Mother Teresa: On Love and the Purpose of Life

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

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

“God made the world for the delight of human beings.”


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.

Jesus said love one another. He didn’t say love the whole world. I never look at the masses as my responsibility. I look at the individual. I can love only one person at a time. I can feed only one person at a time. Just one, one, one. It is not how much we do, but how much love we put in the doing. It is not how much we give, but how much love we put in the giving. Do ordinary things with extraordinary love.

The fruit of love is service, which is compassion in action. Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within reach of every hand. If we pray, we will believe; if we believe, we will love; if we love, we will serve. Whenever you share love with others, you’ll notice the peace that comes to you and to them.

Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier. Joy is a net of love in which you can catch souls. The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread. Do not think that love in order to be genuine has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired. Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies. Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.

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. Love cannot remain by itself – it has no meaning. Love has to be put into action, and that action is service. Work without love is slavery.

Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile. 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. Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.

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.

If you are humble nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are. These are the few ways we can practice humility: to speak as little as possible of one’s self; to mind one’s own business; not to want to manage other people’s affairs; to avoid curiosity; to accept contradictions and correction cheerfully; to pass over the mistakes of others; to accept insults and injuries; to accept being slighted, forgotten and disliked; to be kind and gentle even under provocation; never to stand on one’s dignity; to choose always the hardest.

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?

Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is love, enjoy it.
Life is mystery, know it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is a game, play it…
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.


~Mary Teresa Bojaxhiu commonly called Mother Teresa, and known in the Roman Catholic Church as Saint Teresa of Calcutta, was an Albanian-Indian Roman Catholic nun and missionary. Mother Teresa received a number of honors, including the 1962 Ramon Magsaysay Peace Prize and 1979 Nobel Peace Prize. She was canonised (recognised by the church as a saint) on 4 September 2016, and the anniversary of her death (5 September) is her feast day.

Excellence Reporter 2019

Categories: Awakening, Life, Love

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