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75 Most Inspirational Mother Teresa Quotes

Artistic representation of Mother Teresa in a colorful mosaic style, with a beaming smile and her signature white headscarf edged with blue stripes.

Mother Teresa — a figure synonymous with compassion and dedication to the poorest of the poor — left an indelible mark on the world through her humanitarian work. 

Her life — dedicated to serving the sick, the destitute, and the dying in the slums of Kolkata, India — earned her the Nobel Peace Prize and the admiration of people worldwide. 

Known for her quotes on love, service, and charity, Mother Teresa’s words continue to inspire acts of kindness and selflessness.

However, her legacy is not without controversy. Critics have pointed out aspects of her work and her organization’s operations that spark debate on the nature of sainthood, the ethics of suffering, and the complexities of charity. These discussions add a layer of nuance to her figure, reminding us that heroes are also human — with actions and decisions that can be examined from multiple perspectives.

Despite these critiques, Mother Teresa’s quotes capture universal truths about compassion, humility, and the importance of doing small things with great love. 

In this article, we’ve selected quotes that reflect the depth of her commitment to helping others — offering insights into a life lived in service to humanity. 

Her words serve as a call to look beyond ourselves and contribute, in whatever way we can, to the welfare of others…

The Best Mother Teresa Quotes

Famous Mother Teresa Quotes

“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”
— Mother Teresa

“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” — Mother Teresa

“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.”
— Mother Teresa

“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.” — Mother Teresa

“We fear the future because we are wasting today.”
— Mother Teresa

“We fear the future because we are wasting today.” — Mother Teresa

“Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.”
— Mother Teresa

“Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.” — Mother Teresa

“The best way to succeed in life is to act on the advice we give to others.”
— Mother Teresa

“The best way to succeed in life is to act on the advice we give to others.” — Mother Teresa

“There is a light in this world, a healing spirit more powerful than any darkness we may encounter.”
— Mother Teresa

“There is a light in this world, a healing spirit more powerful than any darkness we may encounter.” — Mother Teresa

“If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.”
— Mother Teresa

“If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.” — Mother Teresa

“We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.”
— Mother Teresa

“We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.” — Mother Teresa

“Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.”
— Mother Teresa

“Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.” — Mother Teresa

About Life

“Be happy in the moment, that’s enough. Each moment is all we need, not more.”
— Mother Teresa

“Be happy in the moment, that’s enough. Each moment is all we need, not more.” — Mother Teresa

“Life is a song, sing it. Life is a struggle, accept it.”
— Mother Teresa

“Yes, you must live life beautifully and not allow the spirit of the world that makes gods out of power, riches, and pleasure make you to forget that you have been created for greater things.”
— Mother Teresa

“Life is an opportunity, benefit from it. Life is beauty, admire it. Life is a dream, realize it.”
— Mother Teresa

“Some people come in our life as blessings. Some come in your life as lessons.”
— Mother Teresa

“Profound joy of the heart is like a magnet that indicates the path of life.”
— Mother Teresa

“Life is a game, play it… Life is too precious, do not destroy it.”
— Mother Teresa

“There is no key to happiness. The door is always open.”
— Mother Teresa

“There is no key to happiness. The door is always open.” — Mother Teresa‍

→ Read more quotes about life

On Love 

“The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.”
— Mother Teresa

“The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.” — Mother Teresa

“If we really want to love, we must learn how to forgive.”
— Mother Teresa

“There are no great things, only small things with great love. Happy are those.”
— 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.”
— Mother Teresa

“People are unrealistic, illogical, and self-centered. Love them anyway.”
— Mother Teresa

“I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.”
— Mother Teresa

“Love is a fruit in season at all times and within reach of every hand.”
— Mother Teresa

“Love is a fruit in season at all times and within reach of every hand.” — Mother Teresa

On Family

“We must make our homes centers of compassion and forgive endlessly.”
— Mother Teresa

“We must make our homes centers of compassion and forgive endlessly.” — Mother Teresa

“If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.”
— Mother Teresa

“Let us make one point, that we meet each other with a smile, when it is difficult to smile. Smile at each other, make time for each other in your family.”
— Mother Teresa

“Love begins by taking care of the closet ones — the ones at home.”
— Mother Teresa

“Love begins by taking care of the closet ones — the ones at home.” — Mother Teresa

On Humanity

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”
— Mother Teresa

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” — Mother Teresa

“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”
— Mother Teresa

“We d0 not need guns and bombs to bring peace, we need love and compassion.”
— Mother Teresa, The Joy in Loving: A Guide to Daily Living

“What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.”
— Mother Teresa

“The problem with the world is that we draw the circle of our family too small.”
— Mother Teresa

