Let Mother Teresa be your new ‘life coach’

April 8, 2010

Bobz Book Reviews

mother teresa cover

“In the Heart of the World,”

by Mother Teresa,

edited by Becky Benenate

You and I  don’t have to travel to Calcutta to follow Mother Teresa’s advice.

This new little, New World Library collection of her thoughts, stories and prayers will let each of us do what she advises right where we are.

Because it is only 105 small pages and because Mother Teresa used simple language, not heavy theology, to share her wisdom, you will be tempted to read “In the Heart of the World” in one setting.

Don’t to it.

Because these excerpts from her writing and from her teaching of her Missionaries of Charity are so inspiring and her stories so well told, they can be read quickly and easily.

Resist the temptation.

Read just a chapter a day. Better yet, read just one thought, one story or one prayer each day, and give those words time to rattle around in your brain and be absorbed. Because you and I can do all that Mother Teresa suggests. We can:

  • Smile five times a day at someone you really don’t want to smile at at all.
  • Take the time to listen to someone who has no one else to listen to them.
  • Let go of our fear of giving.
  • Work at not being preoccupied with the failures of others, have the courage to accept them as they are and find the good in them.

Lessons by the score

Mother Teresa has so much to teach us.  Take this example:

“There is much suffering in the world — very much. Material suffering is suffering from hunger, suffering from homelessness, from all kinds of disease, but I still think that the greatest suffering is being lonely, feeling unloved, just having no one. I have come more and more to realize that being unwanted is the worst disease that any human being can ever experience.”

Or this:

“When you look at the inner workings of electrical things, you often see small and big wires, new and old, cheap and expensive, all lined up. Until the current passes through them, there will be no light. That wire is you and me. The current is God. We have the power to let the current pass through us, use us, produce the light of the world. Or we can refuse to be used and allow darkness to spread.”

She repeats a phrase several times that challenges us to remember Chapter 25 of Matthew’s Gospel; it’s a reminder that we must see Jesus in “the distressing disguise of the poor.” What a powerful way to put that, the distressing disguise.

The stories she shares about the work of her sisters with the poorest of the poor are just as powerful.

But don’t drink them all at once. Sip. — bz

Check for availability at religious good stores or order through http://www.newworldlibrary.com

About Bob Zyskowski

Bob is the Client Products Manager for the Communications Office of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. A 42-year veteran of the Catholic Press, he is the former Associate Publisher of The Catholic Spirit. You can follow him on twitter or email him at zyskowskir@archspm.org.

View all posts by Bob Zyskowski