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Little Mother Teresa and her Large Heart

Updated on May 28, 2017

Mother Teresa was a tiny little lady with a very big heart and spirit. She helped thousands of people throughout her life, and said she helped them as if she was doing it to Jesus. I truly enjoyed the little book that my son sent me for Mother's Day, in which she gives some of the wisdom she gained along her journey in life. It is entitled Mother Teresa, Her Essential Wisdom , Edited by Carol Kelly-Gangi. I learned much from it, and hope you can too.

First, just a little bit about her history. Mother Teresa's real name was Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu. She was born August 27, 1910 in Skopje, which is now Macedonia. She was the youngest of three children born to Albanian parents who were devout Catholics. Her father died when she was only nine years old. She attended the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which was a church in her neighborhood. When she was twelve years old, she knew she wanted to become a sister, although her mother was initially against it, but finally gave in and said: Put your hand in His hand and walk all alone with Him."

She trained for the ministry in Dublin, Ireland through an Irish missionary school called Lady of Loreto. She then headed for India where she professed her temporary vows, taking her name from St. Therese of Lisieux, who was the patron saint of missionaries. She then taught for seventeen years in St. Mary's High School in Calcutta. She claimed she was the happiest nun in the world, because she loved teaching young girls. She took her final vows as a Sister of Loreta.

She gave up all that she loved to serve the poorest of the poor in the slums of India. She opened a home for the dying and also an orphanage. She did all of this for her love of God. She felt each person she helped was Jesus himself, coming in the disguise of the poor. She won numerous awards for her service, including the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979. Many people followed her example helping thousands of unfortunate people.

Here are some of her quotes that I have learned from:

In God we live and move and have our being. It is God who gives life to all, who gives power and being to all that exists. But for his sustaining presence, all things would cease to be and fall back into nothingness.

Don't search for Jesus in far lands–he is not there. He is close to you; he is with you. Just keep the lamp burning and you will always see him. Keep on filling the lamp with all these little drops of love, and you will see how sweet is the Lord you love.

Don't allow anything to interfere with your love for Jesus. You belong to him. Nothing can separate you from him. That one sentence is important to remember. He will be your joy, your strength. If you hold onto that sentence, temptations and difficulties will come, but nothing will break you. Remember, you have been created for great things.

Jesus loved us to the end, to the very limit, dying on the cross. We must have this same love which comes from within, from our union with Christ. Such love must be as normal to us as living and breathing.

If we do any preaching, it is done with deeds, not with words.

We have to love until it hurts. It is not enough to say, "I love." We must put that love into a living action. And how do we do that? By giving until it hurts.

Once we take our eyes away from ourselves, from our interests, from our own rights, privileges, ambitions–then they will become clear to see Jesus around us.

In many places, children are neglected, but animals are cared for and pampered. Animals are given special food and special things. I love dogs myself very much, but still I cannot bear seeing a dog given the place of a child.

I cannot forget my mother. She was usually very busy all day long. Btu when sunset drew near, it was her custom to hurry with her tasks in order to be ready to receive my father. At the time we did not understand, and we would smile and even joke a little about it. Today I cannot help but call to mind that great delicacy of love that she had for him. No matter what happened, she was always prepared, with a smile on her lips, to welcome him.

Try to put in the hearts of your children a love for home. Make them long to be with their families. So much sin could be avoided if our people really loved their homes.

Bring prayer back into your family life, and you too will see that unity, the bond of joyful love that will bind you together.

In a letter Mother Teresa sent to George Bush and Saddam Hussein in January 1991 –

Please choose the way of peace...In the short term there may be winners and losers in this war that we all dread. But that never can, nor never will justify the suffering, pain, and loss of life your weapons will cause.

We must know that we have been created for greater things, not just to be a number in the world, not just to go for diplomas and degrees, this work and that work. We have been created in order to love and to be loved.

Prayer is as necessary as the air, as the blood in our bodies, as anything to keep us alive–to keep us alive to the grace of God.

In 1989, Mother Teresa was interviewed for Time Magazine when she said:

I don't claim anything of the work. It's his work. I'm like a little pencil in his hand. That's all. He does the thinking. He does the writing. The pencil has nothing to do with it. The pencil has only to be allowed to be used.

Serve God joyfully. Let there be no sadness in your life: the only true sorrow is sin.

If you are joyful, it will shine in your eyes and in your look, in your conversation and in your countenance. You will not be able to hide it because joy overflows.

The woman is the heart of the home. Let us pray that we women realize the reason of our existence: to love and be loved and through this love become instruments of peace in the world.


Submit a Comment
  • elayne001 profile imageAUTHOR


    5 months ago from Rocky Mountains

    @Edwin Alcantara Thank you for visiting my article on Mother Theresa. She is truly remarkable and inspirational. She gave her all for others.

  • Edwin Alcantara profile image

    Edwin Alcantara 

    5 months ago from California

    She's one of my favorite saints. I read some of her quotes daily to remind myself what's truly important in life. Thank you for writing this article.

  • elayne001 profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    Thank you very much freezeframe 34. I am so glad that you enjoyed it! Aloha!

  • FreezeFrame34 profile image


    7 years ago from Charleston SC

    Very informative. I love all of the quotes.

  • elayne001 profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    Yes, I agree with you Lita C. Malicdem. Thank you for your positive comments.

  • Lita C. Malicdem profile image

    Lita C. Malicdem 

    8 years ago from Philippines

    Mother Theresa was a living saint and her early beatification to sainthood just completed it with formality. I learned a lot about her from this hub. Thank you.

  • elayne001 profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    I agree Seeker7. Mother Teresa was very unique in the compassion she showed for others. She not only preached, but practiced what she believed. Thanks for your comments.

