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The Golden rule in the life of Mother Teresa

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Introduction 3

Chapter 1.Universal principles in the Bible 4

1.1. Three Basic assumptions 4

1.2. Love 5

Chapter 2. Mother Teresa 6

2.1. Childhood of Agnes Gonxha 6

2.2. Life in India 6

2.3. The Blue and White Sari 7

2.4. The Streets of Calcutta 8

2.5. ‘A Love letter to the world’ 9

2.6. A Light in a Dark Time 10

Chapter 3. The Nobel prize 11

Chapter 4. Research 12

Conclusion 13

Bibliography 14

Supplement 15


The study of good behavior, motivation and attitude is very important for people. The discipline of ethics deals with such questions as: “What ought I to do” “How should I act so as to do what is good and right?”; “Who is the good person”?

This problem is very interesting for me and I am interested in studying practice, manner of life, and experience of people who have lived according harmony of standards.

The purpose of my essay is to research of moral principles in the life of Mother Teresa.

The main tasks of the research work are:

  • to study principles of life in the Bible;

  • to analyse the life of Mother Teresa;

  • to research the universal Biblical principle of love;

  • to study the Nobel prize for what it is given;

  • to make the research in order to find out the attitude of pupils to charity.

The subject of this research is the universal principle.


The problem with trying to speak about ethics of the Bible is that ethical contents are not offered in isolation from the doctrine and teaching the Bible. Therefore, what God is, His character, what he will in His revelation, defines what is right, good and ethical. In this sense then, the Bible had a decisive influence in molding ethics in western culture

Some have seriously questioned whether there is a single ethic throughout the Bible. There feelings is that there is too much diversity to be found in the wide variety of books and types of literature in the Bible to decide that there is harmony and a basic ethical stance and norm against which all ethic and moral decisions ought to be made. Nevertheless, when following the claims made by the books of the Bible, some conceive their message to be a contribution to the ongoing and continuous story about the character and will of God. This narrative about the character basis for answering the questions: “What kind of a person ought I to be?” “How shall we live so as to do what is right and good?”

As some have pointed out, the search for diversity and pluralism in ethical standards is as much the result of a prior methodological decision as is the search for unity and harmony of standards. One may not say the search for diversity is more scientific and objective than the search for harmony. This fact must be decided on the basis of an internal examination of the biblical materials.

1.1. Three basic assumptions

Can ethical or moral decisions rest on the Bible, or is this idea absurd and incoherent? Three assumptions illustrate how a contemporary ethicist or moral-living individual may be able to rest his or her decision on the ethical content of the biblical text from a past age. The three are: (1) the Bible’s moral statements were meant to be applied to a universal class of people, times and conditions,

(2) Scripture’s teaching has a consistency about it so that it presents a common front to the same questions in all its parts and to all cultures past end present;

(3) the Bible purports to direct out action or behavior when it makes a claim or a demand. The Bible is consistent. The Bible seeks to command certain moral behavior.

To take Scripture’s universalizability first: every biblical command, whether it appeared in a biblical law code, narrative text, wisdom text, prophetic text, gospel or epistle was originally addressed to someone, in some place, in some particular situation. Such particulars were not meant to prejudice their usage in other times, places, or persons. Lurking behind each of these specific injunctions can be found a universal principle a person in a different setting can use the Bible to gain direction in a specific decision.

1.2. Love

Love is unselfish, loyal, and benevolent concern for the well-being of another. In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul described “love” as a “more excellent way” than tongues or even preaching. The New Testament maintains this estimation of love throughout. The King James Version uses the word “charity” instead of “love” to translate the Greek word Paul used. The word “charity” comes from the Latin “caritas” which means “dearness”, “affection”, OR “HIGH REGARD’. Today, the word “charity” is normally used for acts of benevolence, and so the word love is to be preferred as a translation of “agape” of the New Testament with idea of benevolence in mind is better off than the reader who comes with the idea of physical pleasure and satisfaction.

The most important rule – the Golden rule: “Do for other people the same things you want them to do for you.” This is meaning of the low of Moses and the teaching of the prophet’s – Matthew 7:12.

Love your neighbor as you love yourself. So loving is obeying all the law - Romans 13:9.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind”. This is the first and most important command is like the first:” Love your neighbor as you love yourself”. All the law and the writings of the prophets depend on these two commands” – Matthew 22:37-40

First Corinthians 13:4-7 characterizes love: “Love is patient and kind, not jealous or boastful, not arrogant or rude. Love is not selfish, irritable, or resentful. Love does not rejoice at wrong but in the right. Love bears, believes, hopes and endures all things”.


