Easter has arrived! The Day that Christians all around the world celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. It is also a day that I was fortunate to find coverage for my yoga classes, and share with the lovely Sisters at the Missionaries of Charity in the BX. The Missionaries of Charity was founded by the beloved Mother Teresa and is now run by Sr. Nirmala. The mission is to help feed the poor around the world. All the sisters take an incredible vow of poverty with two saris, one pair of sandals and that is it....a vow most women would find difficult to take. The part I have always been touched by is the true joy that all the sisters bring to the homeless worldwide. From childhood, my mother had introduced me to the work of Mother Teresa and I have had a strong love for the group ever since. Right here in the Bronx, NY the sisters have a soup kitchen, shelter, house for shut ins, and weekly meals. Any chance I get, I love to help out....so this year I headed down there. While normally I visit family on Easter, the sisters were pleasantly surprised to see me. They quickly assigned me tasks of transporting food to the hall, and the part of Mary Magdalen for the impromptu performance. I have come to realize they get a kick out of putting me in the play each time, and I truly enjoy it. This year, I was fine with letting a new volunteer take the part, as she was super excited.
Ironically, the sisters had me cut the meat (ribs). They know I am vegetarian, and I was fine with the assigned job. My personal choice and nearly lifetime commitment to be Vegetarian is because of my love for animals and the limb of yoga (yamas) which is ahimsa, meaning non harm to all living things. In a perfect world maybe we would have vegetarian food for the shelter, but I knew that the sisters are serving whatever is donated to the shelter for the local homeless people. I also knew that I didn't personally harm the meat on the table. Ironically, I found myself praying as I was cutting, giving thanks that these hungry people at least had something. Often times, we get caught up in our dietary choices, and in a volunteer situation it is better to take the "do it for God" approach. The actual act of cutting the meat made me recognize my preference as a vegetarian, I have to admit, I found it a bit yucky.
All in all, it was a wonderful morning. The people enjoyed the food and the talented performances. When we take time to volunteer for those less fortunate, we understand what gratitude really is. The sisters are always looking for volunteer help, and especially drivers. If you or someone you know would be interested in volunteering your time and love with the Missionaries of Charity, BX contact them (718) 292 0019. Happy Easter. Bunny Hugs to All,