Talk:Mother Teresa

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I have seen people all over the internet saying Kent Keith wrote this first--is there any solid evidence of this claim, or just his word against Mother Teresa's? She was born in 1910--it seems very unlikely that she was reading Student Leadership manuals of motivational speaking in 1968, or whenever Keith claims to have written this--and even more unlikely that Mother Theresa decided to steal from him. The claim that he originally wrote these famous words reads like a viral marketing campaign to sell books. Thoughts?

The list of paradoxical commandments (... "love people anyway", etc.) was not originally written by Mother Teresa. It was written by Kent Keith (if that's how you spell his name). I have heard that there was a poster of these commandments at her mission, though, and this may be the source of the confusion. How does one correct this misattribution here?

"It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish." Very similar forms of this quote are given twice. They are slightly different, so some way of determining the exact wording must be made.

please tell me of what importance it is to have the "exact" wording... it is possible and very probable she spoke the same quote more than once.. can you repeat the same quote the exact same way every time? I cannot.

Here is a detailed reference of how this came to be misattributed to Mother Teresa:


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  • A sacrifice to be real, must cost, must hurt, must empty ourselves. The fruit of silence is prayer, the fruit of prayer is faith, the fruit of faith is love, the fruit of love is service, the fruit of service is peace. EWTN Global Catholic Network (
  • I have found the paradox that if I love until it hurts, then there is no hurt, but only more love.
  • 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 we have no peace, it is because we forget we belong to each other.
  • If you judge people, you have no time to love them.
  • It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.
  • It is not how much we do, but how much love we put in the doing. It is not how much we give, but how much love we put in the giving.
  • Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless....
  • Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty.
  • Love has a hem to her garment that reaches to the very dust. It sweeps the stains from the streets and lanes, and because it can, it must.
  • Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within reach of every hand.
  • Men do no great things, only small things with great love.
  • Peace begins with a smile.
  • Smile at each other, smile at your wife, smile at your husband, smile at your children, smile at each other - it doesn't matter who it is - and that will help you to grow up in greater love for each other.
  • The dying, the cripple, the mental, the unwanted, the unloved they are Jesus in disguise.
  • The greatest science in the world; in heaven and on earth; is love.
  • The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.
  • 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 is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.
  • We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But if that drop was not in the ocean, I think the ocean would be less because of that missing drop. I do not agree with the big way of doing things.
  • When I see waste here, I feel angry on the inside. I don't approve of myself getting angry. But it's something you can't help after seeing Ethiopia.
  • When I was crossing into Gaza, I was asked at the checkpost whether I was carrying any weapons. I replied: Oh yes, my prayer books.
  • Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come.We have only today. Let us begin.
  • We the willing, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much, with so little, for so long, we are now qualified to do anything, with nothing.
  • Alternately: We the willing, led by the unknowing, have done so much, with so little, for so long, that we are now qualified to make anything out of nothing.
  • If abortion is not wrong, nothing is wrong.