Says Who…?


These are some of the quotes I’ve compiled throughout the years. When speaking about quotes, Marlene Dietrich once said: “I love quotations because it is a joy to find thoughts one might have, beautifully expressed with much authority by someone recognized wiser than oneself.”  I hope you enjoy them.

The will of God is never exactly what you expect it to be. It may seem to be much worse, but in the end it’s going to be a lot better and a lot bigger.
-Elisabeth Elliot

The Christian life is not a constant high. I have my moments of deep discouragement. I have to go to God in prayer with tears in my eyes, and say, ‘O God, forgive me,’ or ‘Help me.’
-Billy Graham

Good friendships are fragile things and require as much care as any other fragile and precious thing.

-Randolph Bourne

Simplicity towards God consists in seeking him only in all our actions.

-St. Jane Frances de Chantal

If you have made mistakes, even serious mistakes, you may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call “failure” is not the falling down, but the staying down.

-Mary Pickford

One of the first things Christ says in the Gospel is this: “Happy the simple-hearted!” Yes, happy those who head towards simplicity, simplicity of heart and simplicity of life.
-Brother Roger of Taizé

Sometimes our light goes out but is blown into flame by an encounter with another human being. Each of us owes the deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this inner light.
-Albert Schweitzer

Knowing that we are fulfilling God’s purpose is the only thing that really gives rest to the restless human heart.
-Charles Colson

Difficult as it is really to listen to someone in affliction, it is just as difficult for him to know that compassion is listening to him.
-Simone Weil


If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.

-Mother Teresa

He who loses wealth loses much; he who loses a friend loses more; but he who loses his courage loses all.

-Miguel de Cervant

We have been given God in our souls and Christ in our flesh. We have the power to believe where others deny, to hope where others despair, to love where others hurt.
-Brennan Manning, “The Ragamuffin Gospel”

Faith in a prayer-hearing God will make a prayer-loving Christian.
-Andrew Murray

It’s important the people should know what you stand for. It’s equally important that they know what you won’t stand for.

-Mary H. Waldr

Grace is getting something that you don’t deserve; and mercy is not getting something that you do deserve.
-Francis Bacon

Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.
-Corrie ten Boom

Someone’s opinion of you does not have to become your reality.

-Les Brown

One encounter with Jesus Christ is enough to change you, instantly, forever.

-Luis Palau

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.
-Helen Keller

No one can know what secret inner ripening can come from suffering and sorrow. All we know is that every individual’s life is priceless – that each is dear to God.
-Christoph Probst

Prayer does not fit us for the greater work, prayer is the greater work.
-Oswald Chambers

The only way to pass any test is to take the test.

-Anonymous

No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as it is from our standpoint; therefore we must be saved by the final form of love, which is forgiveness.
-Reinhold Niebuhr

I do not understand the mystery of grace–only that it meets us where we are, but does not leave us where it found us.

-Anne LaMot

How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a naughty world.

-William Shakespeare

God is the important fact, and Christ the moving force…I asked for strength and forgiveness and the air began to clear, and I could act again, but not in my own strength.
-Jane Tyson Clement

Persons of true godly character are neither optimists nor pessimists, but realists who have confidence in God.
-Warren W. Wiersbe

Either we are adrift in chaos or we are individuals, created, loved, upheld and placed purposefully, exactly where we are. Can you believe that? Can you trust God for that?
-Elisabeth Elliot

Bad habits are like a comfortable bed, easy to get into, but hard to get out of.

-Anonymous

Live in such a way that those who know you but don’t know God will come to know God because they know you.

-Unknown


I discovered that sorrow was not to be feared but rather endured with hope and expectancy that God would use it to bless my life.

-Jill Briscoe

Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value.

-Albert Einstein

We must not only give what we have; we must also give what we are.

-Cardinal Mercia

For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
-Matthew 18:20

I shall allow no man to belittle my soul by making me hate him.

-Booker T. Washington

Let the Bible fill the memory, rule the heart and guide the feet.
-Henrietta Mears

I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst.
-John 6:35

Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?
-Corrie Ten Boom

It is not hard for the Lord to turn night into day. He that sends the clouds can as easily clear the skies. Let us be of good cheer.
-Charles Spurgeon

The days are too short even for love; how can there be enough time for quarreling?

-Margaret Gatty

You know the value of prayer: it is precious beyond all price. Never, never neglect it.
-Sir Thomas Buxton

Our work brings people face to face with love. To us what matters is an individual. To get to love the person must come in close contact with him.
-Mother Teresa

Tell me, I’ll forget. Show me, I may remember. But involve me, and I’ll understand.

-Chinese Proverb 

If you are truly humble, you will always be ready to seek (and accept!) help from others.
-J.C. Blumhardt

Surrender yourself to God. Wish for nothing but one thing: that his will be done, that his kingdom come, and that his nature be revealed. Then all will be well.
-Eberhard Arnold

A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.
-Antoine de Saint-Exupery

If instead of a gem, or even a flower, we should cast the gift of a loving thought into the heart of a friend, that would be giving as the angels give.

-George MacDonald

Do not ask the Lord to guide your footsteps, if you are not willing to move your feet.
-Anonymous

My mind is a garden. My thoughts are the seeds. My harvest will be either flower or weeds.

-Mel Weldon

I love the recklessness of faith. First you leap, and then you grow wings.
-William Sloane Coffin

People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. When you figure out which it is, you’ll know exactly what to do.

-Michelle Ventor

Learn to write your hurts in sand.
Learn to carve your blessings in stone!

There is no pillow so soft as a clear conscience.
-French Proverb

There is no amount of darkness that can extinguish the inner light. The important thing is not to spend our lives trying to control the environment around us. The task is to control the environment within us.
-Joan Chittester

Accept as good whatever happens to you or affects you, knowing that nothing happens without God.
-The Didache

A life of faith…enables us to see God in everything and it holds the mind in a state of readiness for whatever may be His will.
-Francois Fenelon

Weave the unfailing fabric of God’s Word through your heart and mind. It will hold strong, even if the rest of life unravels.
-Gigi Graham Tchvidjian

Prayer is an end to isolation. It is living our daily life with someone; with Him who alone can deliver us from solitude.
-Georges Lefevre

Example is not the main thing in influencing others, it is the only thing.

-Albert Schweitzer

Do not turn away from those who are in need, but share all things in common with your brother. Your heart shall not cling to the high and mighty, but turn to the good and humble folk.
-The Didache

Start by doing what’s necessary, then what’s possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.
-Saint Francis

Blessed is the man who finds out which way God is moving and then gets going in the same direction.
-Unknown

A humble person is more likely to be self confident…a person with real humility knows how much they are loved.
-Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.

Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls. A joyful heart is the inevitable result of a heart burning with love.
-Mother Teresa

Always hold your head up, but be careful to keep your nose at a friendly level.

-Max L. Forman

Show me a guy who’s afraid to look bad, and I’ll show you a guy you can beat every time.
-Lou Brock

I have found the paradox that if I love until it hurts, then there is no hurt, but only more love.
-Mother Teresa, The Simple Path

The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart.

-Elizabeth Foley

First keep the peace within yourself, then you can bring peace to others.

-Thomas à Kempis

True friendship is like sound health; the value of it is seldom known until it be lost.

-Charles Caleb Colton

I choose goodness…I will go without a dollar before I take a dishonest one. I will be overlooked before I will boast. I will confess before I will accuse. I choose goodness.
-Max Lucado

If the creator had a purpose in equipping us with a neck, he surely meant us to stick it out.

-Arthur Koestler

By a Carpenter mankind was made, and only by that Carpenter can mankind be remade.
-Desiderius Erasmus

Love the moment, and the energy of that moment will spread beyond all boundaries.

-Corita Kent

Do what good you can, and do it solely for God’s glory, as free from it yourself as though you did not exist. Ask nothing whatever in return. Done in this way, your works are spiritual and godly.

-Meister Eckhart

One filled with joy preaches without preaching.

-Mother Teresa

The Christian faith is meant to be lived moment by moment. It isn’t some broad, general outline–it’s a long walk with a real Person. Details count: passing thoughts, small sacrifices, a few encouraging words, little acts of kindness, brief victories over nagging sins.
-Joni Eareckson Tada

We have a choice: to plow new ground or let the weeds grow.

-Jonathan Westover

The cheerful giver does not count the cost of what he gives. His heart is set on pleasing and sharing Him to whom the gift is given.

-Julian of Norwich

The true measure of an individual is how he treats a person who can do him absolutely no good.
-Ann Landers

Sin is like quicksand: Your own efforts only make you sink deeper. Only an outside hand can pull you out.

