|Giving in the most selfless way
is the thing Mother Teresa knows most about. When asked about her life,
she points to her work. She was born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu in 1910 in
Skopje. Yugoslavia, the daughter of a grocer. By the age of 12 she
realized she wanted to serve the poor and at 18 began her novitiate in
Darjeeling, India. She chose the name Mary Teresa after Saint Therese of
Lisieux, a 19th century Carmelite, who wrote on doing God's work through
the humblest tasks.
Though in the early days of the Missionaries of Charity the sisters begged -- as much a symbol of humility and alliance with the poor as a mode of getting aid -- Mother Teresa no longer solicits funds. "Money is no problem," she insists. "The Lord sends it. We do His work; He provides the means. And donations, from buildings to blankets to helping hands always appear -- though a bit of holy finagling helps.
Mother Teresa today is, as ever, dynamic, full of humor and utterly dedicated to helping the poor. Although she believes in praying. she says that prayer without action is no prayer at all. "You have to do your work as if everything depends on you." she says, "then leave the rest to God."