Mother Teresa's Nobel Message: Love and Compassion


We pray this prayer every day after Holy Communion because it is very appropriate for each of us. I often wonder if the people who composed it 4,500 years ago had the same difficulties that we do today, as we compose this prayer that fits very nicely. As we have gathered here to thank God for the Nobel Peace Prize, I think it will be beautiful that we pray the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi, which always surprises me very much. We will pray together as I believe some of you have already figured it out.

Let us give thanks to God for the chance we all have to be together today, for this gift of peace that serves as a reminder that we were made for a life of peace, and for Jesus' decision to become a man to spread this good news to the underprivileged. Except for sin, Jesus took on all the characteristics of a man because he is God, and he made it very obvious that he had come to share the good news. God loved the world so much that he gave his son to the Virgin Mary, and what did she do with him? The news was one of peace to all people of goodwill, and this is something that we all desire—peace of heart. It was giving—it is almost as though to say it hurt God to give.

As soon as he entered her life, she hurried to tell her cousin the good news. As she entered the house, Elizabeth's unborn child, who was still within her womb, jumped with excitement. That unborn infant was the original peace emissary. He understood that Christ had come to bring good news for people like you and me and that he was the Prince of Peace. To demonstrate that greater love, he died on the cross for you, me, the leper, the hungry man, and the naked man who was lying in the street, not only in Calcutta but also in Africa, New York, London, and Oslo. He also insisted that we love one another as much as he loves every one of us. The Gospel makes that very clear: "Love one another as I have loved you; as I love you, so the Father has loved me; and the harder he has loved me, the more I have given to you." This means that no matter how much we love one another, we must also give to the point where it hurts. We cannot just claim, "I love God, but I don't love my neighbor." If you claim to love God while also loving your neighbor, St. John declares that you are lying. If you don't love your neighbor—someone you can see, touch, and live with—how can you love God, whose you cannot see? Therefore, we must understand that true love must cause pain. Jesus' willingness to love us caused him pain. And to keep his immense love in our memories, he made himself the bread of life to sate our thirst for it. We were made for that love, which is why we have a thirst for God. We were made in his likeness. We were made with the capacity to love and be loved, and to enable us to love as he loved us, he took on the form of a man. He portrays himself as the hungry, naked, sick, destitute, prisoner, lonely, and undesired person and declares, "You did it to me." The hunger of our underprivileged people is for our affection. You and I need to find this hunger, which can be in our own homes.

I'll never forget the chance I had to visit a residence where numerous elderly parents of sons and daughters had recently placed them in an institution and may have forgotten about them. I went there and observed that although the property was furnished with exquisite items, everyone was focused on the door. And not a single person had a smile on their face that I could see. I then questioned the Sister, "How is that?" as I turned to face her. How come, everyone, is here, why are they all staring at the entrance, and why aren't they grinning? She remarked, "This is virtually every day, They are anticipating, they are hoping that a son or daughter will come to see them. I am so used to seeing the smiles on our people, even the ones who are dying. They feel upset because they have been forgotten, and here is where love enters the picture. Even neglect to love is a direct result of poverty right there in our own homes. These are challenging times for everyone, and perhaps we even have someone in our own family who is lonely, ill, or scared. Are we there to receive them, Is the mother there to welcome the child, and are we there to receive them?

I was startled to see so many young boys and girls getting involved with drugs in the West. I tried to figure out why, and the conclusion was that no one in the family could help them. Father and mother don't have time because they are so busy. The child returns to the street and becomes involved in something while the young parents are in an institution. We are discussing peace. These are factors that disturb the peace, but in my opinion, abortion is the biggest peacebreaker of our day because it amounts to a direct act of hostilities and murder committed by the mother. We are carved in the palm of His hand. And the first part of that sentence—"Even if a mother could forget something impossible—but even if she could forget—I will not forget you"—is what gets to me the most. Abortion is currently the most effective peace-breaking tool. And the people who are standing here were our parents' choice. If our parents had treated us like way, we would not be here. We desire and adore our children, but what about the millions of others? Many people are quite worried about the children in India and the children in Africa, where quite a few die, possibly from hunger, malnutrition, and other causes, but millions are dying voluntarily at the mother's decision. And this is what currently poses the biggest threat to world peace. Because there is nothing between me killing you and you killing me if a mother can kill her child. And I make the following appeal in India and everywhere else: Let's get the child back, and since this year is the year of the child, what have we done for him or her? At the beginning of the year, I said, "Let's make this year that we make every single child born, and unborn, wanted." I stated this everywhere I spoke. Now that the year is coming to an end, have we fulfilled the children's wishes? You will receive something horrifying from me. We have prevented thousands of abortions through adoption, and we have warned all clinics, hospitals, and police stations to not kill the child because we will take it. We have quite a few unmarried women, so someone is always there every hour of the day and night. Tell them to come; we'll take care of them, take the child from them, and find the infant home. Additionally, there is a huge demand from families who are childless, which is a blessing from God for us. Additionally, we are teaching natural family planning to beggars, leprosy patients, slum dwellers, and other members of the street community.

