This following story was told to me (Sr. Patricia) by Fr. Langford, the cofounder of the Missionary of Charity priests in a radio interview I was doing with him for my program, “Faith, Hope and Action.” I was so moved by his story that I asked him for permission to include it in this book and he graciously agreed. This story is the transcription from that interview:
One day in the mother house in Calcutta there were about three hundred novices and they were all out for the morning. One of the novices working in the kitchen came up to Mother Teresa and said, “We’ve planned poorly; we have no flour to back these chipaties for lunch.” Chipaties are little flour and water pancakes. The situation looked bleak—three hundred plus mouths are coming to be fed in about an hour and a half and there’s nothing to cook with. There’s no food.
“What I would expect Mother Teresa to do,” Fr. Langford explained to me, “was that Mother would pick up the telephone and call some of her benefactors and mobilize them to find some way to feed her daughters. Instead, her reaction—her spontaneous reaction—was to say to this little one, ‘Sister, you’re in charge of the kitchen this week? Well then, go into the chapel and tell Jesus we have no food. That’s settled. Now let’s move on. What’s next?’”
Lo and behold, ten minutes later there was a ring at the door and Mother Teresa was called downstairs. A man she had never seen before was standing there with a clipboard. He addressed her saying “Mother Teresa, we were just informed that the teachers at the city schools are going on strike. Classes have been dismissed and we have 7,000 lunches we don’t know what to do with. Can you help us use them?”
God provided for the needs of his children.
Mother Teresa’s sanctity was built on a very simple foundation of deep faith and trust in God. Mother Teresa turned to Him in prayer, not only in need, but also to rest in the arms of the Father—body and spirit.
That is how Mother Teresa lived each day of her life.
This is an excerpt from the book, Let the Fire Fall, by Michael Scanlan, TOR, Servant Publications.