"Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it
unto one of the least of these my brethren,
ye have done it unto me."
—Jesus, as recorded in Matthew 25:40
She seems always to have been part of my life. I can see her clearly in memory: small, stooped, wearing a blue-trimmed white sari. She was a Catholic nun who dedicated her life to serving not just the poor, but the poorest of the poor: "the least of these," if you will. It did not matter to her if those she served were Catholic. I am not a Catholic, but I admired her. She was brave in doing good.
Today, she was made a saint—Saint Teresa, Pope Francis said; though he admitted that we would continue to call her "Mother." So it will be "Mother Teresa" still, not "Saint Teresa." It is a fitting term of endearment for someone widely loved.
Here are some of my favorite quotes from Mother Teresa:
Do not think that love in order to be genuine has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired. Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.
God doesn't require you to succeed, he only requires that you try.
At the end of life we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, how many great things we have done. We will be judged by "I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat. I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless, and you took me in.”
Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.
She challenged us—Catholics and non-Catholics—to do better than we were doing: to make the actions of our lives match the ideas that we believe. Let us, indeed, begin.
Bach, Prelude and Fugue in C Major, BWV 545
Bach's compositions for the organ are, to my mind, some of the greatest treasures of humanity. It is staggering to think that, week after week, year after year, Bach composed original music for each Sunday service. Diaries and letters of the day note that his services were always crowded.
The British born American concert organist E. Power Biggs (1906 - 1977) is considered one of the great interpreters of Bach. Here is his performance of Bach's glittering Prelude and Fugue in C Major, BWV 545 (from the album Bach: Toccata and Fugue, Preludes and Fugues—E. Power Biggs):
I created "Mistakes in Kindness," the image above, in 2006. It is based on Mandelbrot fractals. The title is from a quote by Mother Teresa: "I would rather make mistakes in kindness and compassion than work miracles in unkindness and hardness."