How to Be Like Mother Teresa

Written by Pat and Ruth Williams with Michael Mink

world_motherteresa1. Do what you love
Agnes felt that God was calling her to the sisterhood to serve the poor.  She consulted experts and the priests at her church to help understand her feelings.  “If you are happy with the idea that God calls you to serve him and your neighbor,” Agnes recalled being told by a priest, “this will be the proof of your vocation.  Profound joy of the heart is like a magnet that indicates the path of life.”

2. Read constantly
Reading helped Agnes understand the plight of India’s poor.  Her constant efforts to learn gave her greater depth and wisdom.

3. Accept no limitations for your life
Sister Teresa had a desire to serve the poor more fully than the Catholic Church would permit.  It seems certain she would have left the Church had she not been granted the privilege of exclaustration and per­mission to form a new order.  “I again experienced a call to renounce everything and to follow Christ into the slums, to serve the poorest of the poor,” she wrote.  “I understood that God wanted something from me…the message was quite clear: I was to leave the convent and help the poor whilst living among them.  It was an order.  I knew where I belonged.”

4. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need.
Starting alone, Mother Teresa built the Missionaries of Charity into a worldwide organization through organization through persistent fund-raising efforts. She boldly asked for money and medical supplies to help the poor.

5. Clearly define what you want to accomplish
Mother Teresa added a fourth vow to be taken by the Missionaries of Charity: “To give wholehearted and free service to the poorest of the poor. . . .  If you don’t have the zeal to help the poor, to take good care of the lepers, then [you] should pack up and go home. . . . no need to stay.”

6. Set an example
The most effective way to lead is by example.  Mother Teresa asked her sisters to take their vow of poverty farther than those in the convent to help them understand the “poorest of the poor.”  She said: “If we really want to know the poor, we must know what poverty is. . . .  It is why in our society, poverty is our freedom and our strength.”

7. Be cheerful even if you don’t feel like it
Even if you have problems in your life that make you unhappy, present a cheerful demeanor to the outside world.  That doesn’t mean you are ignoring your prob­lems.  Rather, you are putting yourself in the best pos­sible frame of mind to solve them.  One of Mother Teresa’s conditions in accepting a prospective sister into her order was that she have a “cheerful disposi­tion.”  Mother Teresa said, “A cheerful giver is a great giver.”  Mother Teresa was known for her warm greeting and powerful smile that conveyed her great love and caring. “Let us always greet each other with a smile, for a smile is the beginning of love,” she said.

8. Care about those in need
Mother Teresa became, in the words of United Nations General Secretary Javier Perez de Cuellar, “the most powerful woman in the world,” because she cared for those in need.  “The biggest disease today is not lep­rosy or cancer or tuberculosis,” Mother Teresa said, “but rather the feeling of being unwanted, uncared for, deserted by everybody.  The greatest evil is the lack of love and charity, the terrible indifference towards one’s neighbor….”

9. Learn by experience
Mother Teresa said to her helpers and volunteers:  “Discover … through direct contact. Go to Kalighat, the Home for the Dying, and learn your lessons, not out of a book, but in the rough and tumble of life, among real people….”

10. Write letters
Written communications, especially thank-you notes, are a powerful way to make a lasting impres­sion. Florence Nightingale, Clara Barton, Eleanor Roosevelt and Margaret Thatcher were all great letter writers.  Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher said: “I have always believed in the impact of a personal handwrit­ten letter—even from someone you barely know.”

11. Don’t let age slow you
down
Mother Teresa had suffered three serious heart attacks by the time she was eighty-five and had a pace­maker, but she refused to slow down.  “I’ve never said no to Jesus,” she said, “and I’m not going to begin now.  Every day you have to say yes.”

12. Speak from your heart
“I make a little cross on my lips with my thumb; then I look straight forward above the audience and deliver my message,” Mother Teresa told Father Le Joly about her speaking style.

