Mother Teresa on Love begins at Home compiled by Father Angelo D Scolozzi
The following passages are quotations of Mother Teresa from the book “Thirsting for God,” compiled by Father Angelo D. Scolozzi.
1. FEBRUARY 9
Let us make our homes real places of love so that we can overcome any hatred. Love begins at home—–everything depends on how we love one another at home. Do not be afraid to love until it hurts because this is how Jesus loved.
Our homes will be what we make them, fervent or tepid, fruitful branches or dry branches. Help one another live in God’s love and you will spread the fragrance of his love everywhere.
2. NOVEMBER 23
We forget, sometimes, that we are called to give God’s love and compassion first to our families, those are the very life of our life. So often, in our heart, there is bitterness; on our tongue, there are ugly words; in our attitude, there is pride. To think that in that very heart Jesus comes; so on that very tongue we receive Jesus; and that attitude is so unworthy of us who are called to belong to Christ.
3. JULY 22
Much of the hurt in our homes comes from uncontrolled use of words, said anywhere, in front of other people. Let us open our eyes to the harm we do.
4. DECEMBER 9
Very often, small misunderstandings repeated over and over—–become the cause of so much suffering. Bring love to all you do and you will fulfill your vocation.
5. JANUARY 27
Find at least one good point in the other person and build from there. In the family, you should thank each other, mentioning the good you have seen others do. In short, an understanding love—–a love that sees the good in others—–will be our goal.
6. JUNE 10
More and more, make your homes places of love and peace. Don’t let the devil cheat you by his evil ways, tempting you to be unkind and harsh to one another. Enjoy each other. Love one another as Jesus has loved you. “See how they love each other,” Jesus said. Let us be faithful to his teaching. Do not spoil the work of God by your unkindness.
How can you love Jesus in others unless you love him in your own family? We must make a real effort to make our families one heart of love. This is really the sign of Jesus with us.
7. APRIL 7
Jesus wants us to love each other as the Father has loved him. There is no greater love than the love for one another in our families but there is so much hurt instead of love, so much bitterness instead of sweetness, so much noise instead of silence.
If there is no love in our home, first let us examine our prayer life. Is it faithful, is it true, is it constant, is it full, is it so real that in the silence of our hearts we can hear him speak? If we only knew the art, the joy, the fruitfulness of silence, our homes would become the sunshine of God’s love, the burning flame of God’s love in action.
8. DECEMBER 19
We are called to live the love of God, not to feel the love of God. We live this love through prayer and action. Our work is the fruit of our prayer, so that if our work is not going well, we must examine our prayer life. If we neglect our work or are harsh, proud, moody, and angry, then we should examine our prayer life. We will see that something has gone wrong there.
9. MAY 18
The beginning of holiness is found in faithfulness to prayer. May each of us grow in holiness through prayer.
If we pray—–we will believe.
If we believe—–we will love.
If we love—–we will serve.
Only then will we put our love for God into action, through service to Christ in the distressing disguise of the poor.
10. DECEMBER 17
Today, we see that all the suffering in the world has started from the home. Today, we have not time even to look at each other, to talk to each other, to enjoy each other, and still less to be what our children expect from us, what the husband expects from the wife, what the wife expects from the husband. And so more and more we are homeless at home because less and less are in touch with each other.
11. DECEMBER. 27
St. John said, “How can you say that you love God whom you do not see, when you do not love your neighbor whom you do see?” He uses a very strong word. He says, “You are a liar if you say you love God and you don’t love your neighbor.” I think this is something we must all understand, that love begins at home.
12. MARCH 11
We are commanded to love God and our neighbor equally, without difference. We don’t have to look for the opportunities to fill this command, they’re all around us, twenty-four hours a day. You must open your eyes wide so that you can see the opportunities to give wholehearted free service right where you are, in your family. If you don’t give such service in your family, you will not be able to give it to those outside your home.
13. OCTOBER 8
Our first great responsibility is to be a family. We are to reveal first, to one another, something of God’s own love and concern and tenderness. When others see us, they should say, “See how they love one another.”
