Mother Teresa | 10. Life and Death

10. Life and Death

"At the moment of death we will not be judged according to the number of good deeds we have done or by the diplomas we have received in our lifetime:

We will be judged according to the love we have put into our work."

Let us entrust our decision to God that has given so many saints to the Church, and in a city as beautiful as this one, never will one human being, old or young, woman or man, feel abandoned.

If such a thing were to happen, if you were to be witness to such an event, find out the location of the house of the Missionaries of Charity and let them know what is going on.

They will take care of the person or the persons who have been abandoned, firmly encouraged by their convection that the abandoned person is Christ himself.

Life is a gift that God has given us. That life is present even in the unborn.

A human hand should never end a life.

I am convinced that the screams of the children whose lives have been terminated before their birth reach God's ears.

War is the killing of human beings. Who can even think that it could ever be "just"?

The first person in the world to welcome Jesus, to recognize him in the womb of his own mother, was a child: John the Baptist.

It is wonderful; God chooses an unborn child to announce the coming of his redeeming Son.

As long as we make the best effort we are capable of, we cannot feel discouraged by our failures. We cannot claim any successes either. We should give God all the credit and be extremely sincere when we do so.

Do not kill the children. We will take care of them. That is why our orphanages are always filled with children.

In Calcutta there is a joke that goes like this: "Mother Teresa talks a lot about natural contraception, but the number of children around her keeps growing."

Some months ago (as you know, we also work at night) we went around Calcutta and picked up 5-6 people who were abandoned in the streets. They were in serious condition. That is why we took them to the Home for the Dying and for the Abandoned.

Among the people we picked up, there was a little old lady who, due to her extreme condition, was near the point of death.

I told the Sisters, "Take care of the rest. I will take care of her myself."

I was getting ready to put her in a bed when she took my hand and a beautiful simile appeared on her face. She only said, "Thank you," and died.

I assure you, she gave me much more than I had given her. She offered me her grateful love. I looked at her face for a few moments, asking myself, In her situation, what I would have done?

And I answered with honesty:

Surely I would have done all I could to draw attention to myself. I would have shouted, "I am hungry! I'm dying of thirst! I'm dying!"

She, on the other hand, was so grateful, so unselfish. She was so generous!

The poor, I do not tire of repeating this, are wonderful.

In my heart, I carry the last glances of the dying. I do all I can so that they feel loved at that most important moment when a seemingly useless existence can be redeemed.

I remember once when, from among the rubbish, I picked up an old lady who was dying:

I held her in my arms and took her in our home. She was aware of the fact that she was dying. She only kept repeating, bitterly, "My own son did this to me!"

She was not saying, "I am dying of hunger! I cannot bear it any longer!"

Her obsession was something else: "My own son has done this to me!" It took a long time to hear her say, "I forgive my son." She said it almost at the moment of her death.

To die in peace with God is the culmination of any human life.

Of those who have died in our houses, I have never seen anyone die in despair or cursing. They have all died serenely.

I took a man I had picked up from the street to our Home for the Dying in Calcutta.

When I was leaving, he told me, "I have lived like an animal on the streets, but I am going to die like an angel. I will die smiling."

He did die smiling, because he felt loved and surrounded by care.

That is the greatness of our poor!