13. Stay humble
A world figure and the recipient of a Nobel Peace Prize, Mother Teresa didn’t get carried away with her­self.  She credited God and Jesus for what she and the Missionaries of Charity accomplished, and saw herself as God’s vessel.  “I am surer of this than of my own life,” she said.

Used with permission from
Women of Influence by Pat & Ruth Williams with Michael Mink (Health Communications, Inc., 2003).

EmailPrint

13 Responses to “How to Be Like Mother Teresa”

  • Edith Lingmal says:

    iam really intersted in Mother theresa testimony, i wanna read it but the words cannot comes out clear to me, iam very please if you could sent me some reading of secret to success to me cause iam really interested to Mother Theresas Testimonys please

  • Kirby says:

    I want to be like mother theresa one day. So I could help many people other there on earth. especially all the poor people. I am not rich. But I am very poor right now, if god answer my prayer request if I got lot of money some of those money I want to build a charity foundation group and used all those money to help the poor people. Why I want to help the poor family because I was poor so I know how it feel like when you don’t have money to buy good food to eat or don’t have clothes to wear and etc.

  • Bernard Bernard says:

    Mother Theresa was a great example of resourcefulness and humility and it was those qualities among others that allowed her to do great things for Goad. She was not rich. She just work with what she had and with the people she had in her company.

  • Mary says:

    We all have the capacity to become Mother Theresa’s…but are we willing to give up ourselves to do so? Are we ready, as Christ asked his disciples, ready to give up our lives for him?

  • Hassan says:

    I consider myself “Father Teresa” :)

    Very humble, dedicated, rich and compassionate.

  • haritha says:

    My favourite personality is Mother Teresa. She is very great. I want to become like Mother Teresa.Please send me some more articles about her.

  • haritha says:

    MOTHER TERESA said that ”IT MAY BE ONLY A DROP IN A OCEAN, IF THAT DROP IS NOT THERE THE OCEAN WILL BE LESS OF THAT MISSING DROP”.I was very much inspired by this.She is so great. Her deeds to the poor people had inspired so many people.
    I love her very much. We had got a lesson about her. by that movement I was very much inspired by her.

  • K.P Samuel says:

    I am a native of Kerala but I was in West Bengal from 1986 to 1998. My name is K.P Samuel and I am engaged with Missionaries of Charity at Malda West Bengal. I like Mother because the miracle lady of the world is MOTHER TERESA with all aspects. I visit her funeral ceremony at Calcutta on 5th September 1997 and my human miracle was I touched her leg with my head. On this miracle activity I met a serious road accident on 7th May 1999 at Kerala. I am UN conscious for three and a half years but after that I came in a good condition by the Grace of Mother Teresa and it is a miracle that I got(return)one gold chain and one gold ring after four years at the time of my accident. Now I am returned my job and driving a car and every thing going smoothly by the help of Mother Teresa.

  • K.P Samuel says:

    Thank you so much for your kindness…….

  • Sharon Sharon says:

    i was always interested in mother teresa i rather be like JESUS instead of mother teresa but she did do good things and helped the poor my thoughts

  • Frank Mgungwe says:

    This is so so so so touching! If everyone does like this great Mother, poverty would not have existed today!

    I greatly Love Blessed Mother Teresa!

    May her Soul Rest in Eternal Peace

  • Mary Pinckney Mary Pinckney says:

    Father, I pray that you will bless those that desire to serve in the capacity that Mother Teresa did. I pray that you will guide them with your eyes upon them. I pray that their hearts will be open and attentive to your voice. May they have a heart of compassion for your people. In Jesus name Amen
    Blessings!
    Mary

Leave a Reply

Start a Conversation

Latest Comments

  • Margareta said: Consistently staying at the identical resort, using...
  • Chris said: ajay....we pray for the consolation of the holy...
  • Ajay Kumar Mohanty said: I have just read 'coming home'.I liked it.A month...