>Living in "Calcutta"

Just what this mom needs during a Sunday funk: a nudge, or maybe a soft slap in the face reminder. From the excellent Deacon’s Bench. Another excellent homily for today. Here’s a bit:

This past week, when a lot of the world was fixated on Sarah Palin’s daughter, and the problem of teen pregnancy, there was news about one baby that didn’t get much attention.

It should have.

The AP reported the story of a little baby named Solomon, an Ethiopian child who was left by his mother at an orphanage there when he was just one year old. The only things his mother left with him were a crucifix and a picture of Jesus. It was, in effect, a death sentence. Because little Solomon had HIV. He was one of about 14-thousand Ethiopian babies born with the virus every year. The health care system has to struggle to care for these infants, with limited resources. But during a visit to Ethiopia, a Wyoming mother named Erin Henderson saw Solomon, and fell in love. She decided to adopt him on the spot. Officials told her they weren’t sure he’d even live through the weekend. But he did. And Erin Henderson brought him home to Wyoming.

And, one more snip, because this part is from one of my very favorite saints: Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta:

This past Friday was the feast day of that nun, Blessed Mother Teresa. When people would show up at her convent in India, wanting to volunteer, she would tell them instead, “Find your own Calcutta.” The fact is: Calcutta is here. It is Forest Hills. It is Long Island. It is in an air-conditioned office with a cubicle. Calcutta may even be found in your own living room. It is anyplace people are in need, desperate for encouragement, or comfort, or hope.
Mother Teresa knew that. “There is a terrible hunger for love,” she said. “We all experience that in our lives – the pain, the loneliness. We must have the courage to recognize it. The poor you may have right in your own family. Find them. Love them.”

But it’s not the sort of love that belongs just to saints. It belongs to all of us, if we choose it.

Go, read, it’s Sunday, just perfect for the day.