Thursday, August 07, 2008

There are soul links between people
for which prayer is the link itself.
Read this remarkable story of a
soul link between every sister in
Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of
Charity and a disabled and suffering
person, which began with Mother Teresa
and Jacqueline de Decker, a Belgian
nurse, and ultimately involved
thousands of people:

For two years, prior to meeting
Mother Teresa in Calcutta, de Decker
had lived alone and worked among
the poor in Madras, trying to relieve
suffering. During the same two years,
Teresa had sought permission to found
a new order that would serve the poorest
of the poor.
The two women met and de Decker joined
Teresa’s project but soon became severely
ill with a spinal problem and had to return
to Belgium. Distraught, she wrote to
Mother Teresa saying farewell.

Here is what happened next, resulting
from Mother Teresa’s response to her
letter, quoting from Beyond Love, by
Dominque Lapierre:

“In the spaces of a few lines, Mother
Teresa outlined for her a unique project:
the creation of an association that
would weave across land and ocean,
the links of a mystical communion
between those who suffer in their
bodies and need to be active, and
those who are active and need
the prayers of others in order
to be so.
'Today I am going to propose something
to you that will fill you with joy,'
Teresa wrote to her Belgian friend.
'Will you become my twin Sister and
a true Missionary of Charity, being in
body in Belgium but in soul in India?
By becoming spiritually linked to our
efforts, through the offering of your
suffering and your prayers you will
share in our work in the slums.'

Thus was born the Link for the Sick and
Suffering Coworkers of Mother Theresa.
The first links were formed between
twenty-seven severely handicapped and
incurably sick people and the first
twenty-seven sisters who had gone with
Mother Teresa to serve the poorest of
the poor in the Calcutta slums.
Thirty-five years later, the Link
involved thousands of people.

= Adapted from Close to the Bone, by
Jean Shinoda Bolen, M.D.
(Conari Press, 2007)

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