-Unknown

Christ is a jewel of more worth than a thousand worlds, as all know who have him. Get him, and get all; miss him and miss all.

-Thomas Brooks

Do your utmost to guard your heart, for out of it comes life.

-Walter Hilton

It is more serious to lose hope than to sin.

-John of Carpathos

Make sure the thing you’re living for is worth dying for.

-Charles Mayes

One filled with joy preaches without preaching.

-Mother Teresa

The soul should always stand ajar, ready to welcome the ecstatic experience.

-Emily Dickinson

You cannot see faith, but you can see the footprints of the faithful. We must leave behind “faithful footprints” for others to follow.
-Dr. Dennis Anderson

Fame is a vapor, popularity an accident, riches take wing, and only character endures.

-Horace Greeley

Notice, we never pray for folks we gossip about, and we never gossip about the folk for whom we pray! For prayer is a great deterrent.
-Leonard Ravenhill

Don’t worry that children never listen to you. Worry that they are always watching you.

-Robert Fulghum

The best cure for loneliness is developing an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.
-Unknown

Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster, and do with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.

-Og Mandino

Wisdom is, and starts with, the humility to accept the fact that you don’t have all the right answers, and the courage to learn to ask the right questions.
-Unknown

Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things only hoped for.

-Epicurus

The best gifts to give:
To your friend, loyalty;
To your enemy, forgiveness;
To your boss, service;
To a child, a good example;
To your parents, gratitude and devotion;
To your mate, love and faithfulness;
To all men and women, charity.

-Oren Arnold

God takes us into deep waters, not to drown us but to cleanse us.
-Unknown

The glory of Christianity is to conquer by forgiveness.
-William Blake

What we need is a cup of understanding, a barrel of love, and an ocean of patience.
-St. Francis de Sales

We cannot change our past. We can not change the fact that people act in a certain way. We can not change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude.
-Charles Swindoll

Values are like fingerprints. Nobody’s are the same, but you leave ’em all over everything you do.

-Elvis Presley

The more you have, the more you’re occupied; the less you have, the more free you are.

-Mother Teresa

Hope is like a road in the country; there wasn’t ever a road, but when many people walk on it, the road comes into existence.

-Lin Yutang

When you see God’s hands in everything, it is easy to leave everything in God’s hands.
-Unknown

For certain things are not refused us, but their granting is delayed to a fitting time.
-St. Augustine

It is not how much you do, but how much Love you put into the doing that matters.
-Mother Teresa 

The value of consistent prayer is not that He will hear us, but that we will hear Him.
-William McGill

Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart. And try to love the questions themselves.
-Rainer Maria Rilke

Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.
-Unknown

It is easy to love the people far away. It is not always easy to love those close to us…Bring love into your home for this is where our love for each other must start.

-Mother Teresa

I’ve learned that you can’t give what you’ve never received. There’s no aquifer of love, there’s no distillery of faith within me, so I have to receive it.
-Max Lucado

Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances.

-Thomas Jefferson

We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.

-Winston Churchill

The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing in the right place, but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.
-Dorothy Nevill

We must alter our lives in order to alter our hearts, for it is impossible to live one way and pray another.
-William Law

Love is not blind, it sees more not less;
But because it sees more it chooses to see less.
-Unknown

I don’t follow Jesus because I think Christianity is the best religion. I follow Jesus because he leads me into ultimate reality.
-Rob Bell

Happiness comes of the capacity to feel deeply, to enjoy simply, to think freely, to risk life, to be needed.

-Storm Jameson

To maintain our soul in a state of peace, it suffices to perform all our actions in God’s presence.
-St. Francis de Sales

Prayer is the most powerful means of overcoming any kind of discouragement. It connects you with an omnipotent, omniscient Father who loves you unconditionally, who sees where you are and is going to help you in it.

Let the crucifix be not only in my eyes and on my breast, but in my heart.
-St. Bernadette

Friendship is a promise of future loyalty, loyalty no matter what comes. Promises are the bricks of life and trust is the mortar.< /FONT>
-Stephen Carter, “The Emperor of Ocean Park” (submitted by rosaliekg)

The fragrance always stays in the hand that gives the rose.
-Hadia Bejar

When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.
-Harriet Beecher Stowe

Our dilemma is that we hate change and love it at the same time; what we really want is for things to remain the same but get better.

-Sydney J. Harris

‘Twas her thinking of others that made you think of her.

-Elizabeth Barrett Browning

God is so big He can cover the whole world with his Love and so small He can curl up inside your heart.
-June Masters Bacher

Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get, it’s what you are expected to give
which is everything.

Choices are the hinges of destiny.
-Edwin Markham

Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.
-Dr. Seuss

If you get busy serving God, you’re too busy to sin.
-Chuck Baker

When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the morning light, for your life and strength. Give thanks for your food, and the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies with yourself.

-Tecumseh, Shawnee Chief

By humble and faithful prayer, the soul acquires, with time and perseverance, every virtue.

-St. Catherine of Siena

Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.

-Carl Jung

No pressure, no diamonds.

-Mary Case

What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.

-Mother Teresa

Age has given me the gift of me, it just gave me what I was always longing for, which was to get to be the woman I’ve already dreamt of being.
-Anne Lamott

Never mistake knowledge for wisdom. One helps you make a living, the other helps you make a life.

-Sandra Carey

There are years that ask questions, and years that answer.
-Zora Neale Hurston

Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you’ll help them to become what they are capable of becoming.

-Goethe

I am not where I need to be, but thank God I am not where I used to be.

-Joyce Meyers

A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

-Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Conditions are never just right. People who delay action until all factors are favorable are the kind who do nothing.

-William Feather

Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon.
-Susan Ertz

If you believe what you like in the gospel, and reject what you don’t like, it’s not the gospel you believe, but yourself.

-Augustine of Hippo

The fruit of Silence is prayer.
The fruit of Prayer is faith.
The fruit of Faith is love.
The fruit of Love is service.
The fruit of Service is peace.

-Mother Teresa

Most people want to be delivered from temptation but would like it to keep in touch.
-Robert Orben 

A real friend never gets in your way–unless you happen to be on the way down.

-Dr. Wayne Dyer

Turn yourself around like a piece of clay and say to the Lord: I am clay, and you Lord, the potter. Make of me what you will.

-St. John of Avila

Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire, called conscience.

-George Washington

The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them; that’s the essence of inhumanity.

-George Bernard Shaw

We the willing, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much, with so little, for so long, we are now qualified to do anything with nothing.

-Mother Teresa of Calcutta

We are living in a world that is absolutely transparent, and God is shining through it all the time.

-Thomas Merton

God is God. Because He is God, He is worthy of my trust and obedience. I will find rest nowhere but in His holy will, a will that is unspeakably beyond my largest notions of what He is up to.
-Elisabeth Elliot

If you make it plain you like people, it’s hard for them to resist liking you back.

-Lois McMaster Bujold

Let everyone understand that the real love of God does not consist in tear-shedding…but in serving God by serving those around us, in justice, fortitude of soul, and humility.

-St. Teresa of Avila

The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.

-Kahlil Gibran

Experience has taught me that the Shepherd is far more willing to show his sheep the path than the sheep are to follow. He is endlessly merciful, patient, tender, and loving.

-Elisabeth Elliot

Keep praying, but be thankful that God’s answers are wiser than your prayers!
-William Culbertson

We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.

-Mother Teresa

I discovered that sorrow was not to be feared but rather endured with hope and expectancy that God would use it to bless my life.
-Jill Briscoe


In darkness there is no choice. It is light that enables us to see the differences between things; and it is Christ who gives us light.
-Mrs. C.T. Whitemell

The days are too short even for love; how can there be enough time for quarreling?

-Margaret Gatty

If God is your love and your purpose, the chief aim of your heart, it is all you need in this life…Such a blind shot with the sharp dart of longing will never miss its mark, which is God.
-The Cloud of Unknowing

There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.

-Anais Nin

May God break my heart so completely that the whole world falls in.
-Mother Teresa

Forever at the door
I gave my heart and soul. My fortune, too.
I’ve no flock anymore,
no other work in view.
My occupation: love. It’s all I do.
-John of the Cross

Learn to pause … or nothing worthwhile will catch up to you.

-Doug King

Come out of the circle of time, and into the circle of love.
-Rumi

Self-discipline is when your conscience tells you to do something and you don’t talk back.

-W.K. Hope

If we want a love message to be heard, it has to be sent out. To keep a lamp burning, we have to keep putting oil in it.

-Mother Teresa

If I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain.

-Emily Dickinson

Let’s not be afraid to look at everything that has brought us to where we are now and
trust that we will soon see in it the guiding hand of a loving God.
-Henri Nouwen

Let me tell you this: Faith comes and goes. But if it is presumptuous to think that faith will stay forever, it is just as presumptuous to think that unbelief will.
-Flannery O’Connor

A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers.

