Baylor College Medical School

91 1. "Put Your Love in Action" by Mother Teresa

91 1. If we really love the poor who are our brothers and sisters, it does not matter who they are, it does not matter what really they may have, does not matter which country they come from' if they are the poor, the hungry, the naked, the homeless, the lonely, the uncared (for), the unwanted, they are our brothers and sisters. There you and I put our love in action; to say that we like the poor and stop there is not enough. Anybody can say that. If our parents say that and do nothing for us we would not be able to call them "my father" and "my mother." But we know that their love for us has been a continuous sacrifice. We must know the poor; they are very great people, they are very wonderful people, they are very loveable people.....

You can't serve the poor unless you know them. You can't serve them unless you love them. During the Bangladesh crisis*... (W)hen I asked the (government) to allow some people from outside of India to come and share in the work, they very kindly allowed many nuns from 16 different congregations from all over the world to come an share in the work. On leaving Calcutta, each one of these people, nuns teaching in Universities, Colleges, big hospitals and things like that said the same thing--------"I received much more than I had given. I can never be the same person again in my life. It was a privilage to touch the poor...."

A few weeks ago I was told that a poor family in Calcutta had no food for some days; I took rice with me and went directly to that family, a big family. While I was there the mother divided the rice into two: She went to the next door neighbor. They happened to be Moslems. When she came back I asked her "Why did you do that?"She looked straight into my face and said, "They are hungry also. They have also not eaten." She knew that they had not eaten for days and before she could cook for her own children, before she could do anything, her first thought was her neighbor. This is living love. It didn't matter to her that they were Moslems, she was a Hindu, and it was given by a Christian sister. She knew that those people needed her love and they were her people....


1. How does Mother Teresa say we can help the poor?

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You can't serve the poor unless you know them. You can't serve them unless you love them.