And in Calcutta alone in six years - it's all in Calcutta - we've had 61,273 fewer babies than the families would have, except because they practice this organic method of restraint, of self-control, out of love for one another. We show them how to read a temperature meter, which is highly attractive and easy to grasp for our less fortunate neighbors. Do you know what they told me, too? Our family is strong and unified, and we can have children whenever we want. So obvious are those people on the street and those beggars, and I believe that if our people can act in this way, how much more can you and everyone else without harming the life that God has given us?

The impoverished are truly amazing. They have so much lovely knowledge to impart to us. One of them visited us recently to express his gratitude and remarked, "You people who have vowed chastity, you are the best people to teach us family planning." Since it is nothing more than restraint motivated by love for one another. They also, in my opinion, said a lovely sentence. These are wonderful people, even though they may not have something to eat or a place to live. The impoverished are good people in general. We went out one evening and picked up four individuals from the street. One of them was in a horrible state, so I instructed the Sisters to take care of the other three while I looked after the one who appeared to be in worse shape. So I gave her everything I could out of love. She had a stunning smile on her face when I put her to bed. She grabbed my hand and spoke one word, "Thank you," before passing away.

I was compelled to examine my conscience in front of her and consider what I would say if I were in her position. And I had a straightforward response. I would have made an effort to bring attention to myself; I would have said that I was thirsty, that I was dying, that I was cold, that I was in pain, or something similar, but she offered me much more—her gratifying love. She passed away smiling as well. Similar to the man we found in the drain, half-eaten by worms, and carried him home. I've lived on the streets like an animal, but I'm going to die in love and with care. And it was truly amazing to witness the greatness of a guy who could talk and die in such a way without pointing the finger, cursing out, or making any comparisons. This is the magnificence of our people—they are like an angel. And for this reason, we take Jesus at his word when he stated, "You did it to me because I was naked, hungry, homeless, unloved, and without care."

We are not true social workers, in my opinion. In the eyes of the populace, we may be performing social work, but in our innermost selves, we are contemplatives. Because we are constantly contacting the Body of Christ. Each of us has 24 hours while we are here. You make an effort to bring God's presence into your family as well since praying as a family keeps families together. And I believe that our family doesn't need bombs or guns to bring peace; we simply need to be together, show one another love, and bring that peace, that joy, and that strength of presence into the house. And we'll be able to defeat every evil that exists now.

There is so much pain, so much hatred, so much suffering, and we are starting at home with our prayers and sacrifices. It is not how much we do, but how much love we put into the action that we take that matters most in a relationship. Because He is unlimited, it doesn't matter how much we do for God Almighty; what matters is how much love we put into our actions. How much we serve Him by the person we are.

We used to have a lot of trouble procuring sugar in Calcutta, and I don't know how the word got out to the kids, but a young Hindu boy of four went home and told his parents: "I won't eat sugar for three days; I'll give my sugar to Mother Teresa for her kids." His mother and father took him to our house after three days. Although I had never met them before and this young child could hardly say my name, he was quite certain of his purpose. He was aware of the desire to express his love.

And for this reason, I have felt so much love from all of you. Since I first arrived here, I have only experienced genuine, understanding love all around me. You can get the impression that everyone in India and Africa is someone very special to you. And I mentioned to Sister today that I felt quite at home. I have the impression that I am with my sisters in Calcutta when I am with them in the convent. I feel entirely at home right here.

The reason I'm speaking with you now is because I want you to start by looking for the underprivileged in your neighborhood. and there began your love. Make sure your people hear the good news. Find out who your next-door neighbor is; are you familiar with them? I had the most amazing encounter with an eight-member Hindu family. When a man arrived at our home, he pleaded with Mother Teresa to intervene on behalf of an eight-member family who had gone days without food. So I grabbed some rice and headed there right away. And I noticed the kids, who had eyes that shone with hunger. Have you ever seen hunger? But I have witnessed it frequently. She divided the rice after taking it, then she left. The fact that she recognized they were a Muslim family and who they were most amazed me. That evening, I didn't bring any more rice because I wanted them to experience the thrill of giving. However, there were those kids, beaming with happiness, sharing it with their mother because she had love to give. Thus you can see that home is where love starts. And I want you. I'm also incredibly appreciative of everything I've been given. It has been a wonderful experience, and I am returning to India with your love. I hope to be back by the 15th of the following week.