  • Seeker7 profile image

    Helen Murphy Howell 

    8 years ago from Fife, Scotland

    Beautiful hub.

    What an incredible person Mother Teresa was. Not just because of her work, but because she had that unique kind of empathy and love for people,(and animals) that crossed all barriers and beliefs. It will be a long time before we see her alike again, if ever.

  • elayne001 profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    Glad you agree with my opinion of Mother Teresa. She was such a great example. Thank you for your comments Cathy I. Aloha.

  • Cathy I profile image

    Cathy I 

    8 years ago from New York

    That was such a beautiful article. I particularly liked the quotes from Mother Theresa. I find them so meaningful, especially the ones about family and the home. I really do believe she was someone very special. These special angels who walk on earth only come along very sparingly in a lifetime. Pope John Paul II was another such very special Angel.

  • elayne001 profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    Thanks Lady_E. I agree. Your comments are appreciated.

  • Lady_E profile image


    8 years ago from London, UK

    Beautiful Quotes. She was an Angel in disguise.


  • elayne001 profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    Glad you enjoyed it PegCole17. Hope you find joy and peace. Thanks for your comments.

  • PegCole17 profile image

    Peg Cole 

    8 years ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

    Thanks so much for this enlightening article, elayne. It lifted me up to read more about this mighty woman. I really liked the quote "If you are joyful, it will shine in your eyes and in your look, in your conversation and in your countenance."

  • elayne001 profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    f_hruz - It is sad what people do in the name of religion. Very unfortunate if it is true.

    That is interesting C-Bless. I was not aware of that, but wouldn't be surprised. Thanks for commenting.

  • C-Bless profile image


    8 years ago from Canada

    I've heard it said that while Mother Teresa was very good at serving the poor with an unselfish heart, she was even better at negotiating with the best for money for her organization. She was little but mighty ...

  • f_hruz profile image


    8 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

    Thanks for keeping my post and the video open for discussion. Christopher Hitchens is quite well known for his position on religion. He discusses this subject often on TV and recently in person with Tony Blair, the previous Prime Minister of the UK in Toronto.

    He argued his points quite successfully before a very large number of people who were polled at the start and after the debate if religion had more positive than negative things to offer humanity.

    The question has to be seen in a wider perspective. Did Mother Teresa do many good things? The answer is YES - could she have done a lot more? The answer is YES as well, but not under the constraints of a Vatican which does more to keep wealth and poverty where it is than to support Liberation Theology to bring about social justice and the elimination of hunger and early child death around the world ... telling people to wait for the glory of god to be given to them in heaven keeps these religious hierarchies in power - that's the real drama of it all!

  • elayne001 profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    That is a very sad thing Hello, hello that it turned ugly. I prefer to remember the good things that came out of it. There are many orphanages and organizations that spawned off from Mother Teresa's goodness. Thanks for commenting.

  • Hello, hello, profile image

    Hello, hello, 

    8 years ago from London, UK

    She done a lot of good in India amongst the poor and they are really poor. But the organisation turned slowly into not a very nice way. The greed in human beings can never stay away from anything.

  • elayne001 profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    I approved your comment, f_hruz, because I believe people can decide for themselves what is true or false. Well, I haven't heard of this guy, but he seems to have much criticism of any one who does good and gets attention for it. Could be his way of getting lots of media coverage for himself, but I'll leave it up to the readers.

  • f_hruz profile image


    8 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

    There is a pro and a con to everything in life ... don't ever be too one sided and fall for all the propaganda!

    Watch the following video, it may open your mind ...

  • elayne001 profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    Your mother was wise. Words are easy, but actions speak much louder. I appreciate your comments tillsontitan.

  • tillsontitan profile image

    Mary Craig 

    8 years ago from New York

    No matter your religion, Mother Teresa was an example for all to follow. More love in this world would certainly help with the problems we face. My mother was a follower of St. Teresa and never doubted her.

  • elayne001 profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    I agree with you about Mother Teresa, HealthyHanna. She is very inspirational.

    I appreciate your kind words Timothy Donnelly. Mother Teresa is truly someone worthy of sainthood.

  • Timothy Donnelly profile image

    Timothy Donnelly 

    8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    Mother Teresa is definitely an icon in the echelon of few truly good examples we have to emulate. She lived her life emulating the love that Jesus taught, and in doing so, has earned her place in the pantheon rest of great lives lived. Thanks for putting together this great Hub, elayne001, for the great video, and for some of the Wise Words From Mother Teresa!

  • HealthyHanna profile image


    8 years ago from Utah

    I love Mother Teresa. Although I have studied about her somewhat, I love to hear it all again. If her words were reviewed over and over again, the world would be a better place because you couldn't help but be a better person.

  • elayne001 profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    Thank you marcoujor - I appreciate your votes and kind words.

  • marcoujor profile image

    Maria Jordan 

    8 years ago from Jeffersonville PA


    A shining example of "actions speaking louder than words"-- thank you for this uplifting article!


  • elayne001 profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    Thank you Micky Dee. Yes, she is a shining light for all of us.

    That is definitely true dahoglund. That kind of humility is a rare thing.

    Yes, FCEtier, she was beatified by the Catholic Church in 2003, just six years after her death.

    So glad you liked it FaithDream. She was a rare treasure on the earth.

  • FaithDream profile image


    8 years ago from (Midwest) USA

    This is a great article about an amazing woman. Thanks for sharing it.

  • FCEtier profile image


    8 years ago from Cold Mountain

    Is the process to make her a saint complete? Is she a saint now?

  • dahoglund profile image

    Don A. Hoglund 

    8 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

    Mother Teresa is outstanding because of her hunmility, I think.

  • Micky Dee profile image

    Micky Dee 

    8 years ago

    Very beautiful. Few MEN have stood as tall as this little woman.


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