No Greater Love by Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa teaches us that loss of self leads to discovery of the soul.

On prayer:

My secret is very simple: I pray.

Through prayer I become one in love with Christ. I realize that praying to Him is loving Him.

Perfect prayer does not consist in many words, but in the fervour of the desire which raises the heart to Jesus.

If you want to pray better, you must pray more.

Let’s not pray long, drawn-out prayers, but let’s pray short ones full of love.

Humility through prayer – You acquire humility only by accepting humiliations… You will not learn humility through books. The greatest humiliation is to know that you are nothing. This you come to know when you face God in prayer.

Often a deep and fervent look at Christ is the best prayer: I look at Him and He looks at me.

In the silence of the heart God speaks. If you face God in prayer and silence, God will speak to you. Then you will know that you are nothing. It is only when you realize your nothingness, your emptiness, that God can fill you with Himself. Souls of prayer are souls of great silence.

This is what we have to learn from the beginning: to listen to the voice of God in our heart, and then in the silence of the heart God speaks. Then from the fullness of our hearts, our mouth will have to speak.

Our prayer life suffers so much because our hearts are not silent.

Sacrifice and prayer complement each other. There is no prayer without sacrifice, and there is no sacrifice without prayer.

Our life of contemplation simply put is to realize God’s constant presence and His tender love for us in the least little things of life.

If we don’t pray, our presence will have no power, our words will have no power.

Just one things counts — to be humble, to pray. The more you pray, the better you will pray.

So pray lovingly like children, with an earnest desire to love much and to make loved the one that is not loved.

On love:

Love is the result of an intense spiritual life.

Let us conquer the world with our love.

We do not need to carry out grand things in order to show a great love for God and for our neighbour. It is the intensity of love we put into our gestures that makes them into something beautiful for God.

We must love those who are nearest to us, in our own family. From there, love spreads toward whoever may need us.

It is easy to love those who live far away. It is not always easy to love those who live right next to us. It is easier to offer a dish of rice to meet the hunger of a needy person than to comfort the loneliness and the anguish of someone in our own home who does not feel loved.

Pray to God and ask Him to give us the courage to love.

Give ourselves to each other until it hurts.

It does not matter how much we give, but how much love we put into our giving.

When we all see God in each other, we will love one another as He loves us all.

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 be loved.

Always be faithful in little things, for in them our strength lies. To God nothing is little.

Intense love does not measure – it just gives.

Charity, to be fruitful, must cost us.

God loves a cheerful giver. The best way to show your gratitude to God and people is to accept everything with joy. A joyful heart is a normal result of a heart burning with love.

Let nothing so disturb us, so fill us with sorrow or discouragement, as to make us forfeit the joy of the resurrection.

On giving:

“Give of your hands to serve and your hearts to love”

Have you ever experienced the joy of giving? I do not want you to give to me from your abundance. I never allow people to have fundraisers for me. I don’t want that. I want you to give of yourself. The love you put into giving is the most important thing.

“We tell people how kind, forgiving, and understanding God is, but are we the living proof? Can they really see this kindness, this forgiveness, this understanding alive in us?”

We have to possess before we can give. Those who have the mission of giving to others must grow first in the knowledge of God.

Kindness has converted more people than zeal, science, or eloquence. Holiness grows so fast where there is kindness.

On being holy:

Holiness is not a luxury for the few. It is a simple duty, because if we learn to love, we learn to be holy.

The first step to becoming holy is to will it.

Holiness consists of carrying out God’s will with joy.

It all depends on these words: “I want” or “I do not want.”

To become holy we need humility and prayer. Neither of these can we do unless we know what silence is.

If you are humble, nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are.

Let us put love into action.

“If Christians were to live their Christian lives to the fullest, there would not be one Hindu left in India” ~ Gandhi

His Sacred Heart is filled with an insatiable longing to see us advance in holiness.

We ought every day to renew our resolution and to rouse ourselves to fervour, as if it were the first day of our conversion.

“Faith strips the mask from the world and reveals God in everything” ~ Charles de Foucauld

On work & service:

My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9

God will not ask how many books you have read; how many miracles you have worked; He will ask you if you have done your best, for the love of Him.

Unless your work is interwoven with love, it is useless. To work without love is slavery.

Whatever you do, even if you help somebody cross the road, you do it for Jesus.

The talents God has given you are not yours; they have been given to you for your use, for the glory of God.

“Miss no single opportunity of making some small sacrifice, here by a smiling look, there by a kindly word; always doing the smallest thing right and doing it all for love” ~ St Therese of Lisieux

On Jesus:

Jesus is the truth that must be shared.

Am I convinced of Christ’s love for me and mine for Him?

This is total surrender – not to be loved by anybody not to be wanted by anybody, just to be a nobody because we have given all to Christ.

I don’ think we could have ever loved God if Jesus had not become one of us.

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.

You must radiate that presence that is within you [to every person you meet], in the way you address that man with love and respect. Why? Because you believe that is Jesus.

“Jesus, make me a saint according to your own heart, meek and humble.”

I ask Him to make a saint of me, yet I must leave to Him the choice of the saintliness itself and still more the means that lead to it.

He will use you to accomplish great things on the condition that you believe much more in His love than in your weakness.

On poverty & the poor:

The world today is hungry not only for bread but hungry for love, hungry to be wanted, to be loved.

You in the West have the spiritually poorest of the poor much more than you have the physically poor.

It would be a shame for us to be richer than Jesus, who for our sake endured poverty.

Poverty is freedom.

On forgiveness:

Whatever our religion, we know that if we really want to love, we must first learn to forgive before anything else.

When we realize that we are all sinners needing forgiveness, it will be easy for us to forgive others.

Confession is a sacrament of love, a sacrament of forgiveness.

On Children & the Family:

Only when love abides at home can we share it with our next-door neighbour.

The family that prays together stays together.

People who really and truly love each other are the happiest people in the world.

On suffering & death:

Suffering in and of itself is useless, but suffering that is shared with the passion of Christ is a wonderful gift and sign of love.

Suffering, pain, sorrow, humiliation, feelings of loneliness, are nothing but the kiss of Jesus, a sign that you have come so close that He can kiss you.

Remember that the passion of Christ ends always in the joy of the resurrection, so when you feel in your own heart the suffering of Christ, remember the resurrection has to come. Never let anything so fill you with sorrow as to make you forget the joy of Christ risen.

At the moment of death, we will not be judged by the amount of work we have done but by the weight of love we have put into our work.

Death, in the final analysis, is only the easiest and quickest means to go back to God.

On the missionaries of charity:

All the religious congregations – nuns, priests, even the Holy Father – all have the same vocation: to belong to Jesus. “I have chosen you to be mine.”

If something belongs to me, I can use it as I wish. I belong to Jesus – He can do with me whatever He wants.

If God, who owes us nothing, is willing to give us nothing less than Himself, can we respond by giving Him only a part of ourselves?

How easy it is to conquer God! We give ourselves to Him, and God becomes ours, and now we have nothing but God.

God loves me. I’m not here just to fill a place, just to be a number. He has chosen me for a purpose. I know it.

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