By Novice Rintu Mondol
St Ignatius called himself a pilgrim. In the beginning his pilgrimage was a physical journey but gradually it became a spiritual journey. Following the footsteps of St Ignatius we, the novices of the Calcutta province, made a pilgrimage to the tomb of Mother Teresa.
We started our journey at 4 in the morning after a cup of tea and a couple of biscuits, under the guidance of Fr Sajeev Painunkal, our socius. As we walked out of the campus, we had a short stop at the statue of Our Lady, praying to her and asking her for her assistance all through the journey. We walked in groups of two. All through the way we were praying, reciting the rosary and sometimes making spiritual conversations with the spiritual companion. We took nearly four hours to reach the Mother House from Dhyan Ashram, a distance of about 20 kms. It was a tiring walk, but our prayer gave us strength and enough energy to walk and filled our hearts with great delight. In the middle of our journey we had a short break. Those lagging behind for lack of energy once again restored the strength with a cup of tea and a packet of biscuits. After that we resumed our walk and around 8 o’clock, we reached our destination.
After reaching the Mother House we offered our prayers and petitions through the intercession of Mother Teresa. Meanwhile the good sisters arranged the altar for a mass next to Mother’s tomb. Soon after that we entered into the Eucharistic celebration with great devotion. The mass was the climax of our pilgrimage. Fr Sajeev reminded us that the pilgrimage is not in the walking; it is in why we walked! We offered all our intentions and petitions with the concsecration of the bread and the wine. I felt a deep union with the Lord during the doxology. I really encountered God in the silence of my heart. I remembered Mother Teresa and her abounding love to satiate the thirst of Christ among the poorest of the poor. We thanked God for the gift of Mother Teresa and the Missionaries of Charity to the world.
After the mass and after visiting the small exhibition, we walked to Prabhu Jisur Girja and Br Christu had arranged a good breakfast for us. It was a nice time to relax after the tiring morning. Then Fr John Rojerse took us to the LTS Centre and explained to us the history and work of the movement. After that we were on our way back. We reached Dhyan Ashram right in time for lunch. As we entered the campus, we spent another few moments in prayer at the statue of Our Lady, thanking her for her assistance during our pilgrimage.