The image of Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu was recently plastered over every type of media venue, from personal cell phones to global social network sites.
Name not ringing a bell? Perhaps, that’s because when she was a young woman, she took a new name: Teresa. Still, no bell?
Ok. How about if I give you the name millions world-wide dubbed her?
“Mother Teresa of Calcutta.”
There! That did it, right?
Recently, Mother Teresa was honored as a canonized Saint in the Catholic faith. So many people gathered in Saint Peter’s Square at the Vatican that the scene looked like a pointillism painting with tiny dots of color, as far as the eye could see.
How had this woman made such a bi-partisan impact upon mankind? I think it has something to do with the fact that she never set out to change the world. It just—happened.
Once, Mother Teresa said, “We know that what we are doing is just a tiny drop in a huge ocean. But, we believe the ocean would be less without that drop.”
She said each of us is capable of finding “Calcutta” in our own homes, neighborhoods, churches and workplaces, and we need only reach out to one person at a time, offering a smile, a handshake, or any kind gesture that lets the other person know he or she matters, and that if she had not picked up that “first person” in the streets, she might never have picked up the other 42,000.
The religious sisters who worked with Mother Teresa once came upon an old man who was living alone in a dark, filthy hut. At first, he would not allow Mother and her friends to clean for him, but later appeased their repeated requests to do so. While cleaning, Mother found a lamp, covered in dust. She asked the man why he never lit it and was told there was no point, since no one ever came to see him. Mother then asked the man if he would agree to light the lamp, if her sisters came to visit him every day. He agreed. They did—every single day from that time on. One day, he asked the sisters to deliver a message to Mother Teresa. He wanted her to know that the light she had lit in his life, “continued to shine.”
Another thing Mother Teresa often said was that Jesus told us to love “one another,” not “love the whole world”. One person at a time. The person across from us at the dinner table. The person in front of us in the grocery store line. The person yelling at us to move faster in the parking lot. The person sitting on the corner, holding a sign that says, “Homeless Veteran, Will Work for Food.”
In the words of Saint Teresa of Calcutta, “There are no great acts, only small acts offered with great love.”
We can each add a drop to increase the ocean.
Judy Dudich resides in the beautiful woods of Pennsylvania, where 24 acres of land and a home-office provide the perfect setting for her children’s home-education and her own homesteading and business ventures. Life is full of blessings (and challenges!) for Judy, as a wife, mother of 10 and Grammy to six. She is a published author, whose book, “I Surrender/A Study Guide for Women” continues to encourage and support others in Christian family lifestyles throughout the world. Judy has also previously worked in the online speaking circuit. Her passion for permaculture, re-purposing, foraging and organic gardening fills her days with learning and adventure that she loves to share.