There are a lot of good people in the world, but not many of them are world-famous. Mother Teresa was a small, quiet nun. She died in 1997 in India, but people in many countries remember her. They talk about her and they love her. Why? We decided to find the answer.

2.1. Childhood of Agnes Gonxha

For her first eighteen years, her name was not Teresa. It was Agnes. Her family name was Bojaxiu.There were two children in her family before her: a boy and a girl. Then little Agnes Gonxha came into the world on 26 August 1910.

Her mother and father were from Albania, but were living in the town of Skopje. At that time, Skopje was in Serbia. They had a good home because her father did well in his work.

Then her father suddenly died. Agnes was only eight years old. Her sister was fourteen and her brother was eleven. Things were difficult for Agnes’s mother, but she was strong for her children. She worked and did well. She loved the children, and they had a happy home.

There were some poor people near their home. These people did not have much money for food, and Agnes’s mother was good to them too. She was a Christian – a Catholic- and God was very important to her. She prayed to God every evening with her children, and they all went to church every week.

At the church, there were stories about Christian missionaries in India and poor African countries. These people lived for God. They went to India and Africa because they wanted to bring God’s love to poor people there. Some of the missionaries in India were men from Skopje.

Agnes loved hearing about the work of these missionaries. She started to think, “What am I going to do for God?” She wanted to live for God, but how? Did she want she want to live only for God? She prayed for missionaries answers.

After five years, the answer came to her. She wanted to live only for Him. She wanted to be a nun in India.

Her mother was unhappy about this. She loved her daughter and did not want to say goodbye to her. She went her to her bedroom and stayed there all day. But after a day and a night, she came out and said to Agnes “put your hand in His hand and walk with Him.”

On 25 of September 1928, Agnes said goodbye to her friends and her home in Skopje. At the station, she said goodbye to her family. She was eighteen years old, and she didn’t see her mother or her sister again.

2.2. Life in India

She went by train and boat to Ireland. There she went to the home of the Loreto nuns. She wanted to be a Loreto nun because many of them worked in India.

Agnes stayed with the nuns at Loreto House in Dublin for six weeks. Then she was now Sister Teresa.

These days, you can get from Ireland to India very quickly, but in those days people were on the boat for seven weeks. It went from Ireland to Spain, then across the Mediterranean Sea to Suez in Egypt, down the Red Sea, across the Arabian Sea to Sri Lanka, and then up to Calcutta, she went by train to Darjeeling. Calcutta was a big place with a lot of noise, but Darjeeling was quiet and beautiful.

Young Sister Teresa did not know much English, but she was a good student. She was friendly too and she often smiled. She was very happy there. After two years, her English was good, and she started to teach children in the nun’s school.

Then she moved to one of the Loreto nuns’ schools in Calcutta. Its name was Loreto Entally, a big school for girls. Many of the girls were from poor families.

The school days started early in the morning, but the nuns’ day started before that. Every morning, the nuns prayed for a long time. Then they worked in the school in the morning and the afternoon. They worked in the evening too, because many of the girls lived at the school. After a long day, they prayed again and then went to bed.

The nuns did not have holidays. They did not listen to music or go shopping. They did not see their families. But they were happy, because they lived for God. They were happy and strong all day because they remembered His love every morning.

Sister Teresa liked teaching, and she was good at it. She was a teacher at Loreto Entally for twelve years, and then, from 1944, she was the head teacher for four years.

2.3. The Blue and White Sari

Indian women usually dress in saris. There are beautiful expensive saris, and there are poor saris for poor people. Mother Teresa dressed in a poor blue and white sari because she wanted to work with very poor people.

Today, there are many nuns in these blue and white saris, but on her first day in the slum, Mother Teresa was alone. She was only one small woman, with no helpers and no money. How did she start her new work?

First she prayed to God, and then she walked into the slum. There she talked to poor children. Many of them lived in the street. They had no home, no family and no school. She started to teach them in the street. The children liked her, and the day after that, a lot of children came to her new “school”. Then they came every day.

One day, there was a poor old woman in the street. She did not have a home and she was very ill. The doctors in the hospital did not want her because she was poor and very old. She was a dying woman. She did not have a family; she was alone. People in the street did not want to go near her. But Mother Teresa went to her and talked to her. She washed the woman and stayed with her. The woman died, but she did not die alone. She died with a friend, with her hand in Mother Teresa’s hand.

