Wisdom & Humility #3

I posted earlier about the connection between wisdom and humility. In order to be wise, we must practice becoming humble. Here’s some advice from Mother Teresa about how to do that:

  1. Speak as little as possible of oneself
  2. Mind one’s own business
  3. Don’t try to manage the affairs of others
  4. Avoid curiosity (this is a difficult one for me!)
  5. Accept contradiction and correction cheerfully (another hard one)
  6. Pass over the mistakes of others
  7. Accept insults and injuries
  8. Accept being slighted, forgotten and disliked
  9. Don’t seek to be specially loved and admired
  10. Be kind and gentle even under provocation (oh my!)
  11. Never stand on one’s dignity
  12. Yield in discussion even though one is right
  13. Choose always the hardest

These are not Mother Teresa’s own words, but come from a book she loved, This Tremendous Love (1946) by Dom Eugene Boylan. The only original line is the last, “choose always the hardest.” These words are the lynch pin of the spiritual formation she taught to the sisters of her order, the Missionaries of Charity.

“If you are humble, nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are.” Mother Teresa

For more about humility see these posts:

Litany of Humility

The Gift of Humility

It’s Hard to be Humble!

A Prayer of Surrender from Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Dear Jesus, help me to spread your fragrance everywhere I go. Flood my soul with your spirit and life. Penetrate and possess my whole being so utterly that my life may only be a radiance of yours. Shine through me and be so in me that every soul I come in contact with may feel your presence in my soul. Let them look up and no longer see me, only Jesus. Amen

 But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere.  For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. [16] To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task?”  2 Corinthians 2:14-16

For more about Mother Teresa see these posts:

What About the Women?

Hopeful Saints

Dedicated continued ….

Dedicated continued ….

I recently posted about the word, dedicated . When we dedicate our lives to God, they become holy. This does not necessarily mean we must do “big” things. Rather, as Mother Teresa said,

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

In this way, every daily activity becomes a sacred practice when we offer it to God.

These quotes from my daily devotional seemed to sum it up well:

We do not always perceive that even the writing of a note of congratulation, the fabrication of something intended as an offering of affection, our necessary (interaction) with characters which have no congeniality with us, or hours apparently trifled away in the domestic circle, may be made by us the performance of a most sacred and blessed work–even the carrying out, after our feeble measure, of the design of God for the increase of happiness.” From Anna or Passages From Home Life

“Definite work is not always that which is cut and squared for us, but that which comes as a claim upon the conscience, whether it’s nursing in a hospital, or hemming a handkerchief.” Elizabeth M. Sewell