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Mother Teresa on Love and Joy
The following passages are quotations of Mother Teresa from the book "Jesus, The Word to be spoken," compiled by Father Angelo D. Scolozzi.
1. May the joy of the risen Jesus Christ be with you, to bring joy into your very soul. The good God has given himself to us. “Joy,” said the angel in Bethlehem. In his life, Jesus wanted to share his joy with his apostles, “That my joy may be in you.” Joy was the password of the first Christians. St. Paul—--how often he repeats himself: “Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say to you, rejoice.” In return for the great grace of baptism, the priest tells the newly baptized, “May you serve the church joyfully.” (April 6)
2. Easter is one of the feasts of our Society, a feast of joy—--the joy of the Lord. Let nothing so disturb us, so fill us with sorrow or discouragement, as to make us forfeit the joy of the resurrection. (April 7)
3. May the joy of our risen Lord be your strength in your work, your way to the Father, your light to guide you and your bread of life.(April 8)
4. May the joy and love of the risen Jesus be always with you, in you, and among you, so that we all become the true witnesses of his Father’s love for the world: ‘For God loved the world so much that he gave his Son.” Let us also love God so much that we give ourselves to him in each other and in his poor. (April 9)
5. Knowledge will make you strong as death. Love Jesus generously. Love him trustfully, without looking back and without fear. Give yourself fully to Jesus—--he will use you to accomplish great things on the condition that you believe much more in his love than in your weakness. Believe in him—--trust in him with blind and absolute confidence because he is Jesus. Believe that Jesus alone is life—--and that sanctity is nothing but Jesus intimately living in you; then his hand will be free with you. Give yourself unswervingly, conforming yourself in all things to his holy will which is made known to you through your superior. (April 13)
6. Love Jesus with a big heart. Serve Jesus with joy and gladness of spirit, casting aside and forgetting all that troubles and worries you. To be able to do all these, pray lovingly like children, with an earnest desire to love much and make loved the love that is not loved. (April 14)
7. Am I convinced of Christ’s love for me and mine for him? This conviction is like a sunlight which makes the sap of life rise and the buds of sanctity bloom. This conviction is the rock on which sanctity is built. What must we do to get this conviction? We must know Jesus, love Jesus, serve Jesus. We know him through prayers, meditations, and spiritual duties. We love him through holy Mass and the sacraments and through that intimate union of love. (April 17)
8. In each of our lives Jesus comes as the bread of life—--to be eaten, to be consumed by us. This is how he loves us. Then Jesus comes in our human life as the hungry one, the other, hoping to be fed with the bread of our life, our hearts by loving, and our hands by serving. In loving and serving, we prove that we have been created in the likeness of God, for God is love and when we love we are like God. This is what Jesus meant when he said, “Be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect.” (April 30)
9. “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, with thy whole soul, and with all thy mind.” This is the command of our great God, and he cannot command the impossible. Love is a fruit, in season at all times and within the reach of every hand. Anyone may gather it and no limit is set. Everyone can reach this love through meditation, the spirit of prayer, and sacrifices, by an intense interior life. Do I really live this life? (June 1)
10. I want you all to fill your hearts with great love. Don’t imagine that love, to be true and burning, must be extraordinary. No; what we need in our love is the continuous desire to love the One we love. (June 2)
11. Today let us recall the love of God for you and for me. His love is so tender. His love is so great, so real, so living that Jesus came just to teach us that---how to love. Love is not something that fossilizes, but something that lives. Works of love, and declaring love, is the way to peace. And where does this love begin?—--right in our hearts. 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 to be loved. (June 9)
12. Again and again we hear that sentence, “Unless you become like a little child, you cannot enter into heaven.” And what is being a little child? It is having a clean heart, a pure heart, a heart that holds Jesus, a heart that can say again and again, “Jesus in my heart, I believe in your tender love for me. I love you.” This is the heart that you, and I, even the youngest must have to he able to look up, to look up at the cross and understand how much Jesus loved me, loved each one of us separately. (June 10)
