What a life Mother Teresa had. That’s extreme service! Can you imagine spending your whole life with people who are suffering so much. To be giving every day under those conditions and not be concerned that you are going to catch one of the diseases they have. And then to balance that with all the rules and regulations of the church that she had to follow. But her love for the Beloved gave her strength. There are many beings like that. And there are many beings like that who don’t get any publicity at all.
Sometimes we do service in a visible way
so that more people can join and help.
Sometimes we do it in an invisible way
and nobody knows.
It’s claimed that it’s best if it’s never known. But that’s when it starts getting into ridiculous comparisons of what is better between two beautiful things.
The Toltec traditions say if anybody knows that we have done something of benefit, we didn’t do it well enough. Their goal is to reduce our egoistic self importance down to zero. That being the case, no credit is desired of any kind for anything that was being done. This is a totally different approach to things, but it is not the only beautiful way of serving.
The important thing is that these things are done
because there is a need for them to be done
and because people are in love, they do them.
It’s done because they realize the beauty
of this existence that we have.
A lot of these people that help have the ability not to be bitter about the people they help or about the circumstances that caused these kinds of a situations. When one sees people suffering from leprosy and they have such grotesque disfigurements, the natural inclination for many beings would be to question how a benevolent Beloved can allow this. Many, many times this question leads people to say that there is no Beloved or that they hate God. They feel that way because the misery is too much for them to handle. They become bitter and they won’t do anything.
Then there are beings that say, “I don’t know what the circumstances are or why these conditions exist. I wish it weren’t so. But here I am and I will do whatever I can.” Their eyes close to the reasons why help is needed. With that kind of an attitude they start to see that, although a lot of these beings are grotesque in physical appearance and have many problems, a lot of them also have an inner beauty that is magnificent. They start to see that those so-called ugly people are truly beautiful. And the people who are helping do not want to leave.
Over and over again they say that people who appear to be so ugly are really the most beautiful beings because they possess tremendous strength to be able to live even one day under the conditions of their lives. Imagine not to be able to do any of the things that so-called normal people do. Imagine living in tremendous pain day after day with no medicines, no food, no help, no attention from anybody, with nobody ever holding them.
Once the people who are helping start to participate,
they start to see that being beautiful on the outside
is just irrelevant and ultimately empty.
Sometimes it even seems as if the healthy beautiful people are ugly by comparison. And this is how the people who are helping can stay and actually enjoy their lives there.
There are also people that go to help because they want to inflict punishment or some sort of penance on themselves. But after a while they are not helping themselves. They are not helping anybody. For the long term, it has to be a situation where, in fact, the ones who are helping truly see beauty within the ugliness.