When glorifying God means saving a man from physical and spiritual prostration: an experience with the sisters of Madre Teresa in Budapest.

From the very beginning of our presence in Budapest, we have sought to enter into relationship with the expressions of ecclesial life that share our way of living Christianity. It was natural, therefore, when we met the Missionaries of Charity. The point of contact was born from the demand the sisters had for a priest who could listen to their confessions in English. With time, their house became a central point for our mission, a place in which we would go, often bringing young people, to experience their life of charity. Even if the form of our day may seem far from the life of the Missionaries, in truth, we have many similarities: these sisters live in adoration and prayer, without any hint of activism. Christ is always most important. Their faith is put to work through tireless charity, which is often heroic. The goal is that all, with a particular attention to the poor as well as immigrants, are given the possibility to know the love of Christ.
One day, one of the Indian sisters shared with me an incident that had disturbed her: «not even in the sewers of Calcutta have we seen something like this, father… a man in a state of complete abandonment! The neighbors called, worried about the stench and the insects that were surrounding the apartment. He was living curled up in the middle of dirty food and insects, emaciated. We carried him to our house because he was not able to walk by himself. Now we need to return to his apartment and search for his documents before the disinfectants destroy everything.» Two days later I went with the sisters to the apartment of this man. One of the sisters had with her a role of electrical tape. I asked what it was for but did not receive a response. We entered the apartment and were greeted by a terrible odor. The sister used the electrical tape to seal shut the refrigerator door, «Inside there is rotten meat. We have lots of work to do». When I offered to help move the furniture, the sisters thanked me warmly, but denied my attempt, affirming proudly that which is their work, their way of glorifying God. They asked me instead to pray for the other tenants and to return to bless the apartment after it has been cleaned.
I also had the opportunity to meet the man, when he was clean, wearing new clothes, healthy and able to walk again. He told me that it was not that he was poor, but it was a severe depression and solitude that placed him in a position of mental prostration. It’s true, what Mother Teresa would say, that the most profound poverty is found in the countries most developed, in the form of solitude, desperation, lack of meaning, absence of God. And yet it’s also true that the most desperate situations can be saved, thanks to men and women who have encountered Christ and live their lives for Him.

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