Tag Archives: Mother Teresa

I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me. (Matthew 25: 35,36)

Mother Teresa once said:

At the end of life we will not be judged by
how many diplomas we have 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 to eat.
I was naked and you clothed me.
I was homeless and you took me in.”

Hungry not only for bread
but hungry for love

Naked not only for clothing
but naked of human respect and dignity

Homeless not only for want of a room of bricks
but homeless because of rejection.

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June 24, 2014 · 08:44

The Clock

A man died and went to Heaven. As he stood in front of the Pearly
Gates, he saw a huge wall of clocks behind him. He asked, ‘What are
all those clocks?’

St Peter answered, ‘Those are Lie-Clocks. Everyone who has ever been
on earth has a Lie-Clock. Every time you lie, the hands on your
clock move.’

… ‘Oh’, said the man. ‘Whose clock is that?’

‘That’s Mother Teresa’s’, replied St Peter. ‘The hands have never
moved, indicating that she never told a lie.’

‘Incredible’, said the man. ‘And whose clock is that one?’

St Peter responded, ‘That’s Abraham Lincoln’s clock. The hands have
moved twice, telling us that Abraham told only two lies in his
entire life.’

‘Where’s Tony Blair’s clock?’ asked the man.

St Peter replied, ‘We are using it as a ceiling fan.’

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“How shall I love thee? Let me count the ways”. This first line of the famous love poem causes us to reflect on the many ways that Jesus loved us during his lifetime. The night before He died He gave His disciples a new commandment to “love one another as I have loved you”.

His answer to the man’s question about who is the neighbour that he was supposed to love tells us a lot about how to love the way Jesus loved us. The victim of robbery and violence in today’s Gospel represents humankind brutalised by sin. Jesus is the Good Samaritan who takes pity on all of us and comes to our aid, heals us and restores us to life.

The Jewish priest and levite (deacon) in the story did not want to go near the poor man who had been attacked because they thought that he might be dead, and contact with a dead body might have made them ritually impure according to the Mosaic law. The law of Moses kept them from keeping the law of love!

Or, it’s been suggested that perhaps they were in too much of a hurry to get involved

Nearly 40 years a study was conducted at Princeton   University, USA, designed to work out the conditions under which good people would act for good, or at least be helpful.

Two psychologists asked a group of theology students to walk to another building on campus to give a short speech, either about their motives for studying theology or about the biblical parable of the Good Samaritan.

Meanwhile, the psychologists had arranged for an actor to be stationed on the path between the two buildings, slumped over, coughing and obviously in bad shape. The two experimenters had also led half the students to believe they were late for their speaking appointment, and half that they had ample time.

So, what do you think the responses were? Who was most likely to help: those with the story of the Good Samaritan uppermost in their mind or those thinking about the motives for studying theology?

There was a significance difference between groups, but it was not along the lines of speech content. Contrary to what we might expect, the content of the speech made no difference.

About the same number of Good Samaritan speakers and theology motivation students stopped. What did mid make a difference was how rushed the students thought themselves to be. Only 10 percent of those led to believe they were running late stopped to help. Of those told that they had plenty of time, 60 percent stopped to help.

Jesus had time for everyone.  He never appears to be inconvenienced.  He never kept his distance.

The word “neighbour” comes from the old English root “nigh” which means someone near or close to us. Jesus, in His great compassion, “drew near” to us in the Incarnation.

He was constantly being drawn to people in need, especially to outcasts of society such as lepers, tax collectors and prostitutes. He had a special compassion for women and for the poor. His love was proactive and spontaneous. He anticipated people’s needs and reached out to them before they had to ask. His multiplication of the loaves is one example of that.

Our neighbour is anyone in need, and Jesus speaks those words to us that He spoke to the expert in the law: “Go and do the same”.

One person who did follow His command to love was Mother Teresa. She had been a teacher occupied with her classes until one day, while walking down the street in Calcutta, she came upon a woman who was half-dead. Moved with compassion, she stayed with the woman until she died.

That experience began her lifetime of service to poor and terminally ill people. The number of members in the community of servants that she founded is now in the thousands, serving in hundreds of countries throughout the world.

Pope John Paul said of her, “The world has need of saints and witnesses, models worthy of being imitated. Suffice it to remember Mother Teresa of Calcutta, image of the Good Samaritan, who became for all, believers and non-believers, a messenger of love and peace.”



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Acts of Kindness

A few years ago a woman by the name of Anne Herbert, a writer who lives in California, accidentally started a movement called ‘practising random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty.”

She came up with the phrase while doodling on a restaurant placemat one day.  A man sitting nearby thought it was wonderful and copied it on his own placemat.

And suddenly people all over were copying the phrase down and doing what it suggests.

The objective of those who subscribe to this movement is quite simply to do kind things for other people for absolutely no reason at all other than the fact that they want to make the world a better place.

 Those who commit random acts of kindness do things like

      Taking a beautiful plant into the a police station to brighten the environment

      Letting the person in the supermarket queue behind you go before you.

      Complimenting a stranger on a bus on how good they look.

      or putting a coin into a stranger’s parking meter just before the time expires

 According to Anne Herbert some of the things that have been done by those who have caught the spirit of practising random acts of kinds and senseless acts of beauty include:

    -shovelling the snow from a neighbours walk when no one is looking

     -leaving a generous tip for a waiter who has provided poor service

     -planting daffodils along a highway

     -writing an old school teacher to let her know what a difference she made to her pupils

     -and going out and scrubbing graffiti off park benches.

“Here’s the idea”, she says, “Anything you think there should be more of, do it randomly.  Kindness can build on itself as much as violence can.”


When the disciples were gathered in the upper room after the death and resurrection of Jesus, he appeared among them and said to them: “Peace be with you – As the Father sent me, so I send you”

And then he breathed on them and said “Receive the Holy Spirit.  If you forgive people’s sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven”

As followers of Christ and heirs of the apostles, we have been given a commission, we have been given a power, and we have been given an authority:

The commission to go out as Jesus went out, to do good to others without judgement or criticism     And the authority and the privilege to actually make a difference in the lives of others, a   difference that counts – now – and forever.

 Mother Teresa once said this about her work in the streets of Calcutta:

“Non-Christians and Christians both do social work, but non-Christians do it for something, while we do it for someone.  This accounts for the respect, the love and devotion – because we do  it for God.  That is why we try to do it as beautifully as possible.

“We are in continual contact with Christ in his work, just as we are in contact with him at mass and in the Blessed Sacrament. There, Jesus has the appearance of bread.  But in the world of misery, in the torn bodies, in the children, it is the same Christ that we see, that we touch.”

The first Christian Community was so dynamic, so loving, so sharing, so united – because it lived wholeheartedly for the Risen Christ.

The first believers knew with every fibre of their being that God’s love conquered all -even death itself – and they were eager to share that love with others, that they might know the blessedness of life as God meant it to be.

They practised random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty, as an act of devotion, and as a natural response to what God had already done for them.

And so – in a sense – the acts of kindness and beauty that they committed were no longer random or senseless:

they had a purpose, a holy purpose,

the purpose of not only bringing people closer to each other and making a better society, but the purpose of bringing people into a healing and cleansing relationship with God – a relationship in which both our joy and theirs are complete

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