Oram with recurrent cryptococcal meningitis for 6 months. Omesh was a silent sufferer fighting for life, and medicine from Luxemburg and Germany did not save him. We accompanied him to the last moment of his journey here on earth. We still continue to walk with his suffering wife and children. Our service is a little communion in love with this family.
We also walked with Mr.Sanjib Saha for two months. He lived on the street. He came to us with advanced HIV infections of tuberculosis in its worse manifestations .He was also struck with most painful and aggressive types of tumours on his gum which was continually bleeding .In the midst of all his suffering he was happy and grateful for the shelter and care we offered. As I watched his death, I saw his eyes were opened and he looked at us with great thankfulness .
A few weeks ago I took Mrs.Mamata Banarjee from the Tropical School of Medicine to our Sisters’ home for the women who are suffering from HIV/AIDS . She was 45 years old and weighed only 22 kilos. In the terminal stage of her illness, bed ridden with dissemination of infections of tuberculosis, viral and fungal infections, her face was filled with the shadow of distress and the inner anguish was strangling her slowly. She was not able to utter a word but looked at us with hope. The sister with great care bathed her and spoke to her in her broken Bengali. The voice of the sister was a great consolation for Mamata. The next day her face was more radiant and with her soft voice she could say to me;“I am feeling better”.
The other side of our journey here is to contemplate the beauty of people who were once upon a time very sick and dying, now helping others who need care and attention. Ashram, Kanai, and Robi are a part of this apostolate here in Tengra. They are always there to help others in their needs. They are so grateful for the support and care which they have received from the Brothers and they want to give their lives in the service of others who are in need. It is also so enriching to contemplate the growing communion in the families of Mr.Dilip, Mr.Silender Nath Mete, Biswajit and others who have come to life and returned to their jobs. From their broken heart flows a joy of communion .
I see every day Mr. Hemanto Mukarjee drag himself towards the little garden in front of our house to water the plants. He suffers from AIDS associated arthropathy and in the midst of acute pain in his knees, elbows and shoulders, he wants to feel useful and creative. When I see the little flowers open out to the sunshine in the morning , I meditate on the beauty God has made through the creative power of Hemanto. Beyond pain we are called to discover the joy and power of love. Each of those flowers in the little garden proclaims the love and goodness of Hemanto. In my contemplation I see this goodness spreading out to each Brother and to every one who lives here.
In our participation in the goodness of people, we become more compassionate and radiate the warmth of God who was born at Christmas .Let your celebration of Christmas and New Year be a participation in the goodness of people who are least in your family and community.