We are all God’s children. As we grow up, God transforms us into his servants. The path to that transformation is tread by religions all over the world. Perhaps one of the most famous western servants of God was Jesus Christ. He taught us to think, speak, and act with love. Perhaps one of the best examples of a woman who became a servant of God through Jesus was Mother Teresa.

Mother Teresa was born into an Albanian family in Macedonia as Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu on August 26th, 1910. She felt the call of God and desire to spread the love of Christ from the age of 12. At 17 she left her home and joined a group of Irish Catholic nuns in India, the Sisters of Loretto.  When she took her vows as a nun, she took the name Teresa, after Saint Theresa of Lisieux. She came into her adulthood during the onset of World War II. War and famine surrounded her. She taught geography and cathechism at St. Mary’s High School in Calcutta, India for the next 17 years. In 1948, she was called to serve those who were dying on the streets of Calcutta and left the school to start a free open-air school for slum children staffed by volunteers. It was here that she taught herself basic medicine and traveled to the homes of the sick to treat them.

In 1950 Mother Teresa officially began the Missionaries of Charity with 12 former students and volunteers. Over the course of her life, this group of volunteers spread across the world dedicating their lives to serving the poor. The Missionaries of Charity became an International Religious Family in 1965 by a decree of Pope Paul VI. The organization is unique because it welcomes people of all religious backgrounds. Today the missionaries of Charity has grown over 4,000 members in 697 foundations in 131 countries of the world helping homeless, alcoholics, homeless and AIDS suffers and in relief work in the wake of natural catastrophes. There are also over one million Lay Missionaries of Charity. Lay Missionaries of Charity are individuals from every religion who have taken vows to serve the poor and God within their families and communities.

Mother Teresa also traveled tirelessly to help those suffering in other countries  In 1985, she established the first hospice for AIDS patients in New York City. She traveled to Ethiopia to feed the hungry, helped radiation victims after Chernobyl, and earthquake victims in Armenia.

Mother Teresa earned numerous humanitarian awards, including the Pope John XXIII Peace Prize and the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979. Mother Teresa revolutionized the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony by insisting on foregoing the ceremonial banquet so that the $6,000 in funds could be donated to the poor in Calcutta. This money permitted her to feed hundreds of people for an entire year.

Mother Teresa’s wisdom was reflected most poignantly in her writing. In the letters she wrote to others and the quotes that others recorded of hers, we are left with a beautiful record of the truth about God and Jesus Christ and how to give our hearts to those that need it most … Here are her words woven together in a series of themes that she often spoke and wrote about…

Love Begins At Home…

There is a terrible hunger for love. We all experience that in our lives – the pain, the loneliness. We must have the courage to recognize it. The poor you may have right in your own family. Find them. Love them.

Speak tenderly to them. Let there be kindness in your face, in your eyes, in your smile, in the warmth of your greeting. Always have a cheerful smile. Don’t only give your care, but give your heart as well.

Keep the joy of loving the poor and share this joy with all you meet. Remember works of love are works of Peace.

At the end of our lives, we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made or how many great things we have done. We will be judged by ‘I was hungry and you gave me to eat. I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless and you took me in.’

Hungry not only for bread-but hungry for love. Naked not only for clothing-but naked of human dignity and respect. Homeless not only for want of a room of bricks-but homeless because of rejection. This is Christ in distressing disguise.

Give yourself fully to God. He will use you to accomplish great things on the condition that you believe much more in His love than in your own weakness.

It is not what we do or how much we do, but how much love we put into the action because that action is our love for God in action.

People ask me what advice I have for a married couple struggling in their relationship. I always answer, “Pray and forgive”; and to young people who come from violent homes, “Pray and forgive”; and to the single mother with no family support, “Pray and forgive.”

Be Like a Child…

Even God cannot put anything into what is already full. He does not impose himself on us.

Where ever they are in the world, the Missionaries of Charity begin their day with this prayer,

Dear Lord, the Great Healer,

I kneel before you, since every perfect gift must come from you.
I pray, give skill to my hands, clear vision to my mind, kindness and meekness to my heart.
Give me singleness of purpose, strength to lift up a part of the burden of my suffering fellowmen,
and a realization of the privilege that is mine. Take from my heart all guile and worldliness, that with the simple faith of a child, I may rely on you.

Amen

We want so much to pray properly, and then we fail. We get discouraged and give up on prayer. God allowed the failure but he did not want the discouragement. He wants us to be more childlike, more humble, more grateful in prayer.

Pray lovingly like children, with an earnest desire to love much and make loved the love that is not loved. Let us thank God for all his love for us, in so many ways and in so many places.

Everything Starts With Prayer…

My secret is a very simple one: I pray. Prayer is simply talking to God. He speaks to us: we listen. A two way process: speaking and listening. That is really prayer. Both sides listening and both sides speaking.

Don’t search for God in far lands – he is not there. He is close to you. He is with you. Just keep the lamp burning and you will always see him. Watch and pray. Keep kindling the lamp and you will see his love and you will see how sweet is the Lord you love.

Prayer enlarges the heart until it is capable of containing God’s gift of himself. Ask and seek and your heart will grow big enough to receive him and keep him as your own.

When you become full of God, you will do all your work well, all of it wholeheartedly. And when you are full of God, you will do everything well. This you can do only if you pray, if you know how to pray, if you love prayer, and if you pray well.

The energy of God will be ours to do all things well, and so will the unity of our thoughts with his thoughts, the unity of our prayers with his prayers, the unity of our actions with his actions, of our life with his life. Unity is the fruit of prayer, of humility, of love.

It is in Silence that we Know God…

We need silence to be alone with God, to speak to him, to listen to him, to ponder his words deep in our hearts. We need to be alone with God in silence to be renewed and to be transformed. Silence gives us a new outlook on life. In it we are filled with the grace of God himself, which makes us do all things with joy.

Before you speak, it is necessary for you to listen, for God speaks in the silence of the heart.

In the silence of the heart God speaks. What does God say to us? He says:

“I have called you by your name, you are mine; water will not drown you, fire will not burn you, I will give up nations for you, you are precious to me, I love you. Even if a mother could forget her child, I will not forget you. I have carved you in the palm of my hand.”

God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass – grows in silence. See the stars, the moon, and the sun, how they move in silence.

In that silence, he will listen to us; there he will speak to our soul, and there we will hear his voice.

Offer Your Life as a Gift to God…

We impatiently await God’s paradise, but we have in our hands the power to be in paradise right here and now. Being happy with God means this: to love as he loves, to help as he helps, to give as he gives, to serve as he serves.

Offer to God every word you say, every movement you make. We must more and more fall in love with God.

There is no limit to God’s love. It is without limit and its depth cannot be sounded.

Just once, let the love of God take entire and absolute possession of your heart; let it become to your heart like a second nature; let your heart suffer nothing contrary to enter; let it apply itself continually to increase this love of God by seeking to please him in all things and refusing him nothing; let it accept as from his hand everything that happens to it; let it have a firm determination and knowingly or, if it should fail, to be humbled and to rise up again at once – and such a heart will pray continually.

Holiness is not a luxury for the few; it is not just for some people. It is meant for you and me, for all of us. It is a simple duty, because if we learn to love, we learn to be holy.

We all have so much to give, to share, to contribute where ever we find ourselves to be living. Holiness starts in the home, by loving God and those around us for his sake.

References

Eternal Word Television Network.

Nobel Lectures, Peace 1971-1980, Editor-in-Charge Tore Frängsmyr, Editor Irwin Abrams, World Scientific Publishing Co., Singapore, 1997

Mother Teresa, Everything Starts With Prayer.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This