Sunday, September 4, Canonization of Mother Teresa of Calcutta
The Paradoxical Commandments
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;
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
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 your God;
It was never between you and them anyway.
[Reportedly inscribed on the wall of Mother Teresa's children's home in Calcutta, and attributed to her. However, an article in the New York Times reported (March 8, 2002) that the original version of this poem was written by Dr. Kent Keith]
• “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.” (Mother Teresa)
• Advice to a Novice - “The story is told of what she said to a novice gingerly cleaning an ugly wound in a woman's neck, as if repelled by what she saw. Mother Teresa told her that was not how to do the task. She took over a scalpel and quickly excised the nasty ulcer.
‘You must understand,’ she said, ‘that this is Jesus. We are cleaning the wounds of the Lord.’ She then turned to a reporter witnessing this encounter: ‘If we didn't believe this -- that this is the body of Christ -- we could never do it. No money could make us do it. I wouldn't ask these fine young women to take on a life like this. We are not social workers. We are seeing and touching the heart of Christ -- twenty-four hours a day.’" –Mother Teresa
• “I will never forget one day when I met a lady who was dying of cancer and I could see the way she was struggling with that terrible pain. And I said to her, ‘You know this is but the kiss of Jesus, a sign that you have come so close to Him on the cross that He can kiss you.’ And she joined her hands together and said, 'Mother Teresa, please tell Jesus to stop kissing me.” –Mother Teresa
• “One night a man came to our house and told me, ‘There is a family with eight children. They have not eaten for days.’ I took some food and I went. When I finally came to the family, I saw the faces of those little children disfigured by hunger. There was no sorrow or sadness in their faces, just the deep pain of hunger. I gave the rice to the mother. She divided it in two, and went out, carrying half the rice with her. When she came back, I asked her, ‘Where did you go?’ She gave me this simple answer, ‘To my neighbors-they are hungry also.’
I was not surprised that she gave–because poor people are generous. But I was surprised that she knew they were hungry. As a rule, when we are suffering, we are so focused on ourselves we have no time for others.” –Mother Teresa
• A successful businessman traveled to India to spend a month working in one of Mother Teresa's shelters. He longed to meet the tiny nun, but Mother Teresa was traveling, and it wasn't until the day before his departure that he received an audience. When he was finally in her presence, much to his surprise, he burst into tears. All the times when he'd been self-centered, busy or focused on his own gain flashed before his eyes, and he felt an enormous sadness that he had missed so many opportunities in his life to give of himself and his resources. Without a word, Mother Teresa walked over to where he was seated, put her hands on his shoulders and looked deeply into his eyes. "Don't you know," she said, "that God knows you are doing the best that you can." (Story from Chicken Soup for the Soul At Work by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Maida Rogerson, Martin Rutte, Tim Clauss