14. DECEMBER 15
The thoughtfulness of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph was so great that it made Nazareth the abode of the Most High. If we have that thoughtfulness for each other, our homes will really become the abode of God, Most High. The quickest and surest way to that goal is to tame the tongue, using it to speak well of others. From the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. If your heart is full of love, you will speak of love.
15. DECEMBER 13
Let us ask Our Lady and St. Joseph to make our families what their family was for Jesus at Nazareth. Love does not live on words nor can it be explained by words. This is especially true of that love that is in Jesus and comes from Jesus and finds Jesus—–touches him, serves him, loves him—–in others. Such love is true, burning, pure, free from fear and doubt. There is no greater love than the love Christ himself has shown us. We must love one another with the same love.
16. AUGUST 29
We must reach the heart. To reach the heart, we must do—–love is proven in deeds. People are attracted more by what they see than by what they hear. Therefore, our sisters should not spend their time in meetings and committees. If people wish to help, let them come and see. The reality is more attractive than the abstract idea. Try to put into the hearts of your older children a love for home. Make them long to be with their families. So much sin could be avoided if people really loved their home.
17. DECEMBER 4
Jesus wants us to prepare the way for his coming for there are so many blocks in the way of his becoming all in all for us. Give him whatever he takes and take from him whatever he gives with a big smile.
Be a cause of joy to others.
Speak well of everybody
Smile at all you meet.
Deliberately make three acts of loving kindness every day
Confess any sin against charity.
If you offend anyone—–even a small child—–ask forgiveness before going to bed.
Read about, meditate on, and speak of this love.
18. JUNE 22
Criticism is nothing less than dressed up pride. It eats up all the love of God. A truly generous soul must never stoop to criticism. As a rule, people who criticize never do it openly, but go about doing it in a whisper. Refrain from prejudice, which means to set your mind against somebody. It is very sad when it becomes a part of our lives.
19. FEBRUARY 15
We must cultivate that sacred silence which makes people remember the words of Jesus: See how they love one another. How often we find ourselves speaking of the faults of another. How often our conversation is about someone who is not present. Yet see the compassion of Christ toward Judas, the man who received so much love yet betrayed his own master. But the master kept the sacred silence and did not betray Judas. Jesus could have easily spoken in public—–as we often do—–telling the hidden intentions and deeds of Judas to others. But he didn’t. Instead, he showed mercy and charity. Rather than condemning Judas, he called him his friend.
20. APRIL 17
When are we truly humble?
When we refuse to judge and criticize others.
When we foster kindly thoughts toward others.
When we rejoice in the good others accomplish for Jesus.
When we find an excuse for the failures of others.
When we are happy and cheerful with the poor, the sick, and the dying.
When we have joy in the hour of humiliation.
Then we are truly humble after the heart of Jesus.
21. FEBRUARY 14
Loving trust in God implies trust in his almightiness, his infinite wisdom, and his unfailing love. He loves me. I’m not here just to fill a place, just to be a number. He has made me for a purpose. He will fulfill it if I don’t put any obstacle in his way.
22. FEBRUARY 4
What is the Good News? The Good News is that God still loves the world through each one of you. You are God’s Good News, you are God’s love in action. Jesus cannot walk in the streets of Calcutta and in the streets of the world now, so what he does—–through me, through you—–he walks and touches the poor. Today, God loves the world so much by sending us.
23. JANUARY 16
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 by the love of our heart, by the service of our hands.
Doing so, we prove that we have been created in the image and likeness of God. God is love, and when we love we are like God. This is what Jesus meant when he said, “Be perfect as your Father is perfect.”
24. MARCH 8
Each one of us should enter into the passion of Christ with greater love. He looks for one to console him, to comfort him. Do you try enough to be that one? Today, Christ suffers in many ways in the despised: hungry for love, he looks to you; thirsty for kindness, he begs from you; longing for loyalty, he hopes in you. Sick and in prison, he looks for your friendship. Homeless, he asks for shelter in your heart.