-Ruth Bell Graham

God never promises to remove us from our struggles. He does promise, however, to change the way we look at them.
-Max Lucado

You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Life is a comedy to those who think and a tragedy to those who feel.
-Anonymous

One of the most important responsibilities in the Christian life is to care about others, smile at them, and be a friend to the friendless.
-James Dobson

There are two freedoms: the false where a man is free to do what he likes; and the true where a man is free to do what he ought.

-Charles Kingsley

Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ.
-Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Faith is not a thing which one “loses,” we merely cease to shape our lives by it.
-Georges Bernanos

It is not what WE do for God, but what HE does through us.

-Judy Sexton

He who cannot forgive breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass.
-George Herbert

Hope arouses, as nothing else can arouse, a passion for the possible.

-William Sloane Coffin, Jr.

Worrying about something that may never happen is like paying interest on money you may never borrow.

-Unknown

A loyal friend laughs at your jokes when they’re not so good, and sympathizes with your problems when they’re not so bad.

-Arnold Glasgow

Life isn’t a matter of milestones, but moments.

-Rose Kennedy

Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself.
-St. Francis de Sales

They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.

-Andy Warhol

Prayer is an end to isolation. It is living our daily life with someone; with Him who alone can deliver us from solitude.
-Georges Lefevre

How many times do we miss God’s blessings because they are not packaged as we expected?
-Unknown

Some people, no matter how old they get, never lose their beauty. It merely moves from their faces to their hearts.

-Martin Buxbaum

The greatest privilege God gives to you is the freedom to approach Him at any time.

-Wesley L. Duewel

The door of opportunity won’t open unless you do some pushing.
-Anonymous

My advice to you is not to inquire why or whither, but just to enjoy your ice cream while it’s on your plate.
-Thornton Wilder

Even though you may want to move forward in your life, you may have one foot on the brakes. In order to be free, we must learn how to let go. Release the hurt. Release the fear. Refuse to entertain your old pain. The energy it takes to hang onto the past is holding you back from a new life. What is it you would let go of today?
Mary Manin Morrissey

Life is a compromise of what your ego wants to do, what experience tells you to do, and what your nerves let you do.

-Bruce Crampton

Forgiveness creates an obligation for which there are no exceptions allowed.
-Giovanni Papini, “The Life of Christ”

The world sets the agenda for the professional man; God sets the agenda of the spiritual man.
-John Piper

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Love is an act of endless forgiveness.
-Jean Vanier

Jesus Christ is not valued at all until He is valued above all.
-St. Augustine

First keep the peace within yourself, then you can also bring peace to others.

-Thomas a Kempis

I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world.

-Mother Teresa

Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.

-Dale Carnegie

Fear not tomorrow, for God is already there.
-Unknown

In pursuit of happiness, the difficulty lies in knowing when you have caught up.
-R.H. Grenville

A broken heart is what makes life so wonderful–five years later.

-Phyllis Battelle

There are no mistakes, no coincidences. All events are blessings given to us to learn from.
~Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

Change is a measure of time and, in the autumn, time seems speeded up. What was is not and never again will be; what is is change.
-Edwin Way Teale

Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones. And when you have finished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.
-Victor Hugo

The great gift of family life is to be intimately acquainted with people you might never even introduced yourself to had life not done it for you.

-Kendall Hailey

A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word darkness on the walls of his cell.

-C.S. Lewis

Look outward and be distressed,
Look inward and be depressed,
Look upward and be at rest.
-Corrie Ten Boom

Patience is also a form of action.

-Auguste Rodin

There is no pillow so soft as a clear conscience.

Angels may not dress the part,
With robes and wings that soar,
Often angels come as friends
Knocking at your door.
-Unknown

Friendship, like the immortality of the soul, is too good to be believed.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Go the extra mile. It’s never crowded.

-Executive Speechwriter Newsletter

My big prayer is that I want to make sure that I’m walking in His will, and that He’ll speak to me.
-Rebecca St. James

Man can live for about forty days without food, and about three days without water, about eight minutes without air … but only for one second without hope.

-Hal Lindsey

Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.
-Unknown

…O God of life,
Be at my breast, be at my back,
You to me as a star, you to me as a guide,
From my life’s beginning to my life’s closing.
-Celtic Prayer

You should not suffer the past. You should be able to wear it like a loose garment, take it off and let it drop.
Eva Jessye

Maturity is the ability to do a job whether or not you are supervised, to carry money without spending it, and to bear an injustice without wanting to get even.
Ann Landers


 

Travel for the Soul: His Beautiful Signature in Captiva Island

        
        I am not an early riser by choice so it’s no surprise I don’t get to catch many sunrises.  And even though I live on the east coast and I’m a skip and a hop away from the beach, I’ve watched very few of them from the shore.  I rather do the sunset thing, and for that, I drive across the narrow strip of land that Florida is and catch those there.  

        I’ve been visiting the west coast of Florida since my arrival in this country over 35 years ago.  My father was a beach nut and a big fan of the west coast beaches, namely Naples.  So it became our home away from home during the summer.  That tradition continued when I started my own family, and we’ve been at it now for years.  We’ve had the fortune and blessing of being able to travel extensively throughout the United States and abroad, and although my family enjoys those travels, we all agree that there is nothing like a quick getaway to the west coast of Florida where you can relax and watch the most glorious of sunsets.

        Recently, we decided to move our stays from Naples to Captiva Island.  There we discovered the nothing-to-do-ness of the island, and have fallen in love with it.  The following links offer information about this west coast jewel:

http://www.captivaisland.com/
http://www.southseas.com/
http://www.royalshell.com/

Every sunset His beautiful signature.  Captiva Island.

Photo by CCPerez. Copyright © July, 2007 Connie Perez. All rights reserved.

And when the sun dips into the horizon, the magic begins…the blues, oranges, violets…absolutely breathtaking.

Photo by CCPerez. Copyright © July, 2007 Connie Perez. All rights reserved.

Travel for the Soul: Exploring the National Parks – Tennessee / North Carolina

The border between Tennessee and North Carolina runs northeast to southwest through the centerline of the Smoky Mountains National Park.  It is the most visited national park in the United States.  We first visited this national park in 1997, and even though this month marked our second visit, we found quite a bit of new spots to explore.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park:

They don’t call them the Smoky Mountains for no reason.

Photo by CCPerez. Copyright © April, 2007 Connie Perez. All rights reserved.

The park has over 900 miles of hiking trails for any level of hiker.  Many of the hikes pass or end at cascading waterfalls and scenic vistas. A wide range of easy day hikes can be found throughout the park. The Appalachian Trail runs through the park and crosses many of the park trails.  Aside from the hundreds of miles of hiking trails, mountain drives and breathtaking views, there’s a chance that you may get to see a bear or any number of other interesting wild creatures.

Iced rocks.  In month of March.

Photo by CCPerez. Copyright © April, 2007 Connie Perez. All rights reserved.

Surrounding towns include Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Sevierville, and  Townsend, Tennessee; and Cherokee, Sylva, Maggie Valley, and Bryson City, North Carolina.


Photo by CCPerez. Copyright © April, 2007 Connie Perez. All rights reserved.

General information:  http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/index.htm
                                     http://greatsmokymountains.areaparks.com

Accommodations:     Majestic Mountain  Vacations
                                    Beautiful and comfortable cabins near the entrance of the park.
                                   
http://www.majesticmountainvacations.com/
                                    Sugar Maple Cabins
                                    
http://www.sugarmaplecabins.com/                                 

Rhyme and Reason: Self

One of the hardest things to accomplish for ourselves is self acceptance.  Rarely is anyone able to accept themselves fully, with all the good and the bad.  Yet, time and again, we hear that in order to be able to accept, like, forgive and love others, we must first learn to accept, like, forgive and love ourselves.

“To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.”  ~e.e. cummings

“Perfect Imperfection”

I am a contradiction
a perfect imperfection
On looking in from outside
I think I’d pass inspection

My nails are neat, each hair in place
My clothes the latest styles
But look a little closer,
And you can see my trials

The window to my balanced soul
Is stained from too much smoke
A birds eye view down at my heart
Will clearly show it’s broke

My best intentions lead to pain
And complicated messes
My head is filled with wishes,
My decisions second guesses

There was a time I tried to hide
each wrinkle, scar and tear
But I’m learning to appreciate
That I’m more than I appear

Each wrinkle tells a story
The path from there to here
I’ve earned a little wisdom
With every falling tear

My soul will soar in brilliant skies
But then I’ll need to rest
The embers of my passion
Still smolder in my chest

Perhaps I’ll let my hair go wild
And skip the manicure
I’ll wear my favorite color
They’ll say “Hey, look at her”

My hair, my heart, my clothes, my soul
Will walk in one direction
No longer contradicting
My perfect imperfection


– Melissa Bachara

—————————————————————

I live for those who love me,
For those who know me true,
For the Heaven that smiles above me,
And awaits my spirit too;
For the cause that lacks assistance,
For the wrong that needs resistance,
For the future in the distance,
And the good that I can do.

