Mother Teresa, canonized Saint Teresa of Kolkata, passed Sept. 5, 1997
“That person who casts off desires, and walks and acts with no thought of ‘mine,’ and of ‘I,’ comes into peace.”
These words from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad Gita, fit Mother Teresa well. The Bhagavad Gita and Mother Teresa? Surely one must quote from the Bible in tribute? But there are as many echoes of her life in the Gita, the Koran, and other scriptures as there are in the Bible. Mother Teresa exemplified the spirit of all religions. ….
“There is only one God, and He is God to all,” she wrote in her book, A Simple Path. “Therefore it is important that everyone is seen as equal before God. I’ve always said that we should help a Hindu become a better Hindu, a Muslim become a better Muslim, a Catholic become a better Catholic.” ….
Mother Teresa’s first home in Calcutta…became one where the destitutes on the streets found a place to die with dignity in keeping with their faith–the Hindus with water from the Ganges, Muslims with readings from the Koran, and the Christians with their last sacraments. Other missionaries were resented, or respected or liked. Mother Teresa was loved.
She was so much a part of India that people are constantly astonished to discover that she is foreign-born. Such semantics did not stop the Indian government from offering her India’s highest civilian decoration, the Bharat Ratna (Jewel of India), and now, casting tradition to the winds by holding a state funeral. The Nobel Peace Prize came her way, too, and rightly so. What better way to promote peace than to uphold the dignity of every human being and help people rise above confining boundaries and see others as souls? ….
She has often said there is a different kind of poverty in the West–being unwanted and unloved. “There are many in the world who are dying for a piece of bread, but there are many more dying for a little love.”
Even writing a letter for a blind man, or listening, or taking a flower or visiting somebody were acts that were never too small, she said. “Very humble work, that is where you and I must be. For there are many people who can do the big things. But there are very few people who will do the small things.”
from Self-Realization magazine, Winter 1997; The author, born in India, is a Self-Realization member
(from a sign on the wall of Shishu Bhavan, the children’s home in
Calcutta, ‘Mother Teresa, A Simple Path’)
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 will win false friends and true enemies,
The good you do will be forgotten tomorrow,
DO GOOD ANYWAY
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable,
BE HONEST AND FRANK ANYWAY
What you spent years building may be
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.
BACK TO THE UNIVERSALITY OF RELIGION