We all know Mother Teresa, a humble frail nun, who has dedicated her life to helping the poorest people of the world.
Her calling can be surmised through the words of Jesus Christ, the words she kept saying throughout her life: “Whatever you do to the least of my brethren, you do it to me.”
She dedicated her entire life to helping the people who most sorely needed help, and now everyone remembers her name, and deservingly so.
The Long and Dedicated Life of Mother Teresa
Not much is known about Mother Teresa’s early life, but we know she came from humble beginnings in the city of Skopje – the capital of the Republic of North Macedonia today. She felt the calling early on in her life, and she formally joined the Church in 1931, being only 21 years of age.
She chose the name of St Therese of Lisieux – the patron saint of all missionaries.
When she went to India, she was struck by the widespread poverty she found in the city of Calcutta. She then knew what her life would be; she knew that she would dedicate her entire self to helping those in need; those the modern society often overlooks.
As she said: “Love cannot remain by itself – it has no meaning. Love has to be put into action, and that action is service.”
Her service was painful at the start. The order she started – The Missionaries of Charity – worked hard to help the poor of Calcutta. It wasn’t easy, they had to live with minimal resources, but they never gave up. The effort was rewarded as through time, those in power noticed them.
Many decades later, she is known across the globe, and more than 700 missions continue her work in some 130 countries. The purposes work in her name, and they care, not for the religion of the people they help, but for them, as Mother Teresa loved all and wanted to help any human being in need of it. Her hospices never performed Catholic rites for those of another faith, and every person received the right they wanted according to their religious beliefs. All she cared about was that these people were cared for. She loved doing what she did, and she inspired many to do the same.
As Mother Teresa wrote in her book No Greater Love: “It is not how much we do, but how much love we put in the doing. It is not how much we give, but how much love we put in the giving.”
She is time-honored with the Nobel Peace Prize and canonized by the Catholic Church in 2016. She is now Saint Teresa, but she will always be remembered as Mother Teresa as she was already a saint to many while she was alive.
It’s rare that someone can be so inspiring as Mother Teresa. And she is right with what she said. It doesn’t matter how small your actions are, as long as they are right and just, and as long as you are striving to help humanity, your life will have a meaning and purpose.