The biographer of Mother Teresa says the real miracle of the nun was the Vatican’s acceptance of her plea to leave the convent without quitting the order.
"That the Church gave its assent is nothing short of a miracle, for it had never allowed a nun to leave the convent without excommunicating her from the order. Mother Teresa's wish was even more audacious,” Naveen Chawla told an English news daily.
She wanted to work alone in a city that was then unsafe as the country had just been born and was in the midst of chaos. “Had Vatican turned down her request like bishops in Kolkata, the Missionaries of Charity might have been nipped in the bud," said Chawla.
He was in Kolkata to speak on Mother Teresa at the St Xavier's College auditorium.
Chawla also believes that the success of Missionaries of Charity, which the Blessed Teresa set up in 1950, had much to do with it starting in Kolkata.
"Kolkata is a very compassionate city. People responded to Mother's goodness and wanted to help her. In no time, she had people rallying around," he said.
There was a streak of obstinacy about the nun. If she thought she would do something, she wouldn't give up without trying very hard, said the former chief election commissioner, who first came in touch with the saint of gutters at a function in Delhi in 1975.
"For all the 23 years I knew Mother Teresa, I never saw her frown. She would tell me you can't serve the Lord with a long face. To her, the inmates were the Destitute Christ, the Ailing Christ, the Dying Christ," he said.
Spread across 123 countries, the former bureaucrat termed the Missionaries of Charity as the largest management exercise in the NGO sector.
Chawla said that Blessed Teresa greatly influenced him in his functioning as the chief election commissioner.
“When we went for an election, it involved 3 million electoral staff and 8 million security personnel. Though it is a tough job with immense stress, I tried to be compassionate when dealing with everyone," he said.
Source: Times of India
India: I can never forget the support of the church, he said.