Saint Teresa of Calcutta

Today, Pope Francis will be leading a special Mass during which he will officially proclaim Teresa of Calcutta, as a saint.   She was born Agnes Bojaxhiu in Skopje, Yugoslavia, on August 27, 1910.  To millions of people she is known for her work among the poorest people in the city of Calcutta, India.  Her life inspired countless people to join her as Missionaries of Charity.  Besides this, many other people from all kinds of faith backgrounds journeyed to India so they could join in the work she had begun. 

       In many ways the work she was about was a failure.  She started to care for the poor in Calcutta in 1948 and when she died in 1997 it could be argued that there were even more poor people in the city.  But, as she often told people, God does not call us to be successful, but rather to be faithful.  What is even more remarkable about Mother Teresa is that for most of her life, as she continued her work with the poor and inspired so many others in the process, in her own life, she often felt that God was absent.  No doubt she often wondered if what she was doing really mattered.  Although she did not always feel the presence of God, she believed that God was there.  In her room, she kept a poster that had these words inscribed on it

People are unreasonable, illogical

 And  self-centered:   

LOVE THEM ANYWAY.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives:

 DO GOOD ANYWAY.

If you are successful, you win

false and true enemies: 

SUCCEED ANYWAY.

The good you do will be

 forgotten tomorrow: 

DO GOOD ANYWAY.

What you spent years building

may be  destroyed overnight: 

BUILD ANYWAY.

People really need help but

may attack you if you help them:  HELP PEOPLE ANYWAY.

Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth:

GIVE THE WORLD THE BEST YOU’VE GOT ANYWAY.

      Perhaps this is the greatest gift that Mother Teresa gives to us...learning how to continue to be life giving when everything in you says you want to quit.

 

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