'In the silence of the heart God speaks': 10 inspiring quotes from Mother Theresa

ReutersMother Teresa attends to a patient in her home for the dying in Calcutta's teeming slum on February 2, 1986.

Mother Teresa, the Albanian nun who spent years caring for the poor in the slums of Calcutta, is to be canonised by Pope Francis on September 4. Though there are many quotes that are wrongly attributed to her, she spoke throughout her life on her favourite themes: love, God, poverty and family.

Here are ten of her most inspiring quotes.

1. "When you know how much God is in love with you then you can only live your life radiating that love."

2. "I want you to find the poor here, right in your own home first. And begin love there. Be that good news to your own people. And find out about your next-door neighbour – do you know who they are?... see this is where love begins – at home."

3. "We can cure physical diseases with medicine, but the only cure for loneliness, despair, and hopelessness is love. There are many in the world who are dying for a piece of bread but there are many more dying for a little love. The poverty in the West is a different kind of poverty – it is not only a poverty of loneliness but also of spirituality. There's a hunger for love, as there is a hunger for God."

4. "Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love."

5. "In the silence of the heart God speaks. If you face God in prayer and silence, God will speak to you. Then you will know that you are nothing. It is only when you realise your nothingness, your emptiness, that God can fill you with Himself. Souls of prayer are souls of great silence." 

6. "I pray that you will understand the words of Jesus, 'Love one another as I have loved you.' Ask yourself 'How has he loved me? Do I really love others in the same way?' Unless this love is among us, we can kill ourselves with work and it will only be work, not love. Work without love is slavery."

7. "Hungry for love, He looks at you. Thirsty for kindness, He begs of you. Naked for loyalty, He hopes in you. Homeless for shelter in your heart, He asks of you. Will you be that one to Him?"

8. "It is easy to love the people far away. It is not always easy to love those close to us. It is easier to give a cup of rice to relieve hunger than to relieve the loneliness and pain of someone unloved in our own home. Bring love into your home for this is where our love for each other must start."

9. "When a poor person dies of hunger it has not happened because God did not take care of him or her. It has happened because neither you nor I wanted to give that person what he or she needed."

10. "You can find Calcutta anywhere in the world. You only need two eyes to see. Everywhere in the world there are people that are not loved, people that are not wanted nor desired, people that no one will help, people that are pushed away or forgotten. And this is the greatest poverty."

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