-George Linnaeus Banks

—————————————————————-


Beauty Tips

.

For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.. 

For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people. 

For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry. 

For beautiful hair, let a child run his/her fingers through it once a day.

For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone.. 

People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, 

revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone.

 Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, 

you will find one at the end of each of your arms. 

As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands; 

one for helping yourself, and the other for helping others.

-Audrey Hepburn

——————————————————————–

“Figure It Our For Yourself”

Figure it out for yourself, my lad,
You’ve all that the greatest of men have had;
Two arms, two hands, two legs, two eyes,
And a brain to use if you would be wise,
With this equipment they all began–
So start from the top and say, I CAN.

Look them over, the wise and the great,
They take their food from a common plate,
And similar knives and forks they use,
With similar laces they tie their shoes;
The world considers them brave and smart,
But you’ve all they had when they made their start.

You can triumph and come to skill,
You can be great if you only will;
You’re well equipped for what fight you choose,
You have arms and legs and a brain to use;
And the man who has risen great deeds to do
Began his life with no more than you.

You are the handicap you must face,
You are the one who must choose your place.
You must say where you want to go,
How much you will study the truth to know;
God has equipped you for life, but He
Lets you decide what you want to be.

Courage must come from the soul within
The man must furnish the will to win.
So figure it out for yourself my lad,
You were born with all that the great have had;
With your equipment they all began,
Get hold of yourself and say, ‘I CAN.’

-George Washington Carver

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Lent 2007

        
        
As most of you know, tomorrow marks the beginning of Lent.  As we prepare ourselves to embark on this journey, we are to be reminded that Lent can sometimes faintly tempt us to act falsely and then feel good about it.  Like telling ourselves that if we measure ourselves by eating and drinking moderately during Lent, then maybe we don’t really have to measure ourselves in the same way at other times; if we avoid getting into arguments with a certain person during Lent, then maybe it doesn’t matter what we say to that person at other times; or that if we help the needy during Lent, then maybe we don’t really have to service others the rest of the time.  Because after all, we did the right thing during Lent.  If we’re not careful and let this happen, Lent could sometimes lead us not toward but away from God.  Let’s make sure that during this Lent season our prayer, fasting and works of mercy are genuine.  And pray that these genuine acts that come from the heart become a constant practice in our lives.

        I wanted to wish you all a fruitful Lenten journey, and leave you with this prayer I read recently:

Lenten Prayer for Spiritual Renewal

God, heavenly Father,
look upon me and hear my prayer
during this holy Season of Lent.
By the good works You inspire,
help me to discipline my body
and to be renewed in spirit.

Without You I can do nothing.
By Your Spirit help me to know what is right
and to be eager in doing Your will.
Teach me to find new life through penance.
Keep me from sin, and help me live
by Your commandment of love.
God of love, bring me back to You.
Send Your Spirit to make me strong
in faith and active in good works.
May my acts of penance bring me Your forgiveness,
open my heart to Your love,
and prepare me for the coming
feast
of the Resurrection of Jesus
.

Lord, during this Lenten Season,
nourish me with Your Word of life
and make me one
with You in love and prayer.

Fill my heart with Your love
and keep me faithful to the Gospel of Christ.
Give me the grace to rise above my human weakness.                            
Give me new life by Your Sacraments, especially the Mass.

Father, our source of life,
I reach out with joy to grasp Your hand;
let me walk more readily in Your ways.
Guide me in Your gentle mercy,
for left to myself I cannot do Your Will.

Father of love, source of all blessings,
help me to pass from my old life of sin
to the new life of grace.
Prepare me for the glory of Your Kingdom.
I ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever.

Amen.

Rhyme and Reason – e.e. cummings

Edward Estlin Cummings (October 14, 1894 – September 3, 1962), born in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Interesting tidbit:   His poem “if there are any heavens” was read at his mother’s funeral.  In it, he paints a picture to the reader of his father waiting in heaven for his mother.  It is said that Cummins loved his parents and had a sense of closure knowing that with his mother’s death, the two were finally together. 

Here are a some of my favorite e.e. cummings poems:

I Carry Your Heart With Me
by e.e. cummings

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)

i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no wolrd(for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows

higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

————————————
i am a little church(no great cathedral)
by e.e. cummings

i am a little church(no great cathedral)
far from the splendor and squalor of hurrying cities
-i do not worry if briefer days grow briefest,
i am not sorry when sun and rain make april

my life is the life of the reaper and the sower;
my prayers are prayers of earth’s own clumsily striving
(finding and losing and laughing and crying)children
whose any sadness or joy is my grief or my gladness

around me surges a miracle of unceasing
birth and glory and death and resurrection:
over my sleeping self float flaming symbols
of hope,and i wake to a perfect patience of mountains

i am a little church(far from the frantic
world with its rapture and anguish)at peace with nature
-i do not worry if longer nights grow longest;
i am not sorry when silence becomes singing

winter by spring,i lift my diminutive spire to
merciful Him Whose only now is forever:
standing erect in the deathless truth of His presence
(welcoming humbly His light and proudly His darkness)

—————————————————————————————-

i thank you God for most this amazing
by e.e. cummings

i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything
wich is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday;this is the birth
day of life and love and wings:and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any-lifted from the no
of all nothing-human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)


—————————————————————————————

if there are any heavens my mother will
by e.e. cummings

if there are any heavens my mother will(all by herself)have one.
It will not be a pansy heaven nor
a fragile heaven of lilies-of-the-valley but
it will be a heaven of blackred roses

my father will be(deep like a rose
tall like a rose)
standing near my
(swaying over her
silent)
with eyes which are really petals and see
nothing with the face of a poet really which
is a flower and not a face with
hands
which whisper
This is my beloved my
(suddenly in sunlight
he will bow,
& the whole garden will bow)

 

Rhyme and Reason: God

What is God’s role in your life? Where do you place Him in your list of priorities? Sometimes it’s a bit difficult to keep God at the center of our lives, trust me, I know. With all the distractions, hecticness, etc. But as sure as I’m breathing right this minute, I tell you we must keep Him front and center in our lives.

“Am I There”

Do you need Me ?
I am there.
You cannot see Me, yet I am the light you see by.
You cannot hear Me, yet I speak through your voice.
You cannot feel Me, yet I am the power at work in your hands.

I am at work, though you do not understand My ways.
I am at work, though you do not understand My works.
I am not strange visions. I am not mysteries.

Only in absolute stillness, beyond self, can you know Me
as I AM, and then but as a feeling and a faith.

Yet I am here. Yet I hear. Yet I answer.
When you need ME, I am there.
Even if you deny Me, I am there.
Even when you feel most alone, I am there.
Even in your fears, I am there.
Even in your pain, I am there.

I am there when you pray and when you do not pray.
I am in you, and you are in Me.
Only in your mind can you feel separate from Me, for
only in your mind are the mists of “yours” and “mine”.
Yet only with your mind can you know Me and experience Me.

Empty your heart of empty fears.
When you get yourself out of the way, I am there.
You can of yourself do nothing, but I can do all.
And I AM in all.

Though you may not see the good, good is there, for
I am there. I am there because I have to be, because I AM.

Only in Me does the world have meaning;
only out of Me does the world take form;
only because of ME does the world go forward.
I am the law on which the movement of the stars
and the growth of living cells are founded.

I am the love that is the law’s fulfilling. I am assurance.
I am peace. I am oneness. I am the law that you can live by.
I am the love that you can cling to. I am your assurance.
I am your peace. I am ONE with you. I am.

Though you fail to find ME, I do not fail you.
Though your faith in Me is unsure, My faith in you never
wavers, because I know you, because I love you.

Beloved, I am there.

– James Dillet Freeman

This poem received a lot of attention in 1971 when it was taken
to the moon by astronaut James B. Irwin on Apollo 15.
Irwin’s mother gave it to him before the flight and he actually
left a copy of the poem on the moon.

——————————————————————————————


“One Guy Didn’t”

Three guys were tried for crimes against humanity.
Two guys committed crimes.
One guy didn’t.

Three guys were given government trials.
Two guys had fair trials.
One guy didn’t.

Three guys were whipped and beaten.
Two guys had it coming.
One guy didn’t.

