I have always admired Mother Teresa for her understanding of universal suffering and her efforts to alleviate it.
Her choice of Kolkata as a base meant that she knew where her work mattered most. And she never turned anyone away, especially those in their greatest hour of need.
As always, she ensured that there was dignity.
For her, being able to see the dying smile for the love they had received was reward enough.
When one looks around now at the avoidable deaths and pain brought about by contrasting belief systems, it is quite remarkable what this one small, frail nun managed for the sake of humanity.
Her achievements are not to be ignored - especially by those who do so little to lift poverty - along with the distress and hardship that come with it.
In fact, she, in many ways, has shown us the way.
She was devoted to helping those at the bottom of the pile, steered by a steadfast conviction that comes with doing God's work.
She was relentless in her drive to serve, never stopping to rest, never giving in to fatigue, determined that her time on this earth would not be wasted. She never asked for anything in return.
That these are credentials enough for sainthood, there is no doubt ("Path cleared to name Mother Teresa a saint"; Dec 19, 2015). But she also fought tenaciously with those in power to make them come down from their high horses and make concessions to the needy.
It may have made some uneasy, but it was a battle that had to be waged to change mindsets, so that much more could be done for the downtrodden.
With her elevation and recognition as a saint, she will posthumously continue to serve as a beacon, for there is still much to be done to help more people , not just in Kolkata but beyond as well.