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Excerpted from In the Heart of the World by Mother Teresa. Copyright 1997 by New World Library. Excerpted by permission of New World Library. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted.  HTML and web pages copyright by SpiritSite.com.

"What I desire is the presence of the donor, for him to touch those to whom he gives."

Mother Teresa, 
In the Heart of the World
, Part 1

One day an Australian man came and made a substantial. donation. But as he did this he said, "This is something external. Now I want to give something of myself." He now comes regularly to the house of the dying to shave the sick men and to converse with them. This man gives not only his money but also his time. He could have spent it on himself, but what he wants is to give of himself.

I often ask for gifts that have nothing to do with money. There are so many other things one can give. What I desire is the presence of the donor, for him to touch those to whom he gives, to smile at them, for him to pay attention to them. All of this is very meaningful for those people.

I urge people to join our work, for our profit and for the profit of everyone. I never ask them for money or any material things. I ask them to bring their love, to offer the sacrifice of their hands. When these people run across those in need, their first move is to do something. When they come the second time, they already feel committed. After some time they feel they belong to the poor and they are filled with the need to love. They discover who they are and what it is that they themselves can give.

I think that a person who is attached to riches, who lives with the worry of riches, is actually very poor. If this person puts his money at the service of others, then he is rich, very rich.

The other day, two friends of mine came to see me. They brought me a large amount of money to use for feeding the poor. I asked them, "Where did you get all this money?"

They answered, "We were married two days ago, but before that we had decided not to have a large wedding banquet. As a witness of our love for each other, we wanted to bring this money to Mother Teresa."

This is the greatness of young people! They are so generous! I asked them further, "Why did you do this?"

They answered, "We love each other so much, and we wanted to share our love with other people, especially with those you are serving."

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