Will you be that one to him?
25. MARCH 10
Jesus loved us to the end, to the very limit, dying on the cross. We must have this same love which comes from within, from our union with Christ. Such love must be as normal to us as living and breathing. St. Thérèse of Lisieux said: “When I act and think with
charity, I feel it is Jesus who works within me. The closer I am united with him, the more I love all the other dwellers in Carmel.”
Our works of charity are nothing but the overflow of our love for God. Therefore, the one who is most united to God loves others the most. To understand and practice this, we need to pray, for prayer unites us with God and overflows upon others.
26. MARCH 12
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 neighbors. Love, to be truly love, must be fed on sacrifice. Be generous in accepting (and making) all the sacrifices that come every day on your way. Then you will be able to say in all sincerity, “My God and my all.”
27. APRIL 8
May the joy and the love of the risen Jesus be always with you, in you, and among you so that you become the true witnesses of the Father’s love for the world. Remember: “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son.” Let us also love God so much that we give ourselves to him in each other and in the poor.
We can do this only by fidelity to Christ, by belonging to him alone, and by tender and thoughtful love for each other. How beautiful it is to see this love for each other be a living reality. Young sisters, have this deep love and respect for your elder sisters. Older sisters, treat your younger sisters with respect and love for they, like you, belong to Jesus.
He has chosen each one of you for himself, to be his light and his love in the world. The simplest way to become his light is to be kind and loving, thoughtful and sincere with each other. As Jesus said: “By this they will know that you are my disciples.”
28. APRIL 11
The joy of the risen Lord is the sunshine of our Father’s love. The joy of Jesus is the hope of eternal happiness. The joy of Jesus is the flame of burning love. Easter is this joy. However, you cannot have joy with out sacrifice. That is why Good Friday comes before Easter.
29. APRIL 22
Jesus said: “Whatever you do to the least of my brethren you do it to me.” If in my name you give a glass of water, you gave it to me. If in my name you receive a little child, you received me. I was hungry, I was naked, I was homeless, you did it to me. So this is what Jesus came to teach us: how to love one another. Not big things, small things, but great love.
30. JUNE l5
I pray that you will understand the words of Jesus, “Love one another as I have loved you.” Ask yourself, “How has he loved me? Do I really love others in the same way?” Unless this love is among us, we can kill ourselves with work and it will only be work, not love. Work without love is slavery.
31. JUNE 25
Be faithful in little things for in them lies our strength. To the good God, nothing is little. He is so great and we are so small but he stoops down and sends those little things to us to give us the chance to prove our love for him. Since he makes them, they are very great, they are infinite. So be faithful in little practices of love for they will build within you a life of holiness and make you Christlike.
32. JULY 24
Our holy faith is nothing but a gospel of love. It reveals to us God’s love for us and in return our love for God, who is love. A missionary must be a missionary of love. We must spread God’s love on earth in order to help souls repent wholeheartedly from sin. Strengthen others against temptation, increase their generosity, reinforce their desire to suffer for Christ.
Let us “act” Christ’s love among mankind, remembering the words of the Imitation of Christ, which tells us that love feels no burden, values no labors, would willingly do more than it can, and doesn’t complain of impossibilities because it perceives that it can do all things. When weary, love is not tired; when strained, love is not constrained; when frightened, love is not disturbed. Like a living flame, like a torch on fire, love mounts upward and securely passes through all opposition.
33. DECEMBER 30
The following quotation is taken from the last general letter Mother Teresa wrote on the day of her death:
“Let our gratitude be our strong resolution to quench the thirst of Jesus by lives of real charity. Love for Jesus in prayer, love for Jesus in your brothers and sisters, love for Jesus in the poorest of the poor. Nothing else.”
34. DECEMBER 20
Radiate and live the life of Christ. Be an angel of comfort to a sick friend. Be a friend to little children. Love others as God loves each of us, with a special, intense love. Be kind to each other, speak kindly to each other. It is better to make a mistake while acting kindly than to work a miracle while acting unkindly.