“I am everything. Every country I love and I am a child of God to love the humans.”
— Mother Teresa

“Go out into the world today and love the people you meet. Let your presence light a new light in the hearts of people.”
— Mother Teresa

“Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough; give the world the best you’ve got anyway.”
— Mother Teresa

“Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough; give the world the best you’ve got anyway.” — Mother Teresa

→ Read more quotes about humanity

On Service

“What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight; build it anyway.”
— Mother Teresa

“What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight; build it anyway.” — Mother Teresa

“If you can’t feed a hundred people, feed just one.”
— Mother Teresa

“Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time and always start with the person nearest you.”
— Mother Teresa

“I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.”
— Mother Teresa

“Work without love is slavery.”
— Mother Teresa

“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”
— Mother Teresa

“Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.
— Mother Teresa

“Not handouts, but rather hands held.”
— Mother Teresa

“The fruit of love is service, which is compassion in action.”
— Mother Teresa

“If we pray, we will believe; if we believe, we will love; if we love, we will serve.”
— Mother Teresa

“If we pray, we will believe; if we believe, we will love; if we love, we will serve.” — Mother Teresa

→ Read more quotes about making a difference

On Kindness

“Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.”
— Mother Teresa

“Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.” — Mother Teresa

“If you are humble nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are.”
— Mother Teresa

“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”
— Mother Teresa

“I prefer you to make mistakes in kindness than work miracles in unkindness.”
— Mother Teresa

“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”
— Mother Teresa

“Be kind and merciful. Let no one ever come to you without coming away better and happier.”
— Mother Teresa

“Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love.”
— Mother Teresa

“Whenever you share love with others, you’ll notice the peace that comes to you and to them.”
— Mother Teresa

“Whenever you share love with others, you’ll notice the peace that comes to you and to them.” — Mother Teresa‍

→ Read more quotes about kindness

Short Quotes

“Peace begins with a smile.”
— Mother Teresa

“Peace begins with a smile.” — Mother Teresa‍

“We cannot give what we have not got.”
— Mother Teresa

“God doesn’t require us to succeed, he only requires that you try.”
— Mother Teresa

“Life is a challenge, we must take it.”
— Mother Teresa

“I do not pray for success; I ask for faithfulness.”
— Mother Teresa

“You are greater than you know.”
— Mother Teresa

“You are greater than you know.” — Mother Teresa

“One filled with joy preaches without preaching.”
— Mother Teresa

“God speaks in the silence of the heart.”
— Mother Teresa

“Loneliness is the most terrible form of poverty.”
— Mother Teresa

“Never be so busy as not to think of others.”
— Mother Teresa

“Live simply so others may simply live.”
— Mother Teresa

“Live simply so others may simply live.” — Mother Teresa

→ Read more short quotes

More Mother Teresa Quotes

“Do not allow yourselves to be disheartened by any failure as long as you have done your best.”
— Mother Teresa

“Do not allow yourselves to be disheartened by any failure as long as you have done your best.” — Mother Teresa

“I used to believe that prayer changes things, but now I know that prayer changes us, and we can change things.”
— Mother Teresa

“Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.”
— Mother Teresa

“We must know that we have been created for greater things, not just to be a number in the world, not just to go for diplomas and degrees, this work and that work. We have been created in order to love and to be loved.”
— Mother Teresa

“Even the rich are hungry for love, for being cared for, for being wanted, for having someone to call their own.”
— Mother Teresa

“One of the greatest diseases is to be nobody to anybody.”
— Mother Teresa

“Without patience, we will learn less in life. We will see less. We will feel less. We will hear less. Ironically, rush and more usually mean less.”
— Mother Teresa

“Without patience, we will learn less in life. We will see less. We will feel less. We will hear less. Ironically, rush and more usually mean less.” — Mother Teresa‍

“If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies, succeed anyway.”
— Mother Teresa

“Keep the corners of your mouth turned up. Speak in a low, persuasive tone. Listen; be teachable. Laugh at good stories and learn to tell them… For as long as you are green, you can grow.”
— Mother Teresa

“Joy is prayer; joy is strength; joy is love; joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls.”
— Mother Teresa

“Joy is prayer; joy is strength; joy is love; joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls.” — Mother Teresa

Article Details

February 9, 2024 7:53 PM
Graphic Quote: Because you are alive, everything is possible. — Thich Nhat Hanh

59 Most Iconic Quotes from Thich Nhat Hanh

Born in Vietnam in 1926, his lifelong efforts to promote peace and reconciliation during and after the Vietnam War earned him a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize by Martin Luther King Jr.
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