Mother Teresa - New Years January 2012

I keep running across a motivational "poem" by Mother Teresa in magazines. This little 4'8" woman died Sept. 5, 1996 at the age of 87. At age 36, traveling on a train from Macedonia to Darjeeling to recover from an illness, she heard Jesus telling her to give up all and follow Him to the slums to serve Him among the poorest of the poor, the lowest of the low, in the city of Calcutta in India. She surrendered to His call, "living" Matthew 25: 31-46:

"When I, the Messiah, shall come in my glory, and all the angels with me, then I shall sit upon my throne of glory. And all the nations shall be gathered before me. And I will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and place the sheep at my right hand, and the goats at my left. Then I, the King, shall say to those at my right,

'Come, blessed of my Father, into the Kingdom prepared for you from the founding of the world. For I was hungry and you fed me; I was thirsty and you gave me water; I was a stranger and you invited me into your homes; naked and you clothed me; sick and in prison, and you visited me.' Then, these righteous ones will reply, 'Sir, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you anything to drink? Or a stranger, and help you? Or naked, and clothe you? When did we ever see you sick or in prison, and visit you?'

And I, the King, will tell them, 'When you did it to these my brothers you were doing it to me!' Then I will turn to those on my left and say, 'Away with you , you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons. For I was hungry and you wouldn't feed me; thirsty, and you wouldn't give me anything to drink; a stranger, and you refused me hospitality; naked, and you wouldn't clothe me; sick and in prison, and you didn't visit me.'

Then they will reply, 'Lord, when did we ever see you hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?' And I will answer, 'When you refused to help the least of these my brothers, you were refusing help to me.' And they shall go away into eternal punishment; but the righteous into everlasting life." (Tyndale, The Living Bible).

Mother Teresa would not be allowed to honor herself in any way, to popularize herself. She feared having her life glamorized. Yet, she achieved world wide fame. When she died, the newspapers ran full pages about her life for the next ten days! Michael Collopy, a career portrait photographer of world renowned prominence took ten years to persuade Mother Teresa to allow him to do her portrait! This resulted in over 180 pictures for a photographic record book, "Works of Love are Works of Peace." I have a copy of this book. She finally consented to allowing a movie of her life, "Mother Teresa: In the Name of God's Poor." It premiered Oct. 5, 1997, one year after her death.

The Sisters took three vows of poverty, chastity and obedience -- a fourth vow to give wholehearted and free service to the poorest of the poor. They have genuine love and care for the sick and dying. They do anything they can to comfort these people in their need: feed them bathe them, change them, dress their wounds, talk with them, embrace them. All souls are precious to Jesus, who paid for them with His blood.

When we come to a new year on January 1st, we list resolutions! I cannot think of any better than quotations from Mother Teresa in Michael's book. Here are a few:

"Never let anyone come to you without coming away better and happier."

"Welcome everyone as you welcome Christ, Himself. Show great love and respect."

"Love is the reason for my life."

"The greatest suffering is being lonely, feeling unloved, just having no one." One day, Mother Teresa was walking down a street in London., She saw a man quite drunk. She went right up to him, took his hand and shook it, asking 'How are you?' He replied, 'Oh, after so long, I feel the warmth of a human hand.' His face lit up. It was different. Small things done in great love bring joy and peace."

"There is great hunger for God in the world today -- and great hunger for love for each other."

"The Sisters give hope, love and caring to the lepers and to the AIDES victims. These were the people who have been rejected, unwanted, unloved; the rejects."

"There is great hunger for God in the world today -- and great hunger for love for each other."

Mother Teresa never looked at the crowds. She said, "I can only love one person at a time. Just one, one, one. The whole work is only a drop in the ocean. But if we don't put the drop in, the ocean would be one drop less."

"Just begin…one, one, one. 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."

"Sometimes communication with a foreigner is impossible. The 'language' of a simple touch and sympathetic glance is universal."

"The life of every human being is sacred as the creation of God, and is of infinite value because He created each person, including the unborn child."

The poor must know that we love them, that they are wanted."

"God has not called me to be successful. He has called me to be faithful."

"All we do -- our prayers, our work, our suffering -- is for Jesus."

"Do small things with great love."

 

"Nobody will do the humble works. It is never too small. God sees everything great. Bring a flower to someone; visit; listen; wash clothes; clean house -- very humble work. There are many people who can do big things. But there are very few people who do the small things."

The poem, "Do it Anyway"

People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies. Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you. Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building someone could destroy overnight. Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous. Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow. Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough.

Give the world the best you've got anyway.

You see, in the final analysis it is between you and God.

It was never between you and them anyway.

I pray for us, you and me, that we will both grow closer to God, day by day, in 2012.


TILLIE WIER, inspirational writer and employee of Logos Ranch, LLC shares her adventures with God so that others may see Him in their everyday lives.

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