And I am aware that you did not donate out of a sense of abundance but rather till it wounded you. I was astonished to see how happy the tiny kids are today, even the starving kids. because they receive so much love, care, and affection from their parents, children will also require these things. So let's give thanks to God that we had the chance to get to know one another and that doing so brought us closer together. And because, as you know, our Sisters are located all over the world, we will be able to assist not only the children of India and Africa but also the children of the entire world. And with this award, which I won as a prize for world peace, I intend to try to provide many individuals without homes with a place to live. I think that if we can build a home for the poor, more and more love will spread because I think that love starts at home. We shall be able to bring about peace and be the good news to the underprivileged thanks to this understanding of love. first and foremost, the underprivileged in our own families, nations, and regions.

Our lives must be interwoven with prayer if we are to be able to do this, Sisters. For them to comprehend and be able to share, they must be interwoven with Christ. Are we present to share that passion and the suffering of people because there is so much suffering in the world right now, and I feel as though Christ's suffering is being relived all over again? I discovered that it was far harder to eradicate poverty in the West than it was anywhere else in the globe, not only in the developing nations. When I pick up a starving person off the street and offer him some rice or bread, I feel satisfied. That hunger is no longer there. However, poverty is so hurtful and so painful, and I find it extremely tough. It makes a person feel shut out, undesired, hated, and afraid. It also makes a person feel like they have been cast out of society. In the West, our Sisters are employed among such kind of people. You must therefore pray for us so that we may be that good news, but since we cannot do it without you, you must do it in your own country. You must get to know the underprivileged, Maybe our folks over here have everything material, but if we all took a peek inside our own homes, how difficult would it be for us to smile at one another? After all, a grin is the first sign of love.

Therefore, let's constantly greet one another with a grin. After all, a smile signals the start of love, and when we fall in love, we naturally want to take action. Therefore, please pray for our sisters, me, our brothers, as well as our coworkers who are spread out around the globe. so that we might continue to be faithful to God's gift, to love Him, and to serve Him beside us in the impoverished. What we have accomplished should not have been possible if you had not contributed with your prayers, donations, and ongoing giving. But I want you to give to the point where it hurts, not just from your abundance.

A man who has spent the last 20 years on his back and can only move his right hand gave me 15 dollars the other day. And smoking is the only company he appreciates. He then said, "I send you this money, and I don't smoke for a week." Even though it must have been a tremendous cost for him, look at how lovely he was in sharing, saying, "With that money, I bought bread and I gave to those who are hungry with joy on both sides." He was giving, and the needy were getting. The ability to spread our love to others is something that God has given to both you and me. Let it unfold as it did for Jesus. Let's practice reciprocal love as Jesus did for us. Let's give Him our complete love. And now that Christmas is so close, let's share the joy of loving Him and one another. Let us never lose the delight of loving Jesus. And spread that happiness to everyone we come into contact with. And that contagious joy is genuine—we have no excuse not to be joyful because Christ is not among us. Christ in our hearts, Christ in the needy people we encounter, Christ in the smiles we give and receive. Let's be clear about two things: No child will be unwelcome, and we should always greet one other with a smile, even when it is tough to do so.

I'll never forget the moment fourteen professors from various American institutions visited. And they arrived at our home in Calcutta. Then we discussed their visit to the dying person's home. We have a shelter for the dying in Calcutta, where we have taken in more than 36,000 people solely from the city's streets, and more than 18,000 of those people have passed away peacefully. They had just returned to God and visited our home. We talked about love and compassion, and one of them then pleaded with me to give him or her a memorable piece of advice. I told them to smile at one another and make time for one another in the family. We exchange grins. Another person then inquired, "Are you married?" I replied, "Yes," adding that I occasionally find it extremely challenging to smile at Jesus since he can be rather demanding. This is the case, and this is where love manifests itself: when it is both requiring and yet we can offer it to Him joyfully. As I stated earlier today, if I don't get to Heaven for anything else, I'll go there for all the exposure since it has purified me, sacrificed me, and prepared me for Heaven. I believe that since Jesus is with us and that He loves us, we should live life to the fullest. Norway would turn into a nest of love if we could just remember that God loves us and that we have the potential to love others as he loves us, not in big things but in simple things with great love. And how lovely it will be that a center for peace has been provided from here. The unborn child's joy in life emerges from this place. The Nobel Peace Prize is essentially a gift to the Norwegian people if you grow to be a bright beacon of peace. I wish you well!

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