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Sep 01, 2021 382 Shalom Tidings
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Saintly Musings: I Have Confidence In…

On a scorching afternoon she walked down the street. There was nothing left for the children at the orphanage, so she went begging. Upon reaching a nearby tea shop, she held out her hand imploring the shopkeeper to give something for her hapless children.

The man spat into her palm. Without hesitation, she gently wiped her hand with the edge of her sari and held out the other hand. She spoke in an even low voice, “I am grateful to you for what you have given me. I request you not to spit on this hand, but give something for my children.”

The shopkeeper stood astonished at her humility. He asked her pardon and the incident marked a tremendous change in him. From then on, he became a generous contributor to the welfare of the children in her orphanage. The woman clad in white sari with blue border was none other than Mother Teresa of Calcutta.

Humility, according to Saint Teresa of Calcutta, is the mother of all virtues. She taught that “If you are humble nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are. If you are blamed you will not be discouraged. If they call you a Saint you will not put yourself on a pedestal.”

Today humility is often misunderstood. Some take it as self-deprecation. But many Saints understood that humility is the way to hammer out good selfesteem by depending on God rather than oneself.

Did Mother Teresa suffer from low self-esteem? Of course not. Otherwise, how could she have dared to speak against abortion at the National Prayer Breakfast in 1993 right in front of President Bill Clinton, Vice President Al Gore, and their spouses?

Too often we rely on ourselves, and that becomes the greatest block to growing closer to God. By putting on the virtue of humility, Mother Teresa grew ever closer to God and became a living embodiment of Saint Paul’s pronouncement, “I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).

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