I love Saint Teresa of Calcutta’s version of Kent Keith’s poem. I heard it yesterday in the homily and have been reflecting on it since. It is a beautiful reminder that the world can present many challenges, but we should choose to love one another ANYWAY. There are no guarantees of reward for making the right choices here on earth, but God will always notice.
People are often unreasonable, illogical and self centered;
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies;
If you are honest and sincere, people may deceive you;
Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight;
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, will often be forgotten;
Do good anyway.
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough;
Give your best anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God;-Saint Teresa of Calcutta
It was never between you and them anyway.
Saint Teresa of Calcutta’s words may seem elementary, but wow how challenging it feels sometimes to follow her advice and do the right thing. It all comes back to integrity and character. God sees when you helped the poor, or spent a lot of your free time giving back. He knows when you are tired yet still find the energy to show up for your people, or go out of your way to help a friend. We are all called to live our lives with compassion, grace and service for others. Even when nobody else knows your challenges to do the right thing, God notices and that’s all that really matters.