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50+ Insightful Mother Teresa Quotes on Generosity, Charity, and the Love of God

Blessed Mother Teresa was born as Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu on August 26th, 1910 in Skopje, Macedonia. From the young age of 12 Mother Teresa recognized her call to God and left home at 18 to pursue a life as a missionary. At the start of her journey, she joined a community of Irish nuns named “The Sisters of Loreto” who had missions in India. After training in Dublin, Mother Teresa took her vows as a nun on May 24th, 1931 and began teaching at St. Mary’s High School in Calcutta for the next 17 years. During her time teaching, she felt a significant calling to work with those struggling in poverty outside of the convent walls so in 1948, her inspiration led her to change paths and get permission to work amongst the poor of Calcutta. Over the next few years she began an open-air school for the slum children and in 1950 she received permission from the Holy See to begin her own order, “The Missionaries of Charity”.

Her order directly impacted the lives of many families living in poverty and in 1965 it was granted an International Religious Family by Pope Paul VI. Throughout the following years, her order grew to add contemplative and active branches of Sisters, Brothers, and eventually Priests. Aided by the Co-Workers for decades, The Missionaries of Charity provides relief to countries all over the world that are suffering from natural disasters, epidemics, famine, and more. There are also houses established in North America, Australia, and Europe that assist alcoholics, the homeless, and those suffering from AIDs.

The death of Blessed Teresa on September 5th, 1997 saddened many but, her legacy as a woman of kindness and generosity has continued to linger for decades. Her charity work afforded her many awards throughout her lifetime including the Pope John XXIII Peace Prize (1971), the Nehru Prize (1972), the Balzan Prize (1979), the Nobel Peace Prize (1979), and the Templeton and Magsaysay awards. Not to mention, on September 4th, 2016, Pope Francis I canonized Mother Teresa as a Saint and within 2 months (the shortest time ever for the church) she was beatified. Browse the Mother Teresa quotes below to discover an inspiring quote to share with friends and family or a Mother Teresa quote that sparks a life change.

Mother Teresa Quotes

Encouraging Mother Teresa Quotes on Life, Growth, and Faith

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”

“Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.”

“We have not come into the world to be numbered; we have been created for a purpose; for great things – to love and be loved.”

“I prefer you to make mistakes in kindness than work miracles in unkindness.”

“Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.”

“The success of love is in the loving – it is not in the result of loving. Of course, it is natural in love to want the best for the other person, but whether it turns out that way or not does not determine the value of what we have done.”

“True love is love that causes us pain, that hurts, and yet brings us joy. That is why we must pray to God and ask Him to give us the courage to love.”

“Life is a song, sing it. Life is a struggle, accept it.”

“Without patience, we will learn less in life. We will see less. We will feel less. We will hear less. Ironically, rush and more usually mean less.”

“Peace begins with a smile. I will never understand all the good that a simple smile can accomplish.”

“There is a light in this world, a healing spirit more powerful than any darkness we may encounter.”

“If you are humble, nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are.”

“Profound joy of the heart is like a magnet that indicates the path of life.”

“Intense love does not measure, it just gives.”

“If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.”

“There is no key to happiness; the door is always open.”

Mother Teresa Quotes on God, Prayer, and Religion

“The Lord likes small things best, especially those done with love.”

“Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.”

“Cheerfulness is a sign of a generous and mortified person who forgetting all things, even herself, tries to please her God in all she does for souls. Cheerfulness is often a cloak which hides a life of sacrifice and a continual union with God.”

“I know God won’t give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish he didn’t trust me so much.”

“God doesn’t require us to succeed; he only requires that you try.”

“I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world.”

“We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls.”

“In the silence of the heart, God speaks. If you face God in prayer and silence, God will speak to you. Then you will know that you are nothing. It is only when you realize your nothingness, your emptiness, that God can fill you with Himself. Souls of prayer are souls of great silence.”

“I am not sure exactly what heaven will be like, but I know that when we die and it comes time for God to judge us, he will not ask, ‘How many good things have you done in your life?’ rather he will ask, ‘How much love did you put into what you did?'”

“May God break my heart so completely that the whole world falls in.”

“At the heart of silence is prayer. At the heart of prayer is faith. At the heart of faith is life. At the heart of life is service.”

“Joy is prayer; joy is strength; joy is love; joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls.”

“God made the world for the delight of human beings– if we could see His goodness everywhere, His concern for us, His awareness of our needs: the phone call we’ve waited for, the ride we are offered, the letter in the mail, just the little things He does for us throughout the day. 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.”

“The person who gives with a smile is the best giver because God loves a cheerful giver.”

“Suffering is nothing by itself. But suffering shared with the passion of Christ is a wonderful gift, the most beautiful gift, a token of love.”

Inspirational Quotes by Mother Teresa on Friendship and Unity

“I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.”

“Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.”

“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”

“Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.”

“A life not lived for others is not a life.”

“Smile at each other. Smile at your wife, smile at your husband, smile at your children, smile at each other – it doesn’t matter who it is – and that will help to grow up in greater love for each other.”

“We must make our homes centers of compassion and forgive endlessly.”

Concerned Mother Teresa Quotes on Charity and the State of the World

“Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.”

“Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time, and always start with the person nearest you.”

“Do you want to do something beautiful for God? There is a person who needs you. This is your chance.”

“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”

“Everybody today seems to be in such a terrible rush, anxious for greater developments and greater riches and so on, so that children have very little time for their parents, parents have very little time for each other, and in the home begins the disruption of peace of the world.”

“God does not create poverty; we do because we do not share.”

“It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.”

“Love is not patronizing and charity isn’t about pity, it is about love. Charity and love are the same — with charity you give love, so don’t just give money but reach out your hand instead.”

“The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.”

“When a poor person dies of hunger it has not happened because God did not take care of him or her. It has happened because neither you nor I wanted to give that person what he or she needed.”

“What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.”

“The greatest disease in the West today is not TB or leprosy; it is being unwanted, unloved, and uncared for. We can cure physical diseases with medicine, but the only cure for loneliness, despair, and hopelessness is love. There are many in the world who are dying for a piece of bread but there are many more dying for a little love. The poverty in the West is a different kind of poverty — it is not only a poverty of loneliness but also of spirituality. There’s a hunger for love, as there is a hunger for God.”

“The fruit of love is service, which is compassion in action.”

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Katee is a lover of language and is in awe of the power it holds. Read more articles from Katee on Thought Catalog.

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