The story is told of a Franciscan monk in Australia assigned to be the guide and aide to Mother Teresa when she visited New South Wales. Thrilled and excited at the prospect of being so close to this great woman, he dreamed of how much he would learn from her and what they would talk about.

During her visit, he became frustrated. Although he was constantly near her, the friar never had the opportunity to say one word to Mother Teresa. There were always other people for her to meet.

Finally, her tour ended, and she was due to fly to New Guinea. In desperation, the Franciscan friar spoke to Mother Teresa: If I pay my own fare to New Guinea, can I sit next to you on the plane so I can talk to you and learn from you? Mother Teresa looked at him.

“You have enough money to pay airfare to New Guinea?” she asked. Yes, he replied eagerly.

“Then give that money to the poor,” she said. “You’ll learn more from that than anything I can tell you.” Mother Teresa understood Jesus’ ministry was to the poor, and she made it hers, as well. ( newsletter)

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