23 Thoughts From A Saint
February is known as the month of love. Well, mostly commercially, because it is month when most people celebrate Valentine’s Day.
On this day love is expressed by the exchanging of gifts of flowers and chocolates with bows of red and white ribbon. People dress up and take each other for dinners, some of which may include the hoped-for “surprise”.
School kids dress in red and white and take flowers and gifts to their teachers. On Robben Island a mass wedding ceremony is held for couples who want to tie the knot on this special day of love. On Valentine’s Day it is all about expressing and showing that we love. This day draws our attention to love — to romantic love.
Drawing our attention to love is exactly what Mother Teresa did. She drew the world’s attention to love — of course, not to romantic love, but to an unselfish love in which we are called to give our lives for others, just as she gave her life for the thousands of poor living in the gutters of Kolkata, that Indian city of 14,1 million inhabitants.
So let’s survey a few quotes from this great saint as an inspiration for us to love others in the same way as she did:
“I know God won’t give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish he didn’t trust me so much.
“Live simply so others may simply live.” (Often incorrectly attributed to Gandhi.)
“I want you to be concerned about your next-door neighbour. Do you know your next-door neighbour?”
“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.”
“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.”
“Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do… but how much love we put in that action.”
“Peace begins with a smile.”
“Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.”
“Joy is prayer; joy is strength: joy is love; joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls.”
“Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.”
“One of the greatest diseases is to be nobody to anybody.”
“The miracle is not that we do this work, but that we are happy to do it.”
“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”
“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”
“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”
“Our life of poverty is as necessary as the work itself. Only in heaven will we see how much we owe to the poor for helping us to love God better because of them.”
“Intense love does not measure, it just gives.”
“God doesn’t require us to succeed, he only requires that you try.”
“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”
“Even the rich are hungry for love, for being cared for, for being wanted, for having someone to call their own.”
“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.”
“Let us touch the dying, the poor, the lonely and the unwanted according to the graces we have received and let us not be ashamed or slow to do the humble work.”
“I have found the paradox—that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.”
St Teresa of Kolkata, pray for us!