Two Lives to Im­i­tate

The grandma and the saint

Activated - - FRONT PAGE - By Rosane Pereira Rosane Pereira is an English teacher and writer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and a mem­ber of the Fam­ily In­ter­na­tional.

My grand­mother Sabina was a saint that I had the priv­i­lege to meet per­son­ally. She had no birth cer­tifi­cate, but went to school long enough to learn how to read well. She read her Bi­ble daily and never missed a Sun­day mass. She was kind and gen­tle, yet never missed an op­por­tu­nity to teach us some­thing to build our char­ac­ter, like the time my sis­ter, my cousins, and I stole fruit from the neigh­bors. She only had to look at us when we got home to know we'd been up to mis­chief. Af­ter we ad­mit­ted what we'd done, she had us go back and apol­o­gize.

She was the only per­son that I had to ask for a bless­ing and kiss her hand when sa­lut­ing, ac­cord­ing to the old cus­tom, but I felt the magic when she'd an­swer: “God bless you, my lit­tle daugh­ter!” She was small and frail, but her 8 chil­dren and 14 grand­chil­dren all loved her and looked up to her. My father said that she'd lived her en­tire life for her fam­ily and he'd never heard a com­plaint from her mouth. She was a great woman who in­flu­enced many in her own way, my­self in­cluded.

She re­minds me of another great lit­tle per­son, Mother Teresa of Cal­cutta. I re­cently saw the bi­o­graphic movie The Let­ters of Mother Teresa. It por­trays her hum­ble 1. Matthew 25:40 NIV 2. Charles A. Miles, 1914 begin­nings with the poor, and how some of her rich high school stu­dents de­cided to give their lives to Je­sus due to her ex­am­ple. It also tells of her suf­fer­ings and even of her crit­ics, peo­ple that wanted to stop her good work.

Her ex­am­ple of love will live on for­ever and keep in­flu­enc­ing many peo­ple for gen­er­a­tions to come. Even though she didn't have chil­dren like my grand­mother, she gave her life to the chil­dren of God. Her motto was: “What­ever you did for one of the least of th­ese broth­ers and sis­ters of mine, you did for me.” She saw Je­sus in

1 ev­ery­one she helped. Help­ing oth­ers was her way to thank Je­sus for what He had done for her through His teach­ings and death on the cross. Her ex­am­ple of love will live on for­ever and keep in­flu­enc­ing many peo­ple for many gen­er­a­tions to come.

Why aren't there more Mother Tere­sas? I guess peo­ple don't un­der­stand the depth of the love of God for hu­mankind as well as she did. I am still learn­ing about it. As the old hymn says: “Wide, wide as the ocean, high as the heaven above; deep, deep as the deep­est sea is my Sav­ior's love.”

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