Mother Theresa’s Nobel Lecture

I don’t think I’d ever actually read it before. Came across a quotation from it this morning so I decided to look it up. The quotation I came across was regarding abortion. I’m surprised I don’t hear it more often, given how universally respected Mother Theresa is. (The English was a bit broken up – it isn’t typos from me.)

There are things that break peace, but I feel the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a direct war, a direct killing – direct murder by the mother herself. As we read in the Scripture, for God says very clearly: Even if a mother could forget her child – I will not forget you – I have carved you in the palm of my hand… And that is what strikes me most, the beginning of that sentence, that even if a mother could forget something impossible – but even if she could forget – I will not forget you… Many people are very, very concerned with the children in India, with the children in Africa where quite a number die, maybe of malnutrition, of hunger and so on, but millions are dying deliberately by the will of the mother. And this is what is the greatest destroyer of peace today. Because if a mother can kill her own child – what is left for me to kill you and you kill me – there is nothing between.

And then,

I believe that we are not real social workers. We may be doing social work in the eyes of the people, but we are really contemplatives in the heart of the world. For we are touching the Body of Christ 24 hours. We have 24 hours in this presence, and so you and I. You too try to bring that presence of God in your family, for the family that prays together stays together.

(I wonder if that was a cliche before her, or if she created the cliche.) And finally,

…we read that in the Gospel very clearly – love as I have loved you – as I love you – as the Father has loved me, I love you – and the harder the Father loved him, he gave him to us, and how much we love one another, we, too, must give each other until it hurts. It is not enough to say: I love God, but I do not love my neighbor. St. John says you are a liar if you say you love God and you don’t love your neighbor. How can you love God whom you do not see, if you do not love your neighbor whom you see, whom you touch, with whom you live. And so this is very important for us to realise that love, to be true, has to hurt. It hurt Jesus to love us, it hurt him.

I’m sure a speech like that isn’t exactly typical Nobel fare!

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