Three guys were given crosses to carry.
Two guys earned their crosses.
One guy didn’t.

Three guys were mocked and spit at along the way.
Two guys cursed and spit back.
One guy didn’t.

Three guys were nailed to crosses.
Two guys deserved it.
One guy didn’t.

Three guys agonized over their abandonment.
Two guys had reason to be abandoned.
One guy didn’t.

Three guys talked while hanging on their crosses.
Two guys argued.
One guy didn’t.

Three guys knew death was coming.
Two guys resisted.
One guy didn’t.

One …
Two …
Three guys died on three crosses.

Three days later,
Two guys remained in their graves.
One guy didn’t
.

——————————————————————————————God to enfold me,
God to surround me,
God in my speaking,
God in my thinking,
God in my sleeping,
God in my waking,
God in my watching,
God in my hoping.
-Traditional Celtic Prayer

——————————————————————————————

Teach me, my God and King,
In all things thee to see,
And what I do in anything,
To do it as for thee.

-George Herbert

————————————————————————–

“Getting Back to God”

All the aim of life is just
Getting back to God.
Spirit casting off its dust,
Getting back to God.
Every grief we have to bear,
Disappointment, cross, despair,
Each is but another stair
Climbing back to God.

Step by step and mile by mile, –
Getting back to God.
Nothing else is worth the while –
Getting back to God.
Light and shadow fill each day,
Joys and sorrows pass away,
Smile at all, and smiling, say,
Getting back to God.

Do not wear a mournful face
Getting back to God.
Scatter sunshine on the place
Going back to God.

Take what pleasure you can find,
But wherever your paths may wind,
Keep the purpose well in mind, –
Getting back to God.

– Ella Wheeler Wilcox

——————————————————————————————–

Book List 1

Here’s a list of books I recommend (most current read on top). You can click on the links to read about them.


Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer

Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott

First Light by Sue Monk Kidd

– Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver

A Month Of Sundays: Searching For The Spirit And My Sister by Julie Mars

Dinner With a Perfect Stranger by David Gregory

The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

Finding Mañana: A Memoir of a Cuban Exodus by Mirta Ojito

Adios Hemingway by Leonardo Padura Fuentes

The Sugar Island by Ivonne Lamazares

Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life’s Greatest Lesson by Mitch Albom

The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom

Life of Pi by Yann Martel

– The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

Dreaming in Cuban by Cristina Garcia

The Aguero Sisters by Cristina Garcia

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Return of the Enola Gay by Paul W. Tibbets

In My Own Words by Mother Teresa

– The Cider House Rules by John Irving

I Ain’t Much, Baby- But I’m All I’ve Got by Dr. Jess Lair

When Bad Things Happen to Good People by Harold S. Kushner

To read is to empower
To empower is to write
To write is to influence
Influence is to change
To change is to live.
~ Jane Evershed ~

Note-Worthy: The Saint of Darkness

I thought I’d share with you some interesting information, gathered from various sources, about this remarkable woman who made such a huge difference in so many people’s lives. Below you will find a bit on her background, her Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, her brief to the U.S. Supreme Court regarding abortion, a short explanation on her canonization process, some of her quotations, and a neat PowerPoint presentation on her life. I hope it all helps you appreciate the kind of person she was…and the kind of saint she is.
225px-MotherTeresa_090mt7
Who Was Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa was always her own person, startlingly independent, obedient, yet challenging some preconceived notions and expectations. Her own life story includes many illustrations of her willingness to listen to and follow her own conscience, even when it seemed to contradict what was expected. This strong and independent Slavic woman was born Gonxha (Agnes) Bojaxhiu in Skopje, Yugoslavia, on August 27, 1910.

Five children were born to Nikola and Dronda Bojaxhiu, yet only three survived. Gonxha was the youngest, with an older sister, Aga, and brother, Lazar. This brother describes the family’s early years as well-off, not the life of peasants reported inaccurately by some. We lacked for nothing. In fact, the family lived in one of the two houses they owned. Nikola was a contractor, working with a partner in a successful construction business.

He was also heavily involved in the politics of the day. Lazar tells of his father’s rather sudden and shocking death, which may have been due to poisoning because of his political involvement. With this event, life changed overnight as their mother assumed total responsibility for the family, Aga, only 14, Lazar, 9, and Gonxha, 7. Though so much of her young life was centered in the Church, Mother Teresa later revealed that until she reached 18, she had never thought of being a nun.

During her early years, however, she was fascinated with stories of missionary life and service. She could locate any number of missions on the map, and tell others of the service being given in each place. Called to Religious Life At 18, Gonxha decided to follow the path that seems to have been unconsciously unfolding throughout her life. She chose the Loreto Sisters of Dublin, missionaries and educators founded in the 17th century to educate young girls. In 1928, the future Mother Teresa began her religious life in Ireland, far from her family and the life she’d known, never seeing her mother again in this life, speaking a language few understood.

During this period a sister novice remembered her as very small, quiet and shy, and another member of the congregation described her as ordinary. Mother Teresa herself, even with the later decision to begin her own community of religious, continued to value her beginnings with the Loreto sisters and to maintain close ties. Unwavering commitment and self-discipline, always a part of her life and reinforced in her association with the Loreto sisters, seemed to stay with her throughout her life. One year later, in 1929, Gonxha was sent to Darjeeling to the novitiate of the Sisters of Loreto.

In 1931, she made her first vows there, choosing the name of Teresa, honoring both saints of the same name, Teresa of Avila and Therese of Lisieux. In keeping with the usual procedures of the congregation and her deepest desires, it was time for the new Sister Teresa to begin her years of service to God’s people. She was sent to St. Mary’s, a high school for girls in a district of Calcutta. Here she began a career teaching history and geography, which she reportedly did with dedication and enjoyment for the next 15 years. It was in the protected environment of this school for the daughters of the wealthy that Teresa’s new vocation developed and grew.

This was the clear message, the invitation to her second calling, that Teresa heard on that fateful day in 1946 when she traveled to Darjeeling for retreat. The Streets of Calcutta During the next two years, Teresa pursued every avenue to follow what she never doubted was the direction God was pointing her. She was to give up even Loreto where I was very happy and to go out in the streets. I heard the call to give up all and follow Christ into the slums to serve him among the poorest of the poor. Technicalities and practicalities abounded. She had to be released formally, not from her perpetual vows, but from living within the convents of the Sisters of Loreto. She had to confront the Church’s resistance to forming new religious communities, and receive permission from the Archbishop of Calcutta to serve the poor openly on the streets. She had to figure out how to live and work on the streets, without the safety and comfort of the convent.

As for clothing, Teresa decided she would set aside the habit she had worn during her years as a Loreto sister and wear the ordinary dress of an Indian woman: a plain white sari and sandals. Teresa first went to Patna for a few months to prepare for her future work by taking a nursing course. In 1948 she received permission from Pius XII to leave her community and live as an independent nun. So back to Calcutta she went and found a small hovel to rent to begin her new undertaking. Wisely, she thought to start by teaching the children of the slums, an endeavor she knew well.

Though she had no proper equipment, she made use of what was available—writing in the dirt. She strove to make the children of the poor literate, to teach them basic hygiene. As they grew to know her, she gradually began visiting the poor and ill in their families and others all crowded together in the surrounding squalid shacks, inquiring about their needs. Teresa found a never-ending stream of human needs in the poor she met, and frequently was exhausted. Despite the weariness of her days she never omitted her prayer, finding it the source of support, strength and blessing for all her ministry.

A Movement Begins Teresa was not alone for long. Within a year, she found more help than she anticipated. Many seemed to have been waiting for her example to open their own floodgates of charity and compassion. Young women came to volunteer their services and later became the core of her Missionaries of Charity. Others offered food, clothing, the use of buildings, medical supplies and money. As support and assistance mushroomed, more and more services became possible to huge numbers of suffering people. From their birth in Calcutta, nourished by the faith, compassion and commitment of Mother Teresa, the Missionaries of Charity have grown like the mustard seed of the Scriptures. New vocations continue to come from all parts of the world, serving those in great need wherever they are found. Homes for the dying, refuges for the care and teaching of orphans and abandoned children, treatment centers and hospitals for those suffering from leprosy, centers and refuges for alcoholics, the aged and street people—the list is endless.

Until her death in 1997, Mother Teresa continued her work among the poorest of the poor, depending on God for all of her needs. Honors too numerous to mention had come her way throughout the years, as the world stood astounded by her care for those usually deemed of little value. In her own eyes she was God’s pencil—a tiny bit of pencil with which he writes what he likes.