13. Our holy faith is nothing but a gospel of love, revealing to us God’s love for men and claiming in return man’s love for God. “God is love”: a missionary must be a missionary of love. We must spread God’s love on earth if we want to make souls repent wholeheartedly for sin, to strengthen them in temptation, and to increase their generosity and their desire to suffer for Christ. Let us act as Christ’s love among men, remembering the words of the Imitation, “Love feels no burden, values no labors, would willingly do more than it can, complains not of impossibilities, because it conceives that it may and can do all things; when weary is not tired; when strained is not constrained; when frightened is not disturbed; but like a living flame and torch all on fire, it mounts upward and securely passes through all opposition.” (June 11)
14. Be kind and loving with each other, for you cannot love Christ in his distressing disguise if you cannot love Jesus in the heart of your Brothers and Sisters. Love, to be living, must be fed on sacrifice. Be generous with the penances and all the sacrifices that come from our poverty, and you will be able in all sincerity to say, “My God and my all.” (June 15)
15. Knowledge of Christ and him in his poor will lead us to personal love. This love only can become our light and joy in cheerful service of each other. Do not forget we need each other. Our lives would be empty without each other. How can we love God and his poor if we do not love each other, with whom we live and break the bread of life daily? (June 22)
16. In the Scripture we read of the tenderness of God for the world, and we read that God loved the world so much that he gave his Son Jesus to come to be like us and to bring us the good news that God is love, that God loves you and loves me. God wants us to love each other as he loves each one of us. We all know, when we look at the cross, how Jesus loved us. When we look at the Eucharist we know how he loves us now. That’s why he made himself the bread of life to satisfy our hunger for his love, and then, as if this was not enough for him, he made himself the hungry one, the naked one, the homeless one, so that you and I can satisfy his hunger for our human love. For we have been created for that. We have been created to love and to be loved. (June 26)
17. You are to be a family, to be that presence of Christ to each other. Love each other tenderly as Jesus loves each one of you. That is the holiness of the third order: tender love for each other speaks much louder than all the words you can say. Love until it hurts; it takes deep sacrifice to proclaim the Word of God. Never hurt anybody with the Word, which is so sacred in our lives. Really live what you say: the younger generations that come up learn by seeing, not so much by hearing. Now young people don’t want to listen, they want to see. (July 18)
18. Love—--really be a contemplative in the heart of the world. Whatever you do, even if you help somebody cross the road, you do it to Jesus. Even giving somebody a glass of water, you do it to Jesus. Such simple little teaching, but it is more and more important. (July 25)
19. The world today is hungry not only for bread but hungry for love; hungry to be wanted, to be loved. They’re hungry to feel that presence of Christ. In many countries, people have everything except that presence, that understanding. That’s why the life of prayer and sacrifice comes to give that love. Through your dedication, you are to be that presence, that bread of God to break. (July 27)
20. Truly he has loved me unto death. Do I love Jesus unto death? How can I love Jesus whom I do not see if I don’t love my Sister or Brother—--or the poor—--whom I do see? If I do not, St. John says: “You are a liar.” (Oct 2)
21. Reconciliation begins first with ourselves and not with others. By allowing Jesus to clean us, to forgive us, to love us. It starts by having a clean heart within. A clean heart always forgives and sees God in others and so loves them. (Oct 3)
22. If sometimes we feel as if the Master is away, is it not because we have kept ourselves far from others? One thing that will always secure heaven for us: acts of charity and kindness with which we have filled our lives. We will never know how much good just a simple smile can do. We tell people how kind, forgiving, and understanding God is---are we the living proof? Can they really see this kindness, this forgiveness, this understanding, alive in us? (Oct 5)
