At a seminary in Bangalore, a nun once said to me, “Mother Teresa, you are spoiling the poor people by giving them things free. They are losing their human dignity.”
When everyone was quiet, I said calmly, “No one spoils as much as God himself. See the wonderful gifts God has given us freely. All of you here have no glasses, yet you all can see. If God were to take money for your sight, what would happen? Continually we are breathing and living on oxygen that we do not pay for. What would happen if God were to say, “If you work four hours, you will get sunshine for two hours?” How many of us would survive then?”
Then I also told them, “There are many congregations that spoil the rich; it is good to have one congregation in the name of the poor, to spoil the poor.”
There was profound silence; nobody said a word after that.
When I read this passage by Mother Teresa, I couldn’t help but think of the universal healthcare (the abandoned “public option”) that we don’t have in this country (for the have-nots).