Monday morning I came across the following picture quote on facebook by Mother Teresa “Love to be real, must cost, it must hurt, it must empty us of self.”
Then I looked below and noticed the following comment “Mother Teresa was a sadist.”
To be fair, when I first read that quote, I got a bit uncomfortable too.
Isn’t that the point though? Doesn’t our earthly identity desire increased comfort as a sign of progress? More money, recognition, in short independence. Why would you want to sign up for something that hurts? Doesn’t enduring pain imply failure or stalemate at best?
For me, the key to understanding this quote is to look at it through the lens of personal progress to date.
When you do things for others that you considered being too painful in the past, and now the pain is just a fact, not a deciding factor: It means that you are growing in love. Your focus is shifting from the inside to the outside. From the created to the un-Created. You do it because there’s a deeper meaning. Something that can’t be quantified, but only unlocked and experienced through sacrifice; Much like resurrection couldn’t have come without crucifixion.
It’s very tempting to make perfect the enemy of good. I myself used to admire people like Mother Teresa and yet dismiss her as an impossible example to follow.
Now I take joy in the love baby steps. For example, I am surprised by how I actually enjoy doing chores around the house. To the point, I sometimes pause and wander why am I not trying to find an excuse out of it. I used to be so good at it:)
Is it a mark of a saint? Probably not …
Is it a sign I am getting closer to God? For sure!
Is this an experience that will encourage more giving in other areas … as always … working on it!
In fact, the other day my wife asked me to be more proactive in offering help in cleaning up after dinner and I said yes … with a smile:)
What used to feel too painful to do for others, but no longer is? How is it bringing you closer to God?
Searching for something better? Don’t know what you want? What’s missing?
This five minute, Love Proficiency Quiz℠ will enable you to look at your situation through a much more eternal perspective.
Why love proficiency? Isn’t true love what you’re really after? Love in your relationships, loving what you do, inspiring love in others … Take the quiz to find out how you can bring more thriving love into your life.