Despite years of strenuous physical, emotional and spiritual work, Mother Teresa seemed unstoppable. Though frail and bent, with numerous ailments, she always returned to her work, to those who received her compassionate care for more than 50 years.

Only months before her death, when she became too weak to manage the administrative work, she relinquished the position of head of her Missionaries of Charity. She knew the work would go on. Finally, on September 5, 1997, after finishing her dinner and prayers, her weakened heart gave her back to the God who was the very center of her life.

— Source:  FreeEssays.cc

___________________________________________

Mother Teresa’s Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech – December 11, 1979 Oslo, Norway:

“As we have gathered here together to thank God for the Nobel Peace Prize I think it will be beautiful that we pray the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi which always surprises me very much — we pray this prayer every day after Holy Communion, because it is very fitting for each one of us, and I always wonder that 4-500 years ago as St. Francis of Assisi composed this prayer that they had the same difficulties that we have today, as we compose this prayer that fits very nicely for us also. I think some of you already have got it — so we will pray together.

Let us thank God for the opportunity that we all have together today, for this gift of peace that reminds us that we have been created to live that peace, and Jesus became man to bring that good news to the poor. He being God became man in all things like us except sin, and he proclaimed very clearly that he had come to give the good news. The news was peace to all of good will and this is something that we all want — the peace of heart — and God loved the world so much that he gave his son — it was a giving — it is as much as if to say it hurt God to give, because he loved the world so much that he gave his son, and he gave him to Virgin Mary, and what did she do with him?

As soon as he came in her life — immediately she went in haste to give that good news, and as she came into the house of her cousin, the child — the unborn child — the child in the womb of Elizabeth, leapt with joy. He was that little unborn child, was the first messenger of peace. He recognised the Prince of Peace, he recognised that Christ has come to bring the good news for you and for me. And as if that was not enough — it was not enough to become a man — he died on the cross to show that greater love, and he died for you and for me and for that leper and for that man dying of hunger and that naked person lying in the street not only of Calcutta, but of Africa, and New York, and London, and Oslo — and insisted that we love one another as he loves each one of us. And we read that in the Gospel very clearly — love as I have loved you — as I love you — as the Father has loved me, I love you — and the harder the Father loved him, he gave him to us, and how much we love one another, we, too, must give each other until it hurts. It is not enough for us to say: I love God, but I do not love my neighbour. St. John says you are a liar if you say you love God and you don’t love your neighbour. How can you love God whom you do not see, if you do not love your neighbour whom you see, whom you touch, with whom you live. And so this is very important for us to realise that love, to be true, has to hurt. It hurt Jesus to love us, it hurt him. And to make sure we remember his great love he made himself the bread of life to satisfy our hunger for his love. Our hunger for God, because we have been created for that love. We have been created in his image. We have been created to love and be loved, and then he has become man to make it possible for us to love as he loved us. He makes himself the hungry one — the naked one — the homeless one — the sick one — the one in prison — the lonely one — the unwanted one — and he says: You did it to me. Hungry for our love, and this is the hunger of our poor people. This is the hunger that you and I must find, it may be in our own home.

I never forget an opportunity I had in visiting a home where they had all these old parents of sons and daughters who had just put them in an institution and forgotten maybe. And I went there, and I saw in that home they had everything, beautiful things, but everybody was looking towards the door. And I did not see a single one with their smile on their face. And I turned to the Sister and I asked: How is that? How is it that the people they have everything here, why are they all looking towards the door, why are they not smiling? I am so used to see the smile on our people, even the dying one smile, and she said: This is nearly every day, they are expecting, they are hoping that a son or daughter will come to visit them. They are hurt because they are forgotten, and see — this is where love comes. That poverty comes right there in our own home, even neglect to love. Maybe in our own family we have somebody who is feeling lonely, who is feeling sick, who is feeling worried, and these are difficult days for everybody. Are we there, are we there to receive them, is the mother there to receive the child?

I was surprised in the West to see so many young boys and girls given into drugs, and I tried to find out why — why is it like that, and the answer was: Because there is no one in the family to receive them. Father and mother are so busy they have no time. Young parents are in some institution and the child takes back to the street and gets involved in something. We are talking of peace. These are things that break peace, but I feel the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a direct war, a direct killing — direct murder by the mother herself. And we read in the Scripture, for God says very clearly: Even if a mother could forget her child — I will not forget you — I have carved you in the palm of my hand. We are carved in the palm of His hand, so close to Him that unborn child has been carved in the hand of God. And that is what strikes me most, the beginning of that sentence, that even if a mother could forget something impossible — but even if she could forget — I will not forget you. And today the greatest means — the greatest destroyer of peace is abortion. And we who are standing here — our parents wanted us. We would not be here if our parents would do that to us. Our children, we want them, we love them, but what of the millions. Many people are very, very concerned with the children in India, with the children in Africa where quite a number die, maybe of malnutrition, of hunger and so on, but millions are dying deliberately by the will of the mother. And this is what is the greatest destroyer of peace today. Because if a mother can kill her own child — what is left for me to kill you and you kill me — there is nothing between. And this I appeal in India, I appeal everywhere: Let us bring the child back, and this year being the child’s year: What have we done for the child? At the beginning of the year I told, I spoke everywhere and I said: Let us make this year that we make every single child born, and unborn, wanted. And today is the end of the year, have we really made the children wanted? I will give you something terrifying. We are fighting abortion by adoption, we have saved thousands of lives, we have sent words to all the clinics, to the hospitals, police stations — please don’t destroy the child, we will take the child. So every hour of the day and night it is always somebody, we have quite a number of unwedded mothers — tell them come, we will take care of you, we will take the child from you, and we will get a home for the child. And we have a tremendous demand from families who have no children, that is the blessing of God for us. And also, we are doing another thing which is very beautiful — we are teaching our beggars, our leprosy patients, our slum dwellers, our people of the street, natural family planning.

And in Calcutta alone in six years — it is all in Calcutta — we have had 61,273 babies less from the families who would have had, but because they practise this natural way of abstaining, of self-control, out of love for each other. We teach them the temperature meter which is very beautiful, very simple, and our poor people understand. And you know what they have told me? Our family is healthy, our family is united, and we can have a baby whenever we want. So clear — those people in the street, those beggars — and I think that if our people can do like that how much more you and all the others who can know the ways and means without destroying the life that God has created in us.

The poor people are very great people. They can teach us so many beautiful things. The other day one of them came to thank and said: You people who have vowed chastity you are the best people to teach us family planning. Because it is nothing more than self-control out of love for each other. And I think they said a beautiful sentence. And these are people who maybe have nothing to eat, maybe they have not a home where to live, but they are great people.The poor are very wonderful people. One evening we went out and we picked up four people from the street. And one of them was in a most terrible condition — and I told the Sisters: You take care of the other three, I take of this one that looked worse. So I did for her all that my love can do. I put her in bed, and there was such a beautiful smile on her face. She took hold of my hand, as she said one word only: Thank you — and she died.

I could not help but examine my conscience before her, and I asked what would I say if I was in her place. And my answer was very simple. I would have tried to draw a little attention to myself, I would have said I am hungry, that I am dying, I am cold, I am in pain, or something, but she gave me much more — she gave me her grateful love. And she died with a smile on her face. As that man whom we picked up from the drain, half eaten with worms, and we brought him to the home. I have lived like an animal in the street, but I am going to die like an angel, loved and cared for. And it was so wonderful to see the greatness of that man who could speak like that, who could die like that without blaming anybody, without cursing anybody, without comparing anything. Like an angel — this is the greatness of our people. And that is why we believe what Jesus had said: I was hungry — I was naked — I was homeless — I was unwanted, unloved, uncared for — and you did it to me.

I believe that we are not real social workers. We may be doing social work in the eyes of the people, but we are really contemplatives in the heart of the world. For we are touching the Body of Christ 24 hours. We have 24 hours in this presence, and so you and I. You too try to bring that presence of God in your family, for the family that prays together stays together. And I think that we in our family don’t need bombs and guns, to destroy to bring peace — just get together, love one another, bring that peace, that joy, that strength of presence of each other in the home. And we will be able to overcome all the evil that is in the world.

There is so much suffering, so much hatred, so much misery, and we with our prayer, with our sacrifice are beginning at home. Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do, but how much love we put in the action that we do. It is to God Almighty — how much we do it does not matter, because He is infinite, but how much love we put in that action. How much we do to Him in the person that we are serving.

Some time ago in Calcutta we had great difficulty in getting sugar, and I don’t know how the word got around to the children, and a little boy of four years old, Hindu boy, went home and told his parents: I will not eat sugar for three days, I will give my sugar to Mother Teresa for her children. After three days his father and mother brought him to our home. I had never met them before, and this little one could scarcely pronounce my name, but he knew exactly what he had come to do. He knew that he wanted to share his love.

