Wednesday Wonderful Women: Mother Teresa

Well, I actually didn’t know very much about Mother Teresa but that she was a force for good in the Christian world and won the Nobel Peace prize for her accomplishments (in 1979).  I chose her because I wanted to learn more about what she’d done, and I am impressed by her faith and perseverance.  Her efforts to serve people were truly Christlike and she was a great example of a disciple of Christ.

“Mother Teresa was born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu in Skopje, Macedonia, on August 26, 1910. Her family was of Albanian descent. At the age of twelve, she felt strongly the call of God. She knew she had to be a missionary to spread the love of Christ. At the age of eighteen she left her parental home in Skopje and joined the Sisters of Loreto, an Irish community of nuns with missions in India. After a few months’ training in Dublin she was sent to India, where on May 24, 1931, she took her initial vows as a nun. From 1931 to 1948 Mother Teresa taught at St. Mary’s High School in Calcutta, but the suffering and poverty she glimpsed outside the convent walls made such a deep impression on her that in 1948 she received permission from her superiors to leave the convent school and devote herself to working among the poorest of the poor in the slums of Calcutta. Although she had no funds, she depended on Divine Providence, and started an open-air school for slum children. Soon she was joined by voluntary helpers, and financial support was also forthcoming. This made it possible for her to extend the scope of her work. On October 7, 1950, Mother Teresa received permission from the Holy See to start her own order, “The Missionaries of Charity”, whose primary task was to love and care for those persons nobody was prepared to look after. In 1965 the Society became an International Religious Family by a decree of Pope Paul VI” (Nobelprize.org).

The Missionaries of Charity became a worldwide organization and “By the 1990s there were over one million Co-Workers in more than 40 countries” (Nobelprize.org).  “Missionaries care for those who include refugees, ex-prostitutes, the mentally ill, sick children, abandoned children, lepers, AIDS victims, the aged, and convalescent. They have schools run by volunteers to educate street children, they run soup kitchens, as many other services as per the communities’ needs. They have 19 homes in Kolkata (Calcutta) alone which include homes for women, for orphaned children, and for the dying; an AIDS hospice, a school for street children, and a leper colony. These services are provided to people regardless of their religion or social caste” (Wikipedia).

Mother Teresa quotes:

Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.”

“Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.”

“I try to give to the poor people for love what the rich could get for money. No, I wouldn’t touch a leper for a thousand pounds; yet I willingly cure him for the love of God.”

“I want you to be concerned about your next door neighbor. Do you know your next door neighbor?”

“If you 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.”

“Let us not be satisfied with just giving money. Money is not enough, money can be got, but they need your hearts to love them. So, spread your love everywhere you go.”

“Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do… but how much love we put in that action.”

“The biggest disease today is not leprosy or tuberculosis, but rather the feeling of being unwanted.”

“The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.”

“We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. 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… We need silence to be able to touch souls.”

“We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.”

“Words which do not give the light of Christ increase the darkness” (Brainyquote.com).

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