About Mother Teresa of Calcutta


What you should know

Quotes falsely attributed to Mother Teresa and significantly paraphrased versions or personal interpretations of statements that are not her authentic words:





Quotes falsely attributed to Mother Teresa:

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Quotes that are significantly paraphrased versions

or personal interpretations of statements

Mother Teresa made; they are not her authentic words:






Please be advised that Mother Teresa did not say or write the following:


There is a LIGHT in this world. A healing spirit more powerful than any darkness we may encounter. We sometime lose sight of this force when there is suffering, and too much pain. Then suddenly, the spirit will emerge through the lives of ordinary people who hear a call and answer in extraordinary ways. (These are the words of Richard Attenborough)




A life not lived for others is not a life.


Allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise, and love.


Cassius from bondage will deliver Cassius.


God made the world for the delight of human beings-- if we could see His goodness everywhere, His concern for us, His awareness of our needs: the phone call we've waited for, the ride we are offered, the letter in the mail, just the little things He does for us throughout the day. As we remember and notice His love for us, we just begin to fall in love with Him because He is so busy with us -- you just can't resist Him. I believe there's no such thing as luck in life, it's God's love, it's His.


Good works are links that form a chain of love.


He who is faultless does not care for the opinion of others.


I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.


I have found the paradox that if I love until it hurts, then there is not hurt, but only more love. (These are the words of Daphne Rae)


I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much.


I think it is very good when people suffer. To me that is like the kiss of Jesus.


I will carry my cross but not alone!!!!


In the West we have a tendency to be profit-oriented, where everything is measured according to the results and we get caught up in being more and more active to generate results. In the East -- especially in India -- I find that people are more content to just be, to just sit around under a banyan tree for half a day chatting to each other. We Westerners would probably call that wasting time. But there is value to it. Being with someone, listening without a clock and without anticipation of results, teaches us about love. The success of love is in the loving -- it is not in the result of loving. (These words, taken from the book A Simple Path, are the words of one of the Missionaries of Charity Sisters, not of Mother Teresa.)


It is a kingly act to assist the fallen.


It is Christmas every time you let God love others through you . . . yes, it is Christmas every time you smile at your brother and offer him your hand.


Just show up and things will happen.


Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.


Let nothing perturb you, nothing frighten you. All things pass. God does not change. Patience achieves everything. (These are the words of St. Teresa of Avila)


Life is an opportunity, benefit from it. Life is beauty, admire it. Life is bliss, taste it. Life is a dream, realize it. Life is a challenge, meet it. Life is a duty, complete it. Life is a game, play it. Life is a promise, fulfill it. Life is sorrow, overcome it. Life is a song, sing it. Life is a struggle, accept it. Life is a tragedy, confront it. Life is an adventure, dare it. Life is luck, make it. Life is too precious, do not destroy it. Life is life, fight for it.


Live simply so others may simply live.


Lord when I am hungry,

give me someone needing food.

When I am thirsty,

send me someone needing a drink

When I am cold, send me

someone to warm

When I am grieved, send me

someone to console

When my cross grows heavy

let me carry another's cross too

When I am poor, lend me

someone in need

When I have no time,

give me someone I can help a little while

When I am humiliated,

let me have someone to praise

When I am disheartened,

send me someone to cheer

When I need understanding

give me someone who needs mine.

When I need to be looked after

give me someone to care for

When I think only of myself

draw my thoughts to another.


Love is the condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.


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


May today there be peace within. May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and others. May you use the gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content with yourself just the way you are. Let this knowledge settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us.


Never travel faster than your guardian angel can fly.


No matter who says what, you should accept it with a smile and do your own work.


Nuclear war would not be an unjust punishment for a nation that promotes abortion.


People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered; Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, People may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; Be kind anyway. If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies; Succeed anyway. If you are honest and frank, People may cheat you; Be honest and frank anyway. What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight; Build anyway. If you find serenity and happiness, They may be jealous; Be happy anyway. The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough; Give the world the best you've got anyway. You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God; It was never between you and them anyway. (This is an adaptation of the Paradoxical Commandments by Dr. Kent M. Keith)


Profound joy of the heart is like a magnet that indicates the path of life.


Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.


The fruit of abortion is nuclear war.


The greatest science in the world, in heaven and on earth, is love.


The most beautiful day: Today

The easiest thing: Equivocate

The biggest obstacle: Fear

The gravest error: give up, to despair

The root of all evils: Egoism

The most beautiful occupation: Work

The worst route to follow: Faintheartedness

The best teachers: Children

The first necessity: TO communicate

The greatest happiness: To be useful to others

The greatest mystery: Death

The worst defect: Bad temper

The most dangerous being: The liar'

The most wretched feeling: The grudge

The most beautiful gift: Forgiveness

The most indispensable: home

The quickest way: The correct one

The most comfortable feeling: Interior peace

The most powerful weapon: The smile

The best remedy: Optimism

The greatest satisfaction: The duty done

The most powerful force: Faith

The most needed beings: The parents

The most beautiful of all: Love


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 dependent 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.


The thing that makes me saddest is watching people receive Communion in the hand.


To have courage for whatever comes in life — everything lies in that.


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


Without patience, we will learn less in life. We will see less. We will feel less. We will hear less. Ironically, rush and more usually mean less.







In Spanish:






Siempre ten presente que: La piel se arruga.