23. Holiness grows so fast where there is kindness. I have never heard of kind souls going astray. The world is lost for want of sweetness and kindness. In religious houses this kindness is in greater danger, for we have grown so much used to each other that some think they are free to say anything to anybody at any time. They expect others to bear with their unkindness. Why not try first to put a brake on your own tongue? You know what you can do, but you do not know how much the other can bear. Why not give the chance of holiness to yourself first? (Oct 6)
24. If you don’t have love for one another, then how can you love Christ? How can they see Jesus in you? That’s why we need a clean heart, to see Jesus. Love one another. That’s all Jesus came to teach us. The whole gospel is very, very simple. Do you love me? Obey my commandments. He’s turning and twisting just to get around to one thing: love one another. He wants us to be really, really loving. Give from the heart. (Oct 7)
25. Be kind in your actions. Do not think that you are the only one who can do the efficient work, work worth showing. This makes you harsh in your judgment of the others who may not have the same talents. God will ask of that Brother or Sister only what he has given him or her, and not what he has given you; so why interfere with the plan of God? All things are his, and he gives as he pleases. You do your best and think that others do their best for God’s own purpose. Their best may be a total failure—--what is that to you? You follow the way he has chosen for you. For others also, let him choose. (Oct 8)
26. Intense love does not measure; it just gives. To be an apostle of the Sacred Heart, one must be burning with love, intense love for your neighbor. If you want peace, you cannot just say anything you please, the first word that comes into your head. (Oct 9)
27. Thoughtfulness is the beginning of great sanctity. If you learn this art of being thoughtful, you will become more and more Christ-like, for his heart was meek and he always thought of others. Jesus “went about doing good.” Our Lady did nothing else in Cana, but thought of the need of the others and made their need known to Jesus. The thoughtfulness of Jesus and Mary and Joseph was so great that it made Nazareth the abode of God Most High. If we also have that kind of thoughtfulness for each other, our communities will really become the abode of God Most High. (Oct 10)
28. How beautiful our houses will become where there is this total thoughtfulness of each other’s needs! The quickest and the surest way is the tongue: use it for the good of others. If you think well of others, you will also speak well of others and to others. From the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. If your heart is full of love, you will speak of love. (Oct 11)
29. Love begins at home, right inside our community. We cannot love outside unless we really love our Brothers and Sisters inside. So I say we need a very clean heart to be able to see God. When we all see God in each other, we will love one another as he loves us all. That is the fulfillment of the law, to love one another. This is all Jesus came to teach us: that God loves us, and that he wants us to love one another as he loves us. (Oct 16)
30. How beautiful it is to see the love for each other a living reality! Young people, have deep love and respect for your elders. Older people, treat those younger with respect and love, for they, like you, belong to Jesus. He has chosen each one of you for himself, to be his love and his light in the world. The simplest way of becoming his light is by being kind and loving, thoughtful, and sincere with each other: “By this they will know that you are his disciples.” (Oct 18)
31. Let us understand the tenderness of God’s love. For he speaks in the Scripture, “Even if a mother could forget her child, I will not forget you. I have carved you on the palm of my hand.” When you feel lonely, when you feel unwanted, when you feel sick and forgotten, remember you are precious to him. He loves you. And show that love for one another, for this is all that Jesus came to teach us. (Oct 19)
32. Let us ask our Lady and St. Joseph to make our families what they made Nazareth for Jesus. Let us not be afraid. Jesus said, “Be not afraid, I am with you” and “Love one another as I have loved you”—--by this they will know that you belong to Jesus. Love does not live on words, nor can it be explained by words---above all that love which serves him and comes from him and which finds him, touches him, serves him, loves him in others. Such love is true, burning, pure, without fear and doubt—--no greater love than the love Christ himself has shown us. So I ask you to love one another as he has loved us. As the Father has loved him, he has loved us, and loves us now He has called us by our name; we are precious to him. (Oct 20)
