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Words of Wisdom and Inspirational Quotes by Mother Teresa

Updated on October 25, 2011
Mother Teresa was a ripplemaker.  She created ripples of love as evident by the expansion of the Missionaries of Charity all over the world.
Mother Teresa was a ripplemaker. She created ripples of love as evident by the expansion of the Missionaries of Charity all over the world.

...and my reflections about these quotes

I got the chance to visit one of Mother Teresa's "homes" here in Cebu, Philippines. I was a dental apprentice in Dr. Gaston Batiller's clinic. And as a way of gratitude for a successful practice, he decided to team up with other dentist friends; and once a month we would visit the center and offer free dental services.

Mother Teresa was a Roman Catholic Nun who founded the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta, India in 1950. Her ministry is caring for the sick, the lonely, the unwanted, the orphaned, the dying. I watched the sisters at work. I couldn't help but be amazed at the inner love they have that radiated from them as they did their chores, the care they had for the old and the dying. I was moved and touched.

And this is all because of one woman who showed us by sample on what it really means to "live" the gospel. She walked her talk and made a lot of difference in the world.

Do you feel loved in your homes?
Do you feel loved in your homes?

Where Does Love Begin?

"Love begins at home; love lives in homes, and that is why there is so much suffering and so much unhappiness in the world today...Everybody today seems to be in such a terrible rush, anxious for greater developments and greater riches and so on, so that children have very little time for their parents. Parents have very little time for each other, and in the home begins the disruption of the peace of the world."

"The most terrible poverty is loneliness and the feeling of being unloved."

"The biggest disease today is not leprosy or tuberculosis, but rather the feeling of being unwanted."

"There is more hunger in the world for love and appreciation than for bread."

"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

My Reflection: "I Don't Like Me!"

She came into our school looking at us with a tough, defiant look. She was three years old. None of us was more surprised when we found out that the bathroom steps became her refuge. She would sit there forlorn whenever she didn't get what she wanted. And when we would try to coax her out of her mood, she suddenly screamed, "Ayoko sa akin!" And repeated it screaming over and over. In English, "I don't like me!"

We then discovered that at home she always heard that she wasn't beautiful, that she was ugly. This translated to feelings of unhappiness and being unwanted, unloved. And the little girl brought along these scars with her. She was like an angry cat, ready to kick and pounce on anyone who would come near her.

A talk with the family followed after her several outbursts and tantrums. We encouraged the teachers to praise and affirm. After several months, the little girl was transformed. Love has worked its wonders. I was standing near the bookshelves when she said, "I like your dress, teacher Michelle." I couldn't believe my ears. I was teary-eyed. Positive words finally came out of this little girl's mouth. If love could allow people to heal, shouldn't we start loving at home?

Life's Work and Mission

"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."

"The miracle is not that we do this work, but that we are happy to do it."

"Do not wait for leaders, do it alone, person to person."

--Mother Teresa

My Reflection: If You Can't Beat Them...

Sometimes I come across sharings from friends about people who are disheartened by the system at work or at home. And raising helpless hands in the air, they start entertaining thoughts..."Oh what's the use? If you can't beat them, why don't we join them instead?" It does feel like that way sometimes. Most often, it happens to people who are giving service and wants to make a difference.

When we came across these quotes from Mother Teresa, it was an uplifting message. That no matter how small our acts of love may be, we are still doing something. That the miracle is that we are happy doing it. That we don't always have to wait for the "big" people to act, but we can start in our own little way. And so I can't help but smile when you meet someone whose life's work has also become their mission. You would know them. They do not care how big a splash they make in the ocean...but loving each drop they make one day at a time.

Be a Light Unto the World
Be a Light Unto the World

On Love

"I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love."

"If you judge people, you have no time to love them."

"Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing."

"Good works are links that form a chain of love."

"Do not think that love, in order to be genuine, has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired."

Take time to be quiet. It is a soothing balm to the spirit.
Take time to be quiet. It is a soothing balm to the spirit.

Finding God

"We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is in the friend of silence. See how nature - trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence...We need silence to be able to touch souls."

A Very Special Human Being

On Service

"Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies."

"I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much."

"Many people mistake our work for our vocation. Our vocation is the love of Jesus."

"There should be less talk; a preaching point is not a meeting point. What do you do then? Take a broom and clean someone's house. That says enough."

"Sweetest Lord, make me appreciative of the dignity of my high vocation, and its many responsibilities. Never permit me to disguise it by giving way to coldness, unkindness or impatience."

"In this life we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love."

--Mother Teresa

My Reflection: What Drives You?

Last week, two boys got into a fight. The other one wouldn't return the yoyo that he borrowed from his classmate. The lender was very much agrieved and kicked him. Our maintenance personnel was there trying to stop the fight. But then the Grandma of the boy (who refused to return the yoyo) rushed to the scene. Grandma was now shouting curses at the offending boy.

It was just a normal fight between two boys playing, who were still learning how to handle their emotions. But what turned out was that Grandma started getting mad at the maintenance personnel for not telling the truth. She claimed her grandson fainted. Our staff said, he was crouched on the floor and that wasn't his definition of fainting.

