The Pain of Loneliness

While doing a high school report on the life of Mother Teresa, I came to conclude several thoughts on the pain of being alone and feeling unwanted.

During her life, Mother Teresa did her best to ensure that dying patients in her Missionary houses of Calcutta were surrounded with love and care, especially the moments leading up to the time of their death.

She did this because she recognized each individual person, whether Muslim, Hindu, or Christian, as God’s Creation, worthy of human respect. Mother believed that the worst poverty a person could experience was to be considered invisible to one’s fellow humans, unloved and unwanted.

The care Mother Teresa showed to the destitute — by providing a bed to sleep in, food to eat, and medical supplies — was graciously accepted by the poor, and their gratitude could not be mistaken for anything otherwise.

In Kerry Walters’ book: St. Teresa of Calcutta – Missionary, Mother, Mystic, the author cites an instance in Mother’s life when she and her Sisters were looking through the streets of Calcutta for people who were dying. Mother Teresa had spoken of the occasion, saying:

“We picked up four people from the street, and one of them was in a most terrible condition – and I told the Sisters: ‘You take care of the other three, I take care of this one that looked worse’…I put her in bed, and there was such a beautiful smile on her face. She took hold of my hand, as she said one word only: Thank you – and she died.”

Mother Teresa was able to give comfort to the utterly destitute, despite not having modern appliances and technology at her disposal. These people were literally all alone, with not a friend in the world, dying on the streets. By doing her best with what she had, Mother made these people feel more loved and at peace than many people who have many modern accommodations today.

I have come to this conclusion from instances in life that I have witnessed myself.

There are many people in nursing homes that have many material comforts: heated and cooled rooms, television, warm food, usable plumbing…but many of them are not happy. They sit in front of windows much of the day…hoping…waiting for the possibility of a family member or friend coming to visit them…a son or daughter, nephew or niece.

I believe that it is situations like this that express the fact that material things of this world cannot fully satisfy man. People need to be shown Christian charity — Christ’s love. This is the only thing that can relieve the pain of loneliness.

So please, take a minute out of your day to acknowledge those in your life that you may not give much of your time to.

 “A new commandment I give unto you: That you love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another.” (John 13:34-35)

 

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6 thoughts on “The Pain of Loneliness

  1. Patrick,

    It’s clear from your post that you are extolling love and what Christian would not agree with that? However, our greatest need is to know the Lord as our Saviour, and Mother Teresa did not see sharing the Gospel of the love and forgiveness of God in Jesus Christ as her priority. In her book, Life in the Spirit: Reflections, Meditations and Prayers, she wrote:

    “We never try to convert those who receive [aid from Missionaries of Charity] to Christianity but in our work we bear witness to the love of God’s presence and if Catholics, Protestants, Buddhists, or agnostics become for this better men — simply better — we will be satisfied. It matters to the individual what church he belongs to. If that individual thinks and believes that this is the only way to God for her or him, this is the way God comes into their life — his life. If he does not know any other way and if he has no doubt so that he does not need to search then this is his way to salvation.” (Pages 81-82)

    Is it love to withhold the truth of Jesus Christ from people who are suffering and dying? This cannot be. The Lord commanded us to make disciples, not good Muslims or Hindus:

    Matthew 28 (New American Bible)
    19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”

    Those who love the Lord keep His commandments. Loneliness is a cruel affliction. Hell is separation from the Lord forever, eternal punishment. We MUST preach the Gospel to the lost!

    Liked by 1 person

    • While I understand the importance of spreading the Gospel, you need to take into account the kind of work Mother Teresa did. Many of the people the Missionaries took in were dying or on the verge of death. With them in this state it was not the proper time to begin instruction on Christ and the Gospel. All the Missionaries could do at this point is to comfort their patients in their dying hour.

      Now, I’m not sure if you are aware of it, but for those patients who were coherent and able to make decisions themselves, Mother did always ask them if they wanted to be Baptized a Christian, and told them, as much as she could about Christ before they died. She and her sisters never forced the sacrament on the dying, but didn’t neglect to ask if they wanted to receive it either.

      Mother often said that several thousands of people accepted Baptism before death in the Missionary houses.

      Mother’s point was that if people were content with their religion, then that was their decision. Christianity could not be forced upon anyone, that would of course have been sinful.

      Mother’s purpose was to provide physical comfort for the dying destitute, and if any one of them wished to learn about Christ, or become Christian, she would provide information for them. Mother Teresa truly loved the poor, anything otherwise is out of the question.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Great article, Patrick! Mother Teresa certainly had an incredible witness. Your article reminded me of something I was reading about last night: Christianity flourished in ancient Rome, despite persecution, simply because of the uncommon love that Christians showed.

    We are so blessed to have Mother Teresa as such a great example that people can show great love, despite how much wealth or “things” we have. Great job!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! Yes, it should be noted that Christianity in the first few centuries broke through all odds to survive…because it is truly God-instituted, and cannot be fully silenced. There will always be at least one light in the dark.

      Liked by 2 people

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