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Many religious leaders have lived but why was Mother Teresa the only only one considered the living saint while she was still alive?
The newly canonized Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta was a Catholic nun who devoted her life to helping India’s poor. It is but fitting that her life as a “generous dispenser of divine mercy” was elevated to the highest Catholic reverence in this Holy Year for Mercy.
Born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity in the slums of Kolkata in 1950 with 12 other original nun members. The missionary ran hospices, homeless shelters and services for the destitute in 139 countries and continued even after her death in 1997 at age 87. She won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 for the respect she showed for the dignity of human beings. Only 18 months after her death, St. John Paul II beatified her in 2003, cutting short the usual 5-year waiting period to start the canonization process.
Pope Francis in her canonization ceremony praised her as a model of compassion for Catholics worldwide. Her attentiveness to people in the direst situations became the hallmark of her work. She dealt with political opposition and endured decades of physically and financially challenging charity work. The life of Mother Teresa, proclaimed the ‘Saint of the gutters’ was one that continually answered God’s call to service especially paying attention to the needs of the poor and the sick.
Below are the quotes saint Mother Teresa lived by which made her life extraordinary and worth emulating for Catholics and non-Catholics alike.
On Judging Others
If you judge people, you have no time to love them.
There are no great things, only small things with great love.
At the end of our life we will not be judged by how many diplomas we received, how much money we have made, how many great things we have done. We will be judged by ‘I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless and you took me in.
On being kind
Christ came to be Father’s compassion to the world. Be kind in your actions. Do not think that you are the only one who can do efficient work, work worth showing. This makes you harsh in your judgment of others who may not have the same talents. Do your best and trust that others do their best. And be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.
On Work and Achieving your Dream
Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.
There are people who can do big things, but there are very few people who will do the small things.
Let us always meet each other with smile for the smile is the beginning of love.
Everytime you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.
Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.
Intense love does not measure. It just gives.
Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do…but how much love we put in that action.
Love begins by taking care of the closest ones- the ones at home.
“Even the rich are hungry for love, for being cared for, for being wanted, for having someone to call their own.
On Helping the Poor
If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.
I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.
Saint Mother Teresa touched the lives of many for like Jesus Christ, she was willing to take up the cudgels for the two most neglected members of our society– the poor and the sick.