|Mother Teresa receiving the Nobel Peace Prize|
Mother Teresa received, in 1979, the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition for her work. Here are large excerpts from her famous acceptance speech, held on December 10, 1979, in Oslo, Norway, in which she did not hesitate to stand up for Christian rights, and especially for the unborn:
Let us all together thank God for this beautiful occasion where we can all together proclaim the joy of spreading peace, the joy of loving one another and the joy acknowledging that the poorest of the poor are our brothers and sisters.
As we have gathered here to thank God for this gift of peace, I have given you all the prayer for peace that St. Francis of Assisi prayed many years ago, and I wonder if he must have felt the need what we feel today to pray for. I think you have all got that paper? We’ll say it together:
“Lord, make me a channel of your peace, that where there is hatred, I may bring love; that where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness; that where there is discord, I may bring harmony; that where there is error, I may bring truth; that where there is doubt, I may bring faith; that where there is despair, I may bring hope; that where there are shadows, I may bring light; that where there is sadness, I may bring joy.
“Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort than to be comforted; to understand, than to be understood; to love, than to be loved. For it is by forgetting self, that one finds. It is by forgiving that one is forgiven. It is by dying, that one awakens to eternal life. Amen.”
God loved the world so much that He gave His son and He gave Him to a virgin, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and she, the moment He came in her life, went in haste to give Him to others. And what did she do then? She did the work of the handmaid, just so. Just spread that joy of loving to service.
And Jesus Christ loved you and loved me, and He gave His life for us, and as if that was not enough for Him, He kept on saying: “Love as I have loved you, as I love you now.” And we have to love, to love in the giving. For He gave His life for us. And He keeps on giving, and He keeps on giving right here everywhere in our own lives and in the lives of others.
It was not enough for Him to die for us; He wanted that we loved one another, that we see Him in each other, that’s why He said: “Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God.”
And to make sure that we understand what He means, He said that at the hour of death we are going to be judged on what we have been to the poor, to the hungry, naked, the homeless, and He makes Himself that hungry one, that naked one, that homeless one, not only hungry for bread, but hungry for love, not only naked for a piece of cloth, but naked of that human dignity, not only homeless for a room to live, but homeless for that being forgotten, been unloved, uncared, being nobody to nobody, having forgotten what is human love, what is human touch, what it is to be loved by somebody, and He says: “Whatever you did to the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.”
It is so beautiful for us to become holy to this love, for holiness is not a luxury of the few; it is a simple duty for each one of us, and through this love we can become holy. To this love for one another, and today when I have received this reward, I personally am most unworthy, and I having avowed poverty to be able to understand the poor, I choose the poverty of our people. But I am grateful and I am very happy to receive it in the name of the hungry, of the naked, of the homeless, of the crippled, of the blind, of the leprous, of all those people who feel unwanted, unloved, uncared, thrown away by society, people who have become a burden to the society, and are ashamed by everybody.
In their name I accept the award. And I am sure this award is going to bring an understanding love between the rich and the poor. And this is what Jesus has insisted so much, that is why Jesus came to earth, to proclaim the good news to the poor. And through this award and through all of us gathered here together, we are wanting to proclaim the good news to the poor that God loves them, that we love them, that they are somebody to us, that they too have been created by the same loving hand of God, to love and to be loved. (…)
|Mother Teresa and John Paul II: two great friends and two great saints. John Paul II said in 1996: “A nation that kills its own children is a nation without hope.”|
And I feel one thing I want to share with you all, the greatest destroyer of peace today is the cry of the innocent unborn child. For if a mother can murder her own child in her womb, what is left for you and for me to kill each other? Even in the Scripture it is written: “Even if a mother could forget her child, I will not forget you, I have carved you in the palm of my hand.” (Isaiah 49:15-16.) Even if a mother could forget, but today millions of unborn children are being killed. And we say nothing. In the newspapers you read numbers of this one and that one being killed, this being destroyed, but nobody speaks of the millions of little ones who have been conceived to the same life as you and I, to the life of God, and we say nothing, we allow it. To me the nations who have legalized abortion, they are the poorest nations. They are afraid of the little one, they are afraid of the unborn child, and the child must die because they don’t want to feed one more child, to educate one more child; the child must die.
And here I ask you, in the name of these little ones, for it was that unborn child that recognized the presence of Jesus when Mary came to visit Elizabeth, her cousin. As we read in the Gospel, the moment Mary came into the house, the little one in the womb of His mother, lift with joy, recognized the Prince of Peace.
And so today, let us here make a strong resolution: we are going to save every little child, every unborn child, give them a chance to be born. And what we are doing, we are fighting abortion by adoption, and the good God has blessed the work so beautifully that we have saved thousands of children, and thousands of children have found a home where they are loved, they are wanted, they are cared. We have brought so much joy in the homes where there was not a child, and so today, I ask His Majesties here before you, all who come from different countries, let us all pray that we have the courage to stand by the unborn child, and give the child an opportunity to love and to be loved, and I think with God’s grace we will be able to bring peace in the world. We have an opportunity here in Norway. You are with God’s blessing; you are well to do. But I am sure in the families and many of our homes, maybe we are not hungry for a piece of bread, but maybe there is somebody there in the family who is unwanted, unloved, uncared, forgotten, there isn’t love. Love begins at home. And love to be true has to hurt. (…)
I want you to love the poor, and never turn your back to the poor, for in turning your back to the poor, you are turning it to Christ. For He had made Himself the hungry one, the naked one, the homeless one, so that you and I have an opportunity to love Him, because where is God? How can we love God? It is not enough to say to my God I love you, but my God, I love you here. I can enjoy this, but I give it up. I could eat that sugar, but I give that sugar up.
If I stay here the whole day and the whole night, you would be surprised of the beautiful things that people do, to share the joy of giving. And so, my prayer for you is that truth will bring prayer in our homes, and from the foot of prayer will be that we believe that in the poor it is Christ. And we will really believe, we will begin to love. And we will love naturally, we will try to do something. First in our own home, the next door neighbor in the country we live, in the whole world.
And let us all join in that one prayer, that God give us courage to protect the unborn child, for the child is the greatest gift of God to a family, to a nation and to the whole world. God bless you!
Saint Teresa of Calcutta