And this is why I have received such a lot of love from you all. From the time that I have come here I have simply been surrounded with love, and with real, real understanding love. It could feel as if everyone in India, everyone in Africa is somebody very special to you. And I felt quite at home I was telling Sister today. I feel in the Convent with the Sisters as if I am in Calcutta with my own Sisters. So completely at home here, right here.

And so here I am talking with you — I want you to find the poor here, right in your own home first. And begin love there. Be that good news to your own people. And find out about your next-door neighbour — do you know who they are? I had the most extraordinary experience with a Hindu family who had eight children. A gentleman came to our house and said: Mother Teresa, there is a family with eight children, they had not eaten for so long — do something. So I took some rice and I went there immediately. And I saw the children — their eyes shinning with hunger — I don’t know if you have ever seen hunger. But I have seen it very often. And she took the rice, she divided the rice, and she went out. When she came back I asked her — where did you go, what did you do? And she gave me a very simple answer: They are hungry also. What struck me most was that she knew — and who are they, a Muslim family — and she knew. I didn’t bring more rice that evening because I wanted them to enjoy the joy of sharing. But there were those children, radiating joy, sharing the joy with their mother because she had the love to give. And you see this is where love begins — at home. And I want you — and I am very grateful for what I have received. It has been a tremendous experience and I go back to India — I will be back by next week, the 15th I hope — and I will be able to bring your love.

And I know well that you have not given from your abundance, but you have given until it has hurt you. Today the little children they have — I was so surprised — there is so much joy for the children that are hungry. That the children like themselves will need love and care and tenderness, like they get so much from their parents. So let us thank God that we have had this opportunity to come to know each other, and this knowledge of each other has brought us very close. And we will be able to help not only the children of India and Africa, but will be able to help the children of the whole world, because as you know our Sisters are all over the world. And with this prize that I have received as a prize of peace, I am going to try to make the home for many people that have no home. Because I believe that love begins at home, and if we can create a home for the poor — I think that more and more love will spread. And we will be able through this understanding love to bring peace, be the good news to the poor. The poor in our own family first, in our country and in the world.

To be able to do this, our Sisters, our lives have to be woven with prayer. They have to be woven with Christ to be able to understand, to be able to share. Because today there is so much suffering — and I feel that the passion of Christ is being relived all over again — are we there to share that passion, to share that suffering of people. Around the world, not only in the poor countries, but I found the poverty of the West so much more difficult to remove. When I pick up a person from the street, hungry, I give him a plate of rice, a piece of bread, I have satisfied. I have removed that hunger. But a person that is shut out, that feels unwanted, unloved, terrified, the person that has been thrown out from society — that poverty is so hurtable and so much, and I find that very difficult. Our Sisters are working amongst that kind of people in the West. So you must pray for us that we may be able to be that good news, but we cannot do that without you, you have to do that here in your country. You must come to know the poor, maybe our people here have material things, everything, but I think that if we all look into our own homes, how difficult we find it sometimes to smile at each, other, and that the smile is the beginning of love.

And so let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love, and once we begin to love each other naturally we want to do something. So you pray for our Sisters and for me and for our Brothers, and for our Co-Workers that are around the world. That we may remain faithful to the gift of God, to love Him and serve Him in the poor together with you. What we have done we should not have been able to do if you did not share with your prayers, with your gifts, this continual giving. But I don’t want you to give me from your abundance, I want that you give me until it hurts.

The other day I received 15 dollars from a man who has been on his back for twenty years, and the only part that he can move is his right hand. And the only companion that he enjoys is smoking. And he said to me: I do not smoke for one week, and I send you this money. It must have been a terrible sacrifice for him, but see how beautiful, how he shared, and with that money I bought bread and I gave to those who are hungry with a joy on both sides, he was giving and the poor were receiving. This is something that you and I — it is a gift of God to us to be able to share our love with others. And let it be as it was for Jesus. Let us love one another as he loved us. Let us love Him with undivided love. And the joy of loving Him and each other — let us give now — that Christmas is coming so close. Let us keep that joy of loving Jesus in our hearts. And share that joy with all that we come in touch with. And that radiating joy is real, for we have no reason not to be happy because we have no Christ with us. Christ in our hearts, Christ in the poor that we meet, Christ in the smile that we give and the smile that we receive. Let us make that one point: That no child will be unwanted, and also that we meet each other always with a smile, especially when it is difficult to smile.

I never forget some time ago about fourteen professors came from the United States from different universities. And they came to Calcutta to our house. Then we were talking about that they had been to the home for the dying. We have a home for the dying in Calcutta, where we have picked up more than 36,000 people only from the streets of Calcutta, and out of that big number more than 18,000 have died a beautiful death. They have just gone home to God; and they came to our house and we talked of love, of compassion, and then one of them asked me: Say, Mother, please tell us something that we will remember, and I said to them: Smile at each other, make time for each other in your family. Smile at each other. And then another one asked me: Are you married, and I said: Yes, and I find it sometimes very difficult to smile at Jesus because he can be very demanding sometimes. This is really something true, and there is where love comes — when it is demanding, and yet we can give it to Him with joy. Just as I have said today, I have said that if I don’t go to Heaven for anything else I will be going to Heaven for all the publicity because it has purified me and sacrificed me and made me really ready to go to Heaven. I think that this is something, that we must live life beautifully, we have Jesus with us and He loves us. If we could only remember that God loves me, and I have an opportunity to love others as he loves me, not in big things, but in small things with great love, then Norway becomes a nest of love. And how beautiful it will be that from here a centre for peace has been given. That from here the joy of life of the unborn child comes out. If you become a burning light in the world of peace, then really the Nobel Peace Prize is a gift of the Norwegian people. God bless you!”

— Source:  catholiceducation.org

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Mother Teresa’s Letter to the US Supreme Court on Roe v. Wade:

Brief amicus curiae of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, in support of petitioners’ petitions for a writ of certiorari

George, Robert P

[We reprint here the complete text of the amicus curiae brief filed by Mother Teresa of Calcutta with the U.S. Supreme Court on February 14, 1994. The original title page is reproduced below.]

IN THE Supreme Court of the United States OCTOBER TERM, 1993

ALEXANDER LOCE,

Petitioner,

– against

THE STATE oF NEw JERSEY, Respondent.

TINA KRAIL, ET ALs.,

Petitioners,

– against

THE STATE oF NEw JERsEY,

Respondent.

INTEREST OF AMICUS CURIAE

Mother Teresa resides at 54 1A Ach. Jagdish, Ch. Bose Rd., Calcutta, India 700 016. She is the founder and mother superior of the Order of the Missionaries of Charity. The order maintains its headquarters in Calcutta, India. The Missionaries of Charity have provided services to the needy in many parts of the world, including the United States of America, where the order’s main office is located at 335 East 145th Street in the Bronx, New York. Much of the work of the Missionaries of Charity involves providing charitable services to children and to poor families. Through this work Mother Teresa and the Missionaries of Charity have a special interest in the welfare of all children, born and unborn, and the familial relationship between children and their mothers and fathers.

SUMMARY OF ARGUMENT

The unborn child possesses an inalienable right to life which must be recognized and safeguarded by any just society.

ARGUMENT

1. THE QUESTION WHETHER UNBORN HUMAN BEINGS POSSESS THE INALIENABLE RIGHT TO LIFE IS OF THE GREATEST IMPORTANCE AND MUST NOT BE AVOIDED BY THE COURT.

I hope you will count it no presumption that I seek your leave to address you on behalf of the unborn child. Like that child I can be called an outsider. I am not an American citizen. My parents were Albanian. I was born before the First World War in a part of what was not yet, and is no longer, Yuglosavia. In many senses I know what it is like to be without a country. I also know what it is like to feel an adopted citizen of other lands. When I was still a girl I travelled to India. I found my work among the poor and sick of that nation, and I have lived there ever since.

Since 1950 I have worked with my many sisters from around the world as one of the Missionaries of Charity. Our congregation now has over 400 foundations in more than 100 countries, including the United States of America. We have almost 5,000 sisters. We care for those who are often treated as outsiders in their own communities by their own neighbors-the starving, the crippled, the impoverished, and the diseased, from the old woman with a brain tumor in Calcutta to the young man with AIDS in New York City. A special focus of our care are mothers and their children. This includes mothers who feel pressured to sacrifice their unborn children by want, neglect, despair, and philosophies and governmental policies which promote the dehumanization of inconvenient human life. And it includes the.children themselves, innocent and utterly defenseless, who are at the mercy of those who would deny their humanity. So, in a sense, my sisters and those we serve are all outsiders together. At the same time, we are supremely conscious of the common bonds of humanity that unite us and transcend national boundaries.

