Mother’s Teresa’s Address at St. Mary’s Cathedral

June 4, 1982

Let us together thank God for all that He has been and is to each one of us. And especially for bringing us together to prove that He loves us and that we love Him.

Nobody could help us better to do this than Mary. So let us ask her: Mary, Mother of Jesus, give us your heart so beautiful, so pure, so immaculate, your heart so full of love and humility that we may be able to receive Jesus in the bread of life, love Him as you loved Him and serve Him in the distressing disguise of the poor.

We read in scripture that God loved the world so much that He gave His son, Jesus, who became small, helpless in the womb of His mother. He was like us in all things except sin. And on coming to His mother, His mother in having the presence of Jesus Himself in her womb, went in haste to serve others. The fruit of the coming of Jesus is always the need to give Him to others. As she went to serve her cousin, who was also with a child, something very beautiful, something very wonderful happened. At their meeting, the first one, first human being to recognize the presence of the coming of Jesus, the Son of God, the little one in the womb of his mother leapt with joy. He recognized that He had come and it’s so beautiful to think that God gave that little unborn child the greatness of proclaiming the presence of God, the presence of Jesus, an honor. And today, it is that little unborn child that has become the target of destruction, of being destroyed, of being unwanted, unloved, uncared for. That little unborn child they are afraid of him. The child’s become the fear of the mother and therefore mother herself destroys her own child, the gift of God. And yet in the scripture we read how precious is that little one. Cause God speaks and says “Even if Mother could forget her child, I will not forget you. I have carved you in the palm of My hand. You are precious to Me. I have called you by your name. You are Mine. Water will not drown you. Fire will not burn you. I will give up nations for you. You are precious to Me.” So wonderful to think that you and I, doesn’t matter how big or how small we are, how full of misery and greatness we are, we are precious to Him because He loves us. And He has proved His love by giving Jesus to us.

And again and again Jesus kept on saying, “Love as I have loved you. Love one another as I have loved you. As the Father has loved Me. And how did the Father love Him? He gave Him to us. How do we have to love one another? By giving each other to each other. Not in words but in our living action. Our love for God is not words because we have been created for that one purpose to love and be loved. We are not just a number in the world. We are precious to Him. He has created us in His image. That is why it’s so terrible to think of the destroying of that image in the world today. And so it is so wonderful to have that joy, that love in each other’s company. And that is how Jesus wants us to love. Not in big things, in small things. And to help us to love, because we all want to love God, but how? Where? Even in a non-Christian man who doesn’t know much yet, there is that insight, the desire, the longing to love God. Then how to love God? So Jesus taught us and He said, “Whatever you do to the least of My brethren, you did it to Me.” And to make us, help us a little more to understand, to make us realize how important it is this love for one another: that at the end of life we are going to be judged on that, on what we have been to the hungry, to the naked to the homeless. And He says, “I was hungry and you gave Me to eat. I was naked and you clothed me. I was lonely and you consoled me. I was homeless and you took me and so on . . . And that is, that is Jesus. We don’t have to believe that. It is like that. We don’t have to believe that two and two make four. It is like that. It’s the same thing. It is that, that we really work through, Jesus. And to be able to love like that, Jesus made Himself Bread of Life to satisfy our hunger for love, for God, And then He made himself the hungry one so that we, you and I, can satisfy His hunger for our love. What is this hunger? Is it the hunger of Africa and, India, and all these, these hungry people for a piece of bread, for a plate of rice? It’s not only that hunger. Jesus never said it is the hunger for bread only, but hunger for love, hunger to be loved by somebody, to be somebody to somebody. That terrible pain of being unwanted.

I’ll never forget one day I was walking down the street in London and I saw a man looking so terribly lonely, sitting there all alone. So I walked up to him and I took his hand. And I shook his hand and my hand is always very warm. And he said. “Oh, after so long, it’s the first time I feel the warmth of a human hand.” And then his face brightened up. He was a different being. A small action. The warmth of a human hand. He felt that there was somebody who really wanted him, somebody who really cared. This I never realized before, that such a small action could bring so much love.

And now nakedness is not only for a piece of cloth. There are many people who die frozen of cold. There are many people in India and in Africa also that have really nothing. And yet there is that nakedness of that human dignity having lost their respect for what is beautiful, for what is virgin, for what is beautiful, what is pure. The respect for a child of God created for greater things. That loss, that is nakedness.

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