Mother Teresa The poor are very wonderful people.
One evening we went out and we picked up four people from the street. And one of them was in a most terrible condition---and I told the sisters: You take care of the other three. I take care of this one who looked worse. So I did for her all that my love can do. I put her in bed and there was such a beautiful smile on her face. She took hold of my hand as she said just the words “Thank you.” And she died.
I could not help but examine my conscience before her, and I asked what would I say if I were in her place. And my answer was very simple. I would have tried to draw a little attention to myself. I would have said I am hungry, that I am dying. I am cold. I am in pain or something, but she gave me much more—she gave me her graceful love. And she died with a smile on her face. As did that man whom we picked up from the drain, half eaten with worms, and we brought him to the home. “I have lived like an animal in the street, but I am going to die like an angel, loved and cared for.” And it was so wonderful to see the greatness of that man who could speak like that, who could die like that without blaming anybody, without cursing anybody, without comparing anything. Like an angel—this is the greatness of our people. And that is why we believe what Jesus had said: I was hungry—I was naked—I was homeless—I was unwanted, unloved, uncared for –and you did it to me.
I believe that we are not real social workers. We may be doing social work in the eyes of the people, but we are really contemplatives in the heart of the world. For we are touching the body of Christ twenty-four hours… And I think that in our family we don’t need bombs and guns, to destroy, to bring peace—just get together, love on another, bring that peace, that joy, that strength of presence of each other in the home. And we will be able to overcome al the evil that is in the world.
And with this prize that I have received as a Prize of Peace,I am going to try to make the home for many people who have no home. Because I believe that love begins at home, and if we can create a home for the poor I think that more and more love will spread. And we will be able through this understanding love to bring peace, be the good news to the poor, the poor in our own family first, in our country and in the world. To be able to do this, our sisters, our lives have to be woven with prayer. They have to be woven with Christ to be able to understand, to be able to share. Because to be woven with Christ is to be able to understand, to be able to share. Because today there is no such suffering…When I pick up a person from a street, hungry, I give him a plate of rice, a piece of bread, I have satisfied. I have removed that hunger. But a person who is shut out, who feels unwanted, unloved, terrified, the person who has been thrown out from society—that poverty is so full of hurt and so unbearable, and I find that very difficult… And so let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love, and once begin to love each other naturally we want to do something.