In another sense no one in the world who prizes liberty and human rights can feel anything but a strong kinship with America. Yours is the one great nation in all of history which was founded on the precept of equal rights and respect for all humankind, for the poorest and weakest of us as well as the richest and strongest. As your Declaration of Independence put it in words which have never lost their power to stir the heart:

We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness ….

A nation founded on these principles holds a sacred trust: to stand as an example to the rest of the world, to climb ever higher in its practical realization of the ideals of human dignity, brotherhood, and mutual respect. It has been your constant efforts in fulfillment of that mission, far more than your size or your wealth or your military might, that have made America an inspiration to all mankind.

It must be recognized that your model was never one of realized perfection, but of ceaseless aspiration. From the outset, for example, America denied the African slave his freedom and human dignity. But in time you righted that wrong, albeit at an incalculable cost in human suffering and loss of life. Your impetus has almost always been toward a fuller, more all-embracing conception and assurance of the rights which your founding fathers recognized as inherent and God-given. Yours has ever been an inclusive, not an exclusive society. And your steps, though they may have paused or faltered now and then, have been pointed in the right direction and have trod the right path. The task has not always been an easy one, and each new generation has faced its own challenges and tempations. But, in a uniquely courageous and inspiring way, America has kept faith.

Yet there has been one infinitely tragic and destructive departure from those American ideals in recent memory. It was this Court’s own decision in 1973 to exclude the unborn child from the human family. Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973). You ruled that a mother, in consulation with her doctor, has broad discretion, guaranteed against infringement by the United States Constitution, to choose to destroy her unborn child. Your opinion stated that you did not need to “resolve the difficult question of when life begins.” 410 U.S. at 159. That question is inescapable. If the right life is an inherent and inalienable right, it must surely obtain wherever human life exists. No one can deny that the unborn child is a distinct human being, that it is human, and that it is alive. It is unjust, therefore, to deprive the unborn child of its fundamental right to life on the basis of its age, size, or condition of dependency. It was a sad infidelity to America’s highest ideals when this Court said it did not matter, or could not be determined, when the inalienable right to life began for a child in its mother’s womb.

America needs no words from me to see how your decision in Roe v. Wade has deformed a great nation. The so-called right to abortion has pitted mothers against their children and women against men. It has sown violence and discord at the heart of the most intimate human relationships. It has aggravated the derogation of the father’s role in an increasingly fatherless society. It has portrayed the greatest of gifts-a child-as a competitor, an intrusion, and an inconvenience. It has nominally accorded mothers unfettered dominion over the independent lives of their physically dependent sons and daughters. And, in granting this unconscionable power, it has exposed many women to unjust and selfish demands from their husbands or other sexual partners.

Human rights are not a privelige conferred by government. They are every human being’s entitlement by virtue of his humanity. The right to life does not depend, and must not be declared to be contingent, on the pleasure of anyone else, not even a parent or a sovereign. The Constitutional Court of the Federal Republic of Germany recently ruled:

The unborn child is entitled to its right to life independently of acceptance by its mother; this is an elementary and inalienable right which emanates from the dignity of the human being.

[Judgement of May 28, 1993, The Constitutional Court of the Federal Republic of Germany, Judgement of the Second Senate, 20 EuGRZ 229-275 (consolidated case nos. 2 BzF2/90m 2 BzF 5/92).]

Americans may feel justly proud that Germany in 1993 was able to recognize the sanctity of human life. You must weep that your own government, at present, seems blind to this truth.

I have no new teaching for America. I seek only to recall you to faithfulness to what you once taught the world. Your nation was founded on the propositionvery old as a moral precept, but startling and innovative as a political insight-that human life is a gift of immeasurable worth, and that it deserves, always and everywhere, to be treated with the utmost dignity and respect.

CONCLUSION

I urge the Court to take the opportunity presented by the petitions in these cases to consider the fundamental question of when human life begins and to declare without equivocation the inalienable rights which it possesses.

Respectfully submitted,

MOTHER TERESA OF CALCUTTA

ROBERT P. GEORGE, ESQ.

ROBERT P GEORGE ESQ.

Counsel of Record Robinson & McElwee Post Office Box 1791 Charleston, W. Virginia 25326 (304) 344-5800 Attorneys for Amicus Curiae

William C. Porth, Jr., Esq.

— Source:  findarticles.com

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Beautification and Canonization Process:

Following Mother Teresa’s death in 1997, the Holy See began the process of beautification, the second step towards possible canonization.  This process requires the documentation of a miracle performed from the intercession of Mother Teresa. In 2002, the Vatican recognized as a miracle the healing of a tumor in the abdomen of an Indian woman, Monica Besra, following the application of a locket containing Mother Teresa’s picture. Monica Besra said that a beam of light emanated from the picture, curing the cancerous tumor. It is claimed that some of Besra’s medical staff and, initially, Besra’s husband insisted that conventional medical treatment eradicated the tumor. An opposing perspective of the claim is that Monica’s medical records contain sonograms, prescriptions, and physicians’ notes that could conceivably prove whether the cure was a miracle or not. Monica has claimed Sister Betta of the Missionaries of Charity is holding them. The publication has received a “no comments” statement from Sister Betta. The officials at the Balurghat Hospital where Monica was seeking medical treatment are claiming that they are being pressured by the Catholic order to declare the cure as a miracle.

Christopher Hitchens was the only witness called by the Vatican to give evidence against Mother Teresa’s beautification and canonization process, as the Vatican had abolished the traditional “devil’s advocate” role, which fulfilled a similar purpose. Hitchens has argued that “her intention was not to help people”, and he alleged that she lied to donors about the use of their contributions. “It was by talking to her that I discovered, and she assured me, that she wasn’t working to alleviate poverty,” says Hitchens. “She was working to expand the number of Catholics. She said, ‘I’m not a social worker.  I don’t do it for this reason. I do it for Christ. I do it for the church.’” In the process of examining Teresa’s suitability for beatification and canonization, the Roman Curia (the Vatican) pored over a great deal of documentation of published and unpublished criticisms against her life and work. Vatican officials say Hitchens’ allegations have been investigated by the agency charged with such matters, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, and they found no obstacle to Mother Teresa’s beatification. Due to the attacks she has received, some Catholic writers have called her a sign of contradiction.  The beatification of Mother Teresa took place on October 19, 2003, thereby bestowing on her the title “Blessed.” Unless dispensed by the Pope, a second miracle is required for her to proceed to canonization. 

— Source:  wikipedia.org

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In Her Own Words:

On poverty –

“I see God in every human being. When I wash the leper’s wounds, I feel I am nursing the Lord himself. Is it not a beautiful experience?” — 1974 interview.

“When I see waste here, I feel angry on the inside. I don’t approve of myself getting angry. But it’s something you can’t help after seeing Ethiopia.” — Washington 1984.

On the Nobel Peace Prize –

“I choose the poverty of our poor people. But I am grateful to receive (the Nobel) in the name of the hungry, the naked, the homeless, of the crippled, of the blind, of the lepers, of all those people who feel unwanted, unloved, uncared-for throughout society, people that have become a burden to the society and are shunned by everyone.” — Accepting the Nobel Peace Prize, 1979.

On retirement –

“God will find another person, more humble, more devoted, more obedient to him, and the society will go on.” — Calcutta 1989, after announcing her intention to retire.

“I was expecting to be free, but God has his own plans.” — Calcutta 1990, when the sisters of her order persuaded her to withdraw her resignation.

On war –

“I have never been in a war before, but I have seen famine and death. I was asking (myself), ‘What do they feel when they do this?’ I don’t understand it. They are all children of God. Why do they do it? I don’t understand.” — Beirut 1982, during fighting between the Israeli army and Palestinian guerrillas.

“Please choose the way of peace. … In the short term there may be winners and losers in this war that we all dread. But that never can, nor never will justify the suffering, pain and loss of life your weapons will cause.” — Letter to U.S. President George Bush and Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, January 1991.

On abortion –

Abortion “is murder in the womb … A child is a gift of God. If you do not want him, give him to me.”

On her life’s work –

“The other day I dreamed that I was at the gates of heaven. And St. Peter said, ‘Go back to Earth. There are no slums up here.'” — Quoted as telling Prince Michael of Greece in 1996.

On love –

We can do no great things; only small things with great love.

It is easy to love the people far away. It is not always easy to love those close to us. It is easier to give a cup of rice to relieve hunger than to relieve the loneliness and pain of someone unloved in our own home. Bring love into your home for this is where our love for each other must start.

On life –

In the end, dear friend, it is always between us and God, not between us and them.