My Interview with Mother Teresa
God provided this rare encounter with this humble servant who chose to live in poverty with those that she ministered to for decades. Her network of care to the hurting, hungry, dying, and diseased was astounding. Perhaps this will provide you with the encouragement that you need to move beyond your comfort zone to reach out to others.
During our time together - I had prepared some very important questions and Mother Teresa was so gracious to provide answers that were based on her life-long commitment to the Lord Jesus.
The following questions and answers will provide you with her spiritual insight to the world's problems and needs.
When did you sense God's call to minister to the poor and afflicted?
"The message was quite clear. On September 10, 1946, I was to leave the Convent. I felt God wanted something more from me. He wanted me to be poor and to love Him in the distressing disguise of the poorest of the poor. I did not have to give up anything; my vocation, my belongings to Christ didn't change. I was only changing the means to serve the poorest of the poor."
How did you raise the financial support to begin your work?
"The very first gift I received was 100 rupees (about $20) on December 27, 1946 and within 24 hours - I rented two rooms for five rupees each ($2.00) per month to use for the school and dispensary. The rooms needed repairs and cleaning, so the school remained outdoors for some weeks. By December 28, 1946, there were already 21 children in the school."
How many people work with you and the Missionaries of Charity (the name of her organization).
"We have a family of almost 400,000 co-workers in the world who come and share the work with the Sisters. I give them the opportunity to touch the poor and the lonely. Volunteers come from all around the world. They come to serve here two or three months. They work during the whole year to earn money, because we give them nothing - so they have to pay for everything."
You have been an example of great faith for the whole world, but have you ever gone through the turmoil of doubt that God would provide?
"It depends for whom you are doing the task. A mother has no doubt when she serves her child because she loves her child. This changes the way she looks at things. The same thing is true for us. If we are really in love with Christ - this doubt does not come. Maybe a longing comes to do better, but not doubt. I wouldn't call it doubt. Doubt disturbs! There is no doubt when it comes to trusting in Jesus."
Is it true that you can pick up the phone to call a President or Prime Minister because you speak in the name of peace?
"I speak in the Name of Christ. Without Him I could do nothing. I won't mix in politics. War is the fruit of politics. If I get stuck in politics, I will stop loving. Because I have to stand by One, not by all. This is the difference."
What was it like to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979?
"Of the Nobel Peace Prize, I said I will accept it if you give it for the glory of God and in the name of the poor. I do not accept awards in my name. I am nothing."
Is it true that you didn't allow the traditional banquet to take place?
"Yes! Instead, they gave me the money they would have spent on the banquet and we had a big dinner for 2,000 people on Christmas Day for the poor. That was much better."
What did you think about when you visited the White House in America?
"I was thinking there was so much room. I feel like taking all my poor people and filling houses. Seeing the emptiness, I always feel like wanting to fill it (laughs)."
Where do you get your sense of humor?
"We have no reason to be unhappy. We are doing God's work with Jesus, for Jesus, and to Jesus. The work should be done with a smile on our face and laughter in our hearts."
Is poverty your strength?
"Every Missionary of Charity is the poorest of the poor. That is why we can do anything. Whatever is given to the poor is the same for us. We wear the kind of clothes they (poor) wear. But ours is a choice. We choose that way. To be able to understand the poor, we must know what it means to be poor."
If there was one thought that you could give a person - what would it be?
"If you really love people, then you will put your love for God in living action. The fruit of silence is prayer; the fruit of prayer is faith; the fruit of faith is love; the fruit of love is service and the fruit of service is peace. Then people will see Jesus in you!"