One of the little known stories of Heart’s Home here in Brooklyn is that Mother Teresa was one of our inspirations for coming here. We are overjoyed that she has been recognized a saint by the Catholic Church! Here she offers a few insights into the grace of God’s mercy:
In every country there are poor. Poverty doesn’t consist of being hungry for bread, but rather it is a tremendous hunger for human dignity. On certain continents poverty is more spiritual than material, a poverty that consists of loneliness, discouragement, and the lack of meaning in life….You in the West have the spiritually poorest of the poor much more than you have the physically poor. I find it easy to give a plate of rice to a hungry person, to furnish a bed to a person who has no bed, but to console or to remove the bitterness, anger and loneliness that comes from being spiritually deprived, that takes a long time.
Do we know our poor people? Do we know the poor in our house, in our family? Perhaps they are not hungry for a piece of bread. Perhaps our children, husband, wife, are not hungry or naked or dispossessed, but are you sure there is no one there who feels unwanted, deprived of affection? Where is your elderly father or mother? Abandonment is an awful poverty. Know the poorest of the poor are among your neighbors, in your neighborhoods, in your town, in your city, perhaps in your own family. When you know them, that will lead you to love them. And love will impel you to serve them. Only then will you begin to act like Jesus and live out the Gospel. Place yourselves at the service of the poor. Open your hearts to love them. Be living witnesses of God’s mercy.
- Saint Teresa of Calcutta, extracts from the book “No Greater Love” (New World Library)