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Mother Teresa | 11. Smiles

11. Smiles

"Peace begins with a smile."

When suffering comes into our lives, we should accept it with a smile. This is the greatest gift from God:

to have the courage to accept everything he gives us and asks of us with a smile.

To smile at someone who is sad; to visit, even for a little while, someone who is lonely; to give someone shelter from the rain with our umbrella; to read something for someone who is blind:

these and others can be small things, very small things, but they are appropriate to give our love of God concrete expression to the poor.

I never will understand all the good that a simple smile can accomplish.

Sometimes it is harder for us to smile at those who live with us, the immediate members of our families, than it is to smile at those who are not so close to us.

Let us never forget: love begins at home.

Once, some years ago, a group of teachers from the United States came through Calcutta. After visiting the Home for the Dying in Kalighat, they came to see me:

Before they left, one of them asked me if I would say something that they could keep as a remembrance of the visit and that would also be useful to them.

"Smile at one another. Smile at your wives."(I have the feelings that we are in such a hurry that we do not even have time to look at one another and smile.)

One of them said, "Mother, it is obvious that you are not married!"

"Yes I am," I answered. "Sometimes it is very difficult for me to smile at Jesus because he asks too much of me."