The parent of the "kicking" boy wanted to apologize and wanted to make sure the other boy was okay. But the parents of the other boy refused to talk to her. And in the end, they blamed it on our staff-- for not being truthful and along with it, his other faults.

I sighed. We all did. We tried talking to the boy's parents. We wanted to clear up the matter. But apparently they have made up their mind. They wanted to transfer their son to another school next year. It made me really sad. Not only that we will lose a student, but also because they have done this already for the past years. They have been uprooting their child from one school to the other whenever conflicts would arise. And we are already the third school in a span of four years.

I sighed because it is in moments like these that I get frustrated and one just wants to shout to the winds. How did we get caught up in between? Did all the good things we did end up as useless? Why couldn't they see that by protecting the child too much they weren't helping him?

As I reflect on Mother Teresa's quotes, I am gently reminded that our work, our service continues even if people become unreasonable. That in the end, love must govern our actions. So I breathed deeply and focused on all the good things.

What drives you to wake up every morning to do the things you need to do? Perhaps in the silence, you will find your answers. I am constantly trying to find mine.


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    • profile image


      8 years ago

      thank you for this post and god bless all

    • ThussaysNanaMarie profile image


      8 years ago from In my oyster

      Lovely piece! well done!

    • profile image

      solomon Akpojotor Olofi 

      9 years ago

      great hub what a wonderful mother

    • profile image

      Emmanuel olowojeunjeje 

      9 years ago

      I realy cnt wait 2 see her canonizd a saint...i rily luv her works nd her mode of prayas

    • Stephen Kalu profile image

      stephen kalu 

      9 years ago from Nigeria

      Great hub. What a wonderful research and i strongly believe that love begins at home.

    • John Sarkis profile image

      John Sarkis 

      9 years ago from Winter Haven, FL

      Thank you ripplemaker. Mother Teresa was one of the people that I've admired the most.

      Take care,


    • sarclair profile image


      9 years ago

      This is a very beautiful hub. I agree that love is very powerful. I liked all of the stories, but especially the one about the little girl who was transformed. We should go out of our ways to help people like that. It is very sad that some do not get that love.

      "The most terrible poverty is loneliness and the feeling of being unloved." no one should have to go through that.

      Mother Teresa was beautiful. Thank you for sharing the hub.

    • ripplemaker profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Simtoco 

      9 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Ringa and Nicky, your visits to this hub made this one come alive again and again. I am deeply grateful for your words and the sharing of your heart. Let us keep on in our journey of healing, loving and giving service to one another and reflecting God's love. Hugs and blessings.

    • Nicky Bantham profile image


      9 years ago

      Ripplemaker,often in life, it is very hard to apply a spiritual behaviour, in an unkind environment&demonstate the example and characteristics of Jesus Christ.Sometimes in difficult workplace environments, psalm 37 has become my daily bread to feed off,knowing that my deeds are not for the world, but for God.This I have found, has strengthened my own walk in knowing that I am where Im supposed to be,doing what I'm supposed to be doing, 'SERVING' and living in HIS example.Through this mental transition,I have found forgiveness and healing.I love the scripture 'It is not I who live, but Christ who lives in ME' which makes me KNOW that I know that I am more than a conquerer!You definitely have the mind of Christ, evident in this hub,Oh annointed one!:)

    • ringa profile image


      10 years ago from India

      Dear ripplemaker!

      it's truly a great hub, Since a long time I have always kept Mother Teresa in high regards, especially from when I heard about her decision to cancel the Nobel Peace Prize banquet, so that the money can be spent for the welfare of poor.

      Such a great human being she is!

      After reading this, I thought to write a new hub about that very special event

      which changed my thinking! Here it is..

    • ripplemaker profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Simtoco 

      10 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Looking forward to meeting you then skye! Wooohoo What a beautiful mission that will be. May God's love continue to heal and touch people's lives!

    • skye2day profile image


      10 years ago from Rocky Mountains

      ripplemaker You are most welcome. I have a heart to go to the Philippines and do mission work one day. Human trafficking, It is such a sad evil sick thing going on in the World.. May God help the woman and children to get to safe keeping and a new life.. God will set the time. I have a vision. Many Blessings sister. Keep pressing forward ripplemaker. You touch many hearts and souls with the love of God.

    • ripplemaker profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Simtoco 

      10 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      What a beautiful sharing skye2day. Thank you for this one! I truly appreciate it very much. Thanks for dropping by and sharing your light with me on this beautiful sunday. Blessings to you my friend.

    • skye2day profile image


      10 years ago from Rocky Mountains

      ripplemaker Mother theresa is in Paradise now with The Lord. She has BLessed so many and touched then with the Love of Jesus Christ that abides in her. She is a saint. Children of God are called saints. She did without any essentials and did not need Amy worldly things to have peace and carry the message of love, hope, peace and salvation. That is truly amazing. She was not vain or critical or rich but she had abundant life, like Jesus says in John 14 I came so that you may have life and that you may have it more abundantly. She was overflowing

      in spiritual gifts. Love always was, sin messed it up. We all fall short of the Glory of God. Love never fails. God is Love. He never fails. Anyway I got off on a roll here. I enjoyed your writing about Mother Theresa.