There were dying people in those streets. Mother Teresa stayed with them, and they did not die alone.

Mane poor street people did not have any food. Mother Teresa asked people for food for them. Some people helped her. Some people were angry and did not help her.

For two months, Mother Teresa worked alone. It was a difficult time for her. Then two of her Indian students from Loreto came to her and worked with her. They all had blue and white saris, and they had a name: ‘The Missionaries of Charity’. They worked in street schools and they opened street clinics. These clinics were not hospitals, but these clinics were good help for people in slums.

People in Calcutta started to talk about Mother Teresa and her Missionaries of Charity. Many people wanted to help her and to give money to her. In 1952, the government of Calcutta gave her a big building, and she started a home for dying people there.

After this, the nuns started a big home for children. Many poor children in Calcutta did not have a home or a mother or father. At the nuns’ new children’s home, there was food and a bed for them, and love too.

For ten years, Mother Teresa and her Missionaries of Charity worked only in Calcutta. Every year, there were new nuns. They opened new homes for dying people, homes for children, schools, clinics and food kitchens in twenty-three places in India.

2.4. The Streets of Calcutta

Calcutta today has 15,000,000 people. In the 1940s it was a very big place, too, and many new people arrived every year. The people were Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs and Buddhists. Calcutta had beautiful buildings: big hotels, offices, banks and houses. Many writers and famous people lived there.

But Calcutta had some big problems. A lot of people were very poor. They did not have any money, and they lived in slums – bad places with bad houses. Many people did not have a home. They lived and died in the streets.

The years 1943-46 were very bad years for Calcutta. There was not much food, and it was very expensive. Poor families did not have money for this expensive food, and in those three years about 3,000,000 people died. Every day there were dead people in the streets.

Mother Teresa wanted to help the poor people in the slums, but this was difficult for her. She was a nun, and nuns did not often go out into the streets. Many nuns helped poor people in schools, big food kitchens and hospitals, but nuns did not usually go out to poor people in slums.

She prayed to God for an answer to her problem. On 10 September 1946, she was on a train from Calcutta to Darjeeling, and the answer came to her. The answer was, “Go and work in the slums with the poor people.”

This was new work for a nun, and the head of the Catholic Church in Calcutta said, ”Wait.” He wanted to think about it first. Mother Teresa wanted to start quickly, but she waited 2 years. Then in August 1948, a letter came from him: he was happy about her new work.

Loreto Entally was her home, and the nuns were her only friends. But she said goodbye and moved into a small room near a slum.

2.5. ‘A Love letter to the world’

There are poor people in every country. In 1965, the Missionaries of Charity started working in Venezuela, South America. After that, they opened a home in Rome. They went to Tanzania and many countries in Africa, Europe and Asia.

In 1969, there was a television programme about Mother Teresa and her work. It was a BBC programme, and it was on British TV first. After the programme, many letters arrived for her. A lot of people wanted to work with her or give money. Then people in Europe, the US and Asia watched the programme. People in many countries wanted to help her. Suddenly, Mother Teresa was world-famous.

She did not like being famous. The Missionaries of Charity were not hers; they were God’s. She was only a pen in God’s hand, she often said,”And he is sending the love letter to the world.”

Her answer was, “I see God in every person.” For mother Teresa, love of God was the important thing. She wanted to give her love to God, but we cannot see God. We can only see God in people. She loved poor people and dying people because she loved God in them. For her this was beautiful, not difficult.

She was on television again in 1979 because the Nobel Peace Prize went to her. This famous was $150,000 in that year – a lot of money then. Every year, the prizes go to an important worker for world peace. Many important people go to Oslo from many countries for the prize day. On that day in 1979, Mother Teresa talked to them about love and peace. They asked her,” How can we get world peace?” She answered, “Go home and love your family.”

In the 1980s, there were Missionaries of Charity in 100 countries. They were not only in poor countries: there was a home for dying people in New York too. Mother Teresa often talked to heads of government in these countries, but she always dressed in her poor woman’s sari.

In 1990, Mother Teresa was 80 years old, but she did not stop working. Her days started at four o’clock in the morning. She worked all day and into the night. She had little sleep.

2.6. A light in a Dark Time

Mother Teresa died in September 1997 at the home of the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta. At that time, there were 4,000 Missionaries of Charities in 123 countries, and 3,000,000 people worked with them.

People wanted to see her and say goodbye to her. Poor people from Calcutta and people from the government of India came. Important people arrived