El pelo se vuelve blanco.

Los días se convierten en años…

Pero lo importante no cambia; tu fuerza y tu convicción no tienen edad.

Tu espíritu es el plumero de cualquier tela de araña.

Detrás de cada línea de llegada, hay una de partida. Detrás de cada logro, hay otro desafío.

Mientras estés vivo, siéntete vivo.

Si extrañas lo que hacías vuelve a hacerlo.

No vivas de fotos amarillas…

Sigue aunque todos esperen que abandones.

No dejes que se oxide el hierro que hay en tí.

Haz que en vez de lástima, te tengan respeto.

Cuando por los años no puedas correr, trota.

Cuando no puedas trotar, camina.

Cuando no puedas caminar, usa el bastón.

Pero nunca te detengas!!!




1.¿Cuál es el día más bello? Hoy

2.¿Cuál es la cosa más fácil? Equivocarse

3.¿Cuál es el obstáculo más grande? El miedo

5.¿Cuál es la raíz de todos los males? El egoísmo

6.¿Cuál es la distracción más bella? El trabajo

7.¿Cuál es la peor derrota? El desaliento

8.¿Quiénes son los mejores profesores? Los niños

9.¿Cuál es la primera necesidad? Comunicarse

10.¿Qué es lo que hace más feliz? Ser útil a los demás

11.¿Cuál es el misterio más grande? La muerte

12.¿Cuál es el peor defecto? El mal humor

13.¿Cuál es la persona más peligrosa? La mentirosa

14.¿Cuál es el sentimiento más ruin? El rencor

15.¿Cuál es el regalo más bello? El perdón

16.¿Qué es lo más imprescindible? El hogar

17.¿Cuál es la ruta más rápida? El camino recto

18.¿Cuál es la sensación más grande? La paz interior

19.¿Cuál es el resguardo más eficaz? El optimismo

20.¿Cuál es la mayor satisfacción? El deber cumplido

21.¿Cuál es la fuerza más potente del mundo? La fe

22.¿Quienes son las personas más necesarias? Los padres

23.¿Cuál es la cosa más bella de todas? El amor




Enseñarás a volar, pero no volarán tu vuelo;

enseñarás a soñar, pero no soñarán tu sueño;

enseñarás a vivir, pero no vivirán tu vida;

sin embargo…

en cada vuelo,

en cada sueño,

en cada vida,

perdurará siempre la huella del camino enseñado.



The following quotes are significantly paraphrased versions or personal interpretations of statements Mother Teresa made; they are not her authentic words:



All sicknesses have cures. The only one that cannot be cured is the sickness of feeling unloved.


Do not think that love in order to be genuine has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired. Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.


Do not wait for leaders: do it alone, person to person.


Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.


Everybody today seems to be in such a terrible rush, anxious for greater developments and greater riches and so on, so that children have very little time for their parents. Parents have very little time for each other, and in the home begins the disruption of peace of the world.


God doesn't require us to succeed; he only requires that you try.


How can there be too many children? That is like saying there are too many flowers!


I always say one thing. If a mother can kill her own child, then what is left of the West to be destroyed? It is difficult to explain, but it is just that.


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


I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.


I don’t do great things. I do small things with great passion.


I do not pray for success, I ask for faithfulness.


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?


I was once asked why I don't participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I'll be there.


If abortion isn't wrong, nothing is wrong.


If I look at the mass I will never act.


If we pray, we will believe; If we believe, we will love; If we love, we will serve.


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


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


If you judge people, you have no time to love them.


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


It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.


It is impossible to walk rapidly and be unhappy.


It is not the magnitude of our actions but the amount of love that is put into them that matters.


Jesus said love one another. He didn't say love the whole world.


Love is not patronizing and charity isn't about pity, it is about love. Charity and love are the same — with charity you give love, so don't just give money but reach out your hand instead.


Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.


Oh no. I haven't been called to serve the poor. My calling is to pour out my love on Jesus. It just so happens that I find Him among the poor.


Spread the love of God through your life but only use words when necessary.


Sweetest Lord, make me appreciative of the dignity of my high vocation, and its many responsibilities. Never permit me to disgrace it by giving way to coldness, unkindness, or impatience.


The highest form of worship is finding the least among you and treating them like Jesus.

The person who gives with a smile is the best giver because God loves a cheerful giver.


The success of love is in the loving - it is not in the result of loving. Of course it is natural in love to want the best for the other person, but whether it turns out that way or not does not determine the value of what we have done.


There are no great things to accomplish in this world, only small things done with great love.


There are no great things, only small things with great love. Happy are those.


There is a terrible hunger for love. We all experience that in our lives - the pain, the loneliness. We must have the courage to recognize it. The poor you may have right in your own family. Find them. Love them.


There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.


There must be a reason why some people can afford to live well. They must have worked for it. I only feel angry when I see waste. When I see people throwing away things that we could use.


We are all pencils in the hand of God.


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


We shall not waste our time in looking for extraordinary experiences in our life, but live by pure faith, ever watchful and ready for His coming by doing our day-to-day duties with extraordinary love and devotion.


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


What we need is to love without growing tired.


When you don't have anything, then you have everything.


These lists are not comprehensive.






(Updated July 19, 2010)


Text © Mother Teresa Center of the Missionaries of Charity





Mother Teresa Center

3835 National Avenue

San Diego, CA 92113






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