When we think of the Catholics that have changed the world, Mother Teresa’s name must be on top of that list. Even if you’re not Catholic, unless you’ve been living under a rock, you must have heard of her. The nun who wore a white sari with three blue stripes which represented the three vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, and identified herself with the poor street sweepers of Calcutta, changed the world by helping the homeless, the sick, and the poorest of the poor. Mother Teresa founded a religious congregation that grew to have 4,500 nuns and 300 religious brothers across 133 countries. She also founded many hospitals, charities, and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979. Clearly, Mother Teresa is a monumental figure who has truly dedicated her life to helping others and spreading Catholicism. So, what can we learn from such an inspiration? Is it that we should follow suit and become nuns and religious brothers as well? Not necessarily..
When asked about life, Mother Teresa said:
“Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is a beauty, admire it.
Life is bliss, taste it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is costly, care for it.
Life is wealth, keep it.
Life is love, enjoy it.”
She doesn’t say that we need to quit our jobs to become missionaries. Instead she says that life is an opportunity! Just like she decided to travel the world to help the sick, she wants us to use our God-given potential, talents, and blessings to make a positive impact on others. What I take from that is to pursue our goals and desires in life in a more meaningful way.
We may have some goals and ambitions, or at least something we want to do. Maybe, if you are lucky, you know your calling from God. But we still have to make the choice every day to take our lives in that direction. We can choose to take that opportunity, or we can choose to forget about it.
In times of doubt and despair, and when we are not as motivated as we should, just come back to that quote; come back to Mother Teresa who chose to follow the mission in her life and see how greatly it fulfilled her.
So let us ask ourselves, are we living our lives with gratitude or are we taking it for granted?