Friday, July 09, 2010
Peace begins with a smile
“Peace begins with a smile” – Blessed Mother Teresa. These words have always stuck with me. How much a smile can do. Nia, Dee and I were talking with a Mexican family outside their apartments and were giving them the gift of a rosary when Junior runs around the corner and says, “Are they free?” -in his little Hispanic accent and he was so EXCITED and we gave him one and he ran inside and then ran back out for another for his mom and then he ran inside and gave it to her and then he ran back out to get one for his sister and then he and his sister Marci came back out and we were there talking and enjoying one another’s company for at least ½ hour, Praise God. And Junior is just a bundle of energy at nine years old and he grabbed the flag and I said that is holy and so he stood near the street held it proudly and waved it and I said !Vive la Iglesia Catolica! He was so dear that Dee whipped out her camera and right before she got the shot Junior noticed and closed his mouth. He knew his teeth weren’t perfect so he did not want to smile. He has such a beautiful smile and Dee with her hilariousness got him to smile. How much good a smile brings to the world. There is a story, a man was walking to the bridge to jump off it and he passed someone who smiled at him, someone recognized that he is a human being with dignity and he chose life. Next time you see someone, especially someone who is lonely, try smiling at them. “A smile is the beginning of love”. In her acceptance speech of the Nobel Peace Prize in ‘79, Blessed Mother Teresa said, “Love begins at home. It isn’t how much we do, but how much love we put into what we do that really counts, for His love is infinite.” Mother Teresa talks about knowing the poor. You don’t need to go to Calcutta to help the poor, first recognize the poor in your own homes, in your own families, is there someone who feels very lonely, unloved or unwanted?- this is real poverty she says, the poverty of the West. She continues on to tell those at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony, “I want you to go and find the poor in your homes. Above all your love has to start there. I want you to be the good news to those around you. I want you to be concerned about your neighbor. Do you know who your neighbor is? Who are your neighbors?” Everything for Mother Teresa, everything, is prayer. In fact she confessed, “My secret is I pray”. “Prayer enlarges the heart until it is capable of containing God’s gift of Himself”, God is love. She repeats, “Remember where your love starts: in the home … But I think that if you look inside your own homes, you may notice how hard it is for you to smile at one another sometimes! And yet smiling is the beginning of love. Let’s be willing to smile at one another. Yes, a smile is the beginning of love. And once we begin to love one another, the desire to do something more naturally follows.” She concludes her acceptance speech of the Nobel Peace Prize with a challenge, “Let’s concentrate on a worthwhile goal: that no child be unwanted, that no person go unloved. And let’s not stop smiling at whomever we meet, especially when it is hard to smile. I’ll never forget some time ago when around fourteen professors from different universities in the United States came to visit one of our homes in Calcutta. … One of them asked me, ‘Mother tell us something that we can remember.’ I told them, ‘Smile at each other. Take some time for each other in your families. Smile.’ Then one of them asked me, ‘Are you married?’ I said, ‘Yes and sometimes I find it very difficult to smile at Jesus because he can be so demanding. It’s true. But that is where you can see love best. When it is most demanding and you give cheerfully in spite of that, that is love at its best.”
Blessed Mother Teresa thank God for your life, please intercede for us all, that we may receive God’s love with a pure heart and be given the courage to love one another as Jesus loves us and to smile with a smile radiant with joy! Pray that prayer and love and peace may grow in each of our families and bring great joy and glory to God. Amen. Immaculate Heart of Mary, Cause of Our Joy, pray for us!
Who we are?
Conversion begins in our own hearts,which is why prayer is so important to our ministry. For this reason, everyday of our ten week walk begins with daily Mass. By receiving Christ in the Eucharist, we are given the grace to be the Love of Christ not only to those in our community but also to those we meet in the streets.
We walk throughout the day to be a witness of love. We are grounded in prayer-we pray with our lips, our hearts, and our bodies. In walking an average of twenty-five miles per day, we offer our fatigue as a gift of love to Christ and the people we meet. Our walking is both sacrifice and prayer.