Monday, December 26, 2016

QUOTATION: Worldly Poverty, Wealth in Christ

Mother Teresa of Calcutta

To the world, it’s seem foolish that we delight in poor food, that we relish rough and insipid bulgur (wheat); possess only three sets of habits made of coarse cloth or old soutanes (cassocks) mend and patch them, take great care of them and refuse to have extra; enjoy walking in any shape and color of shoes; bathe with just a bucket of water in small bathing rooms; sweat and perspire but refuse to have a fan; go hungry and thirsty but refuse to eat in the houses of the people; refuse to have radios or gramophones, which could be relaxing to the racked nerves after the whole day’s hard toil; walk distances in the rain and hot summer sun, or go cycling, travel by second-class tram, or third class overcrowded trains; sleep on hard beds, giving up soft and thick mattresses which would be soothing to the aching bodies after the whole day’s hard work; kneel on the rough and thin carpets in the chapel, giving up soft and thick ones; delight in lying in the common wards in the hospital among the poor of Christ, when we could easily have private cabins; work like coolies at home and outside when we could easily employ servants and do only the light jobs; relish cleaning the toilets and dirt as though that was the most beautiful job in the world and call it a tribute to God. To some we are wasting our precious life and burying our talents. Yes, our lives are utterly wasted if we use only the light of reason. Our life has no meaning unless we look at Christ in his poverty. Our beautiful work with and for the poor is a privilege and a gift for us. I think that if we go to the poor with that love, with only the desire to give God to them, to bring the joy of Christ (which is our strength) into their homes, if they look at us and see Jesus and his love and compassion in us, I think the world will soon be full of peace and love.

--Mother Teresa of Calcutta, No Greater Love.