An Emblematic Figure of Raham – the Womb Love

  • Smitha Gabriel Ancillae Secular Institute
Keywords: Contemplation, Crucifix, Eucharist, Poor, Sisters, Thirst, Womb, Love, Jesus


Only a woman can become a mother. Her genes for conceiving, bearing, giving birth, giving attentive care, feeding and nurturing, leading to adulthood is indeed 'womb love' (raham), which is called compassion in the Bible. The vision of mother Teresa of Calcutta is based on the very nature of 'womb love' and she used it effectively to embrace the broken Jesus on the cross. That is the reason, every chapel of her convents is furnished with a crucifix and engraved beside the crucifix the loud cry of Jesus from the cross 'I thirst.' She heard this cry as the cry of humanity from the womb to the tomb and her "womb love" longed to satiate this thirst. Through finding Jesus in the hungry, thirsty and naked (Matthew 25:35), and through strengthening the weakest, healing the sick, nursing the injured, bringing back the strayed and searching for the lost (Ezekiel 34:4), Mother became a good shepherd after the model of Jesus. She taught her sisters to see the broken body of Jesus in the appearance of Eucharist bread (contemplation) and to touch him in the broken bodies of the poor (action). She perceives a unified vision and action of seeing and serving the broken body of Jesus in the poorest of the poor and that gives a transforming effect in the society.

Author Biography

Smitha Gabriel, Ancillae Secular Institute

Dr Smitha Gabriel, belonging to Ancillae Secular Institute, had her Masters in Theology from St. Peter's Pontifical Institute, Bangalore, and Doctorate in Spirituality from Indian Institute of Spirituality, Bangalore. She has published research articles in Indian Journal of Spirituality. Presently she is in charge of formation in Ancillae Secular Institute.


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How to Cite
Gabriel, S. (2016). MOTHER TERESA. Journal of Dharma, 41(4), 457-471. Retrieved from