33. Loving trust means:
· an absolute, unconditional, and unwavering confidence in God our loving Father, even when everything seems to be a total failure;
· to stop doubting and being discouraged, casting all our worries and cares on the Lord, and walking in total freedom;
· to be daring and absolutely fearless of any obstacle, knowing that nothing is impossible with God; and
· total reliance on our Heavenly Father with a spontaneous abandonment of the little children, totally convinced of our utter nothingness but trusting to the point of rashness with courageous confidence in his fatherly goodness. (Nov 4)
34. Cheerfulness is indeed the fruit of the Holy Spirit and a clear sign of the kingdom within. Jesus shared his joy with his disciples: “that my joy may be in you and that your joy be full” (John 15:11). Our joy is a work of our generosity, selflessness, and close union with God; for he gives most who gives with joy, and God loves a cheerful giver. (Nov 5)
35. Joy is not simply a matter of temperament in the service of God and souls; it is always hard—--all the more reason why we should try to acquire it and make it grow in our hearts. (Dec 19)
36. Joy is a need and a power for us, even physically. Whoever has cultivated a spirit of joy feels less tired and is always ready to go doing good. A person filled with joy preaches without preaching. A joyful person is like the sunshine of God’s love, the hope of eternal happiness, the flame of burning love. (Dec 20)
37. Joy is one of the best safeguards against temptation. The devil is a carrier of dust and dirt; he uses every chance to throw what he has at us. A joyful heart knows how to protect herself from such dirt. Jesus can take full possession of our soul only if it surrenders itself joyfully. “A saint who is sad is a sad saint,” St. Francis de Sales used to say. St. Teresa was worried about her Sisters only when she saw any of them lose their joy. (Dec 21)
38. Jesus came into this world for one purpose. He came to give us the Good News that God loves us, that God is love, that he loves you, and he loves me. He wants us to love one another as he loves each one of us. Let us love him. How did the Father love him? He gave him to us. How did Jesus love you and me?—--by giving his life. He gave all that he had—--his life—--for you and me. He died on the cross because he loved us, and he wants us to love one another as he loves each one of us. When we look at the cross, we know how he loved us. When we look at the manger we know how he loves us now, you and me, your family, and everybody’s family with a tender love. And God loves us with a tender love. That is all that Jesus came to teach us, the tender love of God. “I have called you by your name, you are mine.” (Dec 26)
39. Joy is prayer; joy is strength; joy is love, a net of love by which you can catch souls. God loves a cheerful giver. He gives most who gives with joy. If in the work you have difficulties and you accept them with joy, with a big smile—--in this, as in any other good thing---they will see your good works and glorify the Father. The best way to show your gratitude to God and people is to accept everything with joy. A joyful heart is the normal result of a heart burning with love. (Dec 28)
40. Who is Jesus to me?
Jesus is the Word made flesh.
Jesus is the Bread of Life.
Jesus is the Victim offered for our sins on the cross.
Jesus is the sacrifice offered at holy Mass for the sins of the world and for mine.
Jesus is the word—--to be spoken.
Jesus is the truth—--to be told.
Jesus is the way—--to be walked.
Jesus is the light—--to be lit.
Jesus is the life—--to be lived.
Jesus is the love—--to be loved.
Jesus is the joy—--to be shared.
Jesus is the sacrifice—--to be offered.
Jesus is the peace—--to be given.
Jesus is the Bread of Life—--to be eaten.
Jesus is the hungry—--to be fed.
Jesus is the thirsty—--to be satiated.
Jesus is the naked—--to be clothed.
Jesus is the homeless—--to be taken in.
Jesus is the sick—--to be healed.
Jesus is the lonely—--to be loved.
Jesus is the unwanted—--to be wanted.
Jesus is the leper—--to wash his wounds.
Jesus is the beggar—--to give him a smile.
Jesus is the drunkard—--to listen to him.
Jesus is the mentally ill—--to protect him.
Jesus is the little one—--to embrace him.
Jesus is the blind—--to lead him.
Jesus is the dumb—--to speak for him.
Jesus is the crippled—--to walk with him.
Jesus is the drug addict—--to befriend him.
Jesus is the prostitute—-to remove from danger and befriend her.
Jesus is the prisoner—--to be visited.
Jesus is the old—--to be served. (Dec 30)
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