|Mother Teresa at Prayer - source|
|Mother Teresa young - source|
*Information found on Wikipedia and NobelPrize.org.*
She was an example of love, humility and generosity. She never put her needs in front of the needs of others. I think that there are far too few people like her today unfortunately. Some people are so far from humble it's frightening. Many people I see (especially the ones higher up on the food chain) think they are the best at everything, everyone wants to be in charge, the end result is always about earning more money and hardly ever only about the good of the people.
Last Sunday's Gospel really opened my eyes and made me think. It was just beautiful and I would like to share it with you because I think it really touches on what I'm trying to say in this post.
MK 12:38 - 44
In the course of his teaching Jesus said to the crowds,
"Beware of the scribes, who like to go around in long robes
and accept greetings in the marketplaces,
seats of honor in synagogues,
and places of honor at banquets.
They devour the houses of widows and, as a pretext
recite lengthy prayers.
They will receive a very severe condemnation."
He sat down opposite the treasury
and observed how the crowd put money into the treasury.
Many rich people put in large sums.
A poor widow also came and put in two small coins worth a few cents.
Calling his disciples to himself, he said to them,
"Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more
than all the other contributors to the treasury.
For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth,
but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had,
her whole livelihood."
The last phrase was the one that touched me. Basically what this means is that the rich people gave their surplus, what extra money they had, but the poor widow only gave two cents. In God's eyes the widow gave more than the rich, even if of lower value -- because she gave all that she had to live.
I thought this reading was beautiful because it expresses the true meaning of love and humility. Mother Teresa, like the poor widow, gave ALL that she had. I'm not talking in terms of money but in terms of her love and passion that God put in her heart to help those in need.
I wish I could be more like her. To be like Mother Teresa takes courage...it takes balls!!
I'll conclude this post with some of her most inspiring quotes that I found in a USAToday article. I have highlighted my favorites. Number 9 to me is the best quote that is very current to this day...
1. "I see God in every human being. When I wash the leper's wounds I feel I am nursing the Lord himself. Is it not a beautiful experience?" - From a 1974 interview.
2. "We are called upon not to be successful, but to be faithful," she told her official biographer Navin Chawla.
3. "The poor give us much more than we give them. They're such strong people, living day to day with no food. And they never curse, never complain. We don't have to give them pity or sympathy. We have so much to learn from them." - From a 1977 interview.
4. "I choose the poverty of our poor people. But I am grateful to receive it (the Nobel) in the name of the hungry, the naked, the homeless, of the crippled, of the blind, of the lepers, of all those people who feel unwanted, unloved, uncared for throughout society, people that have become a burden to the society and are shunned by everyone." - She said when accepting the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979.
5. "If luxury creeps in, we lose the spirit of the order," she said. "To be able to love the poor and know the poor we must be poor ourselves."
6. "I have never been in a war before, but I have seen famine and death. I was asking (myself) what do they feel when they do this? I don't understand it. They are all children of God. Why do they do it. I don't understand." - Beirut, 1982, during fighting between the Israeli army and Palestinian guerrillas.
7. "God will find another person, more humble, more devoted, more obedient to him, and the society will go on." - She said in Calcutta in 1989, after announcing her intention to retire.
8. "I was expecting to be free, but God has his own plans." - She said in Calcutta in 1990, when the sisters of her order persuaded her to withdraw her resignation.
9. "Please choose the way of peace... In the short term there may be winners and losers in this war that we all dread. But that never can, nor never will justify the suffering, pain and loss of life your weapons will cause." - Letter to George Bush and Saddam Hussein in January 1991.
10. "The other day I dreamed that I was at the gates of heaven. And St. Peter said, 'Go back to Earth, there are no slums up here.'" - Mother Teresa was quoted as telling Prince Michael of Greece in 1996.
|Mother Teresa with an armless baby|