      There is a place up in the foothills where I live in Colorado and Mother Cabrini went on top of this mountain and built by hand a huge heart with rocks, she carried. She built a shrine where she prayed and worshiped Jesus. It is encased in this hard see through plastic. It is beautiful. The heart must be 16 feet by 20 feet or there abouts. To get up there the climb is about 200 steep steps. She had the strength of the Lord that is for certain and or the angels carried her.

      I barely made it up to the top and I was 30 years young, in shape so I thought. Hugs and Thank You for a great read.

    • ripplemaker profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Simtoco 

      11 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      HI teddybear and Williamjordan, thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment. Mother Teresa continues to be an inspiration. :-)

    • Williamjordan profile image


      11 years ago from Houston TX

      Thanks a Great Hub I will Have to read more of your hubs.

    • Teddybear1000 profile image


      11 years ago from East London, South Africa

      Very well put and I really found it helpful!

    • ripplemaker profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Simtoco 

      11 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Hi Rgraf, she is that and more. :-)

      Hi VioletSun, thank you so much for the link. I am back and glad to see your comment here. Peace! :-)

    • VioletSun profile image


      11 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

      Ripplemaker: I linked this hub to my latest one on peace and the New Year. I know you are traveling now, so wherever you are, hope you are having a great time! :) this is a great hub, worthy of sharing.

    • RGraf profile image

      Rebecca Graf 

      11 years ago from Wisconsin

      Great hub! She is one that everyone admires even those not of her faith. Her very nature and wisdom spoke louder than and farther than any bullhorn could. Thank you for gathering these and sharing.

    • ripplemaker profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Simtoco 

      11 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Hi desert blondie and ForReal511, thanks! :-)

    • ForReal511 profile image


      11 years ago from Fort Lauderdale, FL

      wow this is beautiful and inspiring and like desert blondie, i am so glad i found this hub!

    • desert blondie profile image

      desert blondie 

      12 years ago from Palm trees, swimming pools, lots of sand, lots of sunscreen

      Wonderful! So glad I found this hub!

    • ripplemaker profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Simtoco 

      12 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      You are too kind dayzeebee...*blush* Thank you for commenting on this hub. It made me read the whole thing again. And I am just continually grateful and inspired by Mother Teresa's words of wisdom.

    • dayzeebee profile image


      12 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      mother theresa and you and one thing in common --- wisdom that comes from loving Father God

    • ripplemaker profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Simtoco 

      12 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      I too read about that. And it made her 'human', just like the rest of us. You are so right... what made her stand out is that she continued on despite that "empty' feeling inside. May we be able to do that in our own little ways, to go on loving and creating. Thank you very much debra for sharing. :-)

    • debrakcarey profile image


      12 years ago from West Plains, Missouri

      I read in TIME magazine that Mother Theresa had her time of doubt. That for many years she did not "feel" the presence of the LORD. Yet, she continued on in faith, without the reassurance of her "feelings" but entirely in FAITH. Her faith that the LORD was there in her work, her love for others, this was enough for this gentle woman who cared for those no one cared for. What a beautiful spirit. What a testimoney for LOVE.

    • ripplemaker profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Simtoco 

      12 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Bernard, I am humbled by your comment. May the life she lived continue amongst us. Thank you very much.

    • sunkentreasure profile image


      12 years ago from RUIMSIG, SOUTH AFRICA

      Dear Michelle the Ripplemaker


      Your Hub is so precious sparkling with such beauty.

      Michelle, you have moved me greatly....I will be reading your article over and over have written words to treasure!!!

      With deep appreciation

      Kind Regards

      Bernard Levine

    • ripplemaker profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Simtoco 

      12 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      G-Ma, that is so sweet of you. I gladly receive your hug. Thank you very much.

    • G-Ma Johnson profile image

      Merle Ann Johnson 

      12 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      I applaud you also my dear..wonderful Hub and a great person to believe in.......G-Ma :O) hugs

    • ripplemaker profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Simtoco 

      12 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Now you are making me teary-eyed.

    • In The Doghouse profile image

      In The Doghouse 

      12 years ago from California


      Mother Theresa is an awesome example of living His word. I think that though sometimes our work seems unnoticed He who notices even the tiny sparrow notices all. Sometimes when our work seems to go unheeded or does not seem to make a difference, remember one born in an insignificant location, who did His work among those of no consequence to most, who had many people refuse to listen or make a difference in their lives, made an incredible sacrifice and gave life to all. I love the story of saving one "starfish" at a time. I can feel that is the work you are involved in and I applaud you.

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 

      12 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Ripplemaker! I have always admired little Mother Theresa the Giant...

      Great HUB

      regards Zsuzsy


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