Mother Teresa's Wisdom

By Carol J. Mulvihill, Editor of Connections Quarterly


Mother Teresa photo

"We can do no great things,
only small things with great love."

--Mother Teresa

Being in the nursing profession, we are in a unique position which gives us opportunities to do many small things for the comfort and care of those in need of our services. There are so many little things which often go unnoticed by others, but are so important to the patients we serve. When done with love and compassion, those small things are transformed into something wonderful, priceless, and intangible.

Whether on the streets of Calcutta, or in the college health service in which we work, we can make an effort to do the small things with great love. How? warmly greeting each person who comes to the health center... by looking into each person's eyes and listening attentively to his or her taking time with each treating discourtesy with treating hurriedness with dispensing loving kindness, gentleness, and compassion to each and every one who comes into our presence, especially those who are the hardest to love.

Looking at pictures of Mother Teresa reminds me that just the love in her eyes is enough to bring comfort and healing. And perhaps love is the very thing that those who are hurting need the most.

"There is a terrible hunger for love. We all experience that in our lives--the pain, the loneliness. We must have the courage to recognize it. The poor you may have right in your own family. Find them. Love them. ---Before you speak, it is necessary for you to listen, for God speaks in the silence of the heart. Speak tenderly to them. Let there be kindness in your face, in your eyes, in your smile, in the warmth of your greeting. Always have a cheerful smile. Don't only give your care, but give your heart as well."
--Mother Teresa

Another of my favorite quotes from Mother Teresa is this one:

"At the moment of death we will not be judged according to the number of good deeds we have done or by the diplomas we have received in our lifetime. We will be judged according to the love we have put into our work."

I've made it my goal for this year to do "small things with great love." Perhaps it is a worthy goal for all of us.

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