Mother Teresa: A Simple Path
Ballantine Books, 1995
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I bought this book for about 50 cents earlier this year. And oh, man, was it good. I finished it in only two or three days. So good, so good. The wisdom of this woman is amazing. It is so evident that she spends much time in prayer and tries very hard to know what God wants her to do. This woman takes seriously the counsel given in Matthew 25: "For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visitedme: I was in prison, and ye came unto me." She truly sees the face of Christ in ever person she serves.
This book explains what Mother Teresa calls her "simple path." Throughout the book, this path is taught, as its name implies, quite simply and beautiful. Though we sometimes forget, the gospel path really is "so simple a child can grasp it" (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "It Works Wonderfully!"). MOther Teresa reminds us of this through her simple teaching. The path is, as follows:
The fruit of silence is prayer.
The fruit of prayer is faith.
The fruit of faith is love.
The fruit of love is service.
The fruit of service is peace.
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And, of course, a few lines from the book that I just fell in love with.
- "It is in the silence of the heart that God speaks. . . . We need to listen to God because it's not what we say but what He says to us and through us that matters. Prayer feeds the soul" (p 7).
- "We've been made for God and our hearts are restless until we rest with HIm" (p 9).
- "Without [prayer] . . . we won't reach the fulfillment of our being" (p 10).
- "God created us to love and be loved . . . Any negligence in loving can lead someone to say Yes to evil . . . If someone chooses evil, then an obstacle is set up between that person and God, and the burdened person cannot see God clearly at all. That's why we have to avoid any kind of temptation that will destroy us" (p 51).
- "The greatest disease in the West today is not TB or leprosy; it is being unwanted, unloved, and uncared for. . . . The only cure for loneliness, despair, and hopelessness is love. . . . There's a hunger for love, as there is a hunger for God" (p 79).
- "As we remember and notice His love for us, we just begin to fall in love with Him because He is so busy with us - you just can't resist Him. I believe there's no such thing as luck in life, it's God's love, it's His" (p 80).
- "Everyone needs love. All must know that they're wanted and that they are important to God" (p 81).
- "Even in the midst of pain and suffering, God loves [you]" (p 89).
- "Their [the sisters] happiest time is when they pray - they look forward to it, they are eager to pray and to refuel and they are equally eager to come out of that refueling and give away the energy they receive" (p 106). What would our world be like if we all had this attitude?
- "Prayer in action is love, and love in action is service. . . . The point is to do something, however small, and show you care through your actions by giving your time. . . . Do not worry about why problems exist in the world - just respond to people's needs" (p 114).
- "This is the future - this is God's wish for us - to serve through love in action, and to be inspired by the Holy Spirit to act when called" (p 137).
- "Knowing our strengths and weaknesses, we turn to the Lord. . . . He has the remedy for everything. . . . If we just turn to Him, He will bring us this inner healing, this spiritual healing so we can make our lives more holy and more pleasing to God" (p 172).
- "We are all meant to return to God - we come from Him and we go back to Him" (p 175).
- "We are born to be happy - and we can only find true happiness and peace when we are in love with God: there is joy in loving God, great happiness in loving Him" (p 179).
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"Christ's love is always stronger than the evil in the world."
"God's love for us is greater than all the conflicts, which will pass."
"We're not always called to be successful but we're always called to be faithful."
*Ending quotes: p 52, p 60, p 153