Mother Teresa, known as the “saint of the gutters,” died nineteen years ago today. Yesterday, Pope Francis declared “blessed Teresa of Calcutta to be a saint” during a canonization Mass in Vatican City.
Two words come to my mind when I think of Mother Teresa: Love and service.
She tended to others as I imagine Jesus did, with humility, grace and joy. She ministered in places and situations that few others would go.
Pope Francis said of her work,”mercy was the salt which gave flavor to her work, it was the light which shone in the darkness of the many who no longer had tears to shed for their poverty and suffering.”
Many have captured her words over the years. Today, I wish to honor the woman, the newest saint, with a few of the messages she shared about love and service.
A life not lived for others is not a life.
Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.
I am not sure exactly what heaven will be like, but I know that when we die and it comes time for God to judge us, he will not ask, ‘How many good things have you done in your life?’ rather he will ask, ‘How much love did you put into what you did?
It is not the magnitude of our actions, but the amount of love that is put into them that matters.
Love to be real, it must cost—it must hurt—it must empty us of self.
If you judge people, you have no time to love them.
In loving one another through our works we bring an increase of grace and a growth in divine love.
Why can’t there be love that never gets tired?
If we want a love message to be heard, it has got to be sent out. To keep a lamp burning, we have to keep putting oil in it.
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.
The greatest science in the world, in heaven and on earth, is love.
I must be willing to give whatever it takes to do good to others. This requires that I be willing to give until it hurts. Otherwise, there is no true love in me, and I bring injustice, not peace, to those around me.
At the hour of death when we come face-to-face with God, we are going to be judged on love; not how much we have done, but how much love we put into the doing.
Let us more and more insist on raising funds of love, of kindness, of understanding, of peace. Money will come if we seek first the Kingdom of God – the rest will be given.
If we pray, we will believe; If we believe, we will love; If we love, we will serve.
I’m just a little pencil in the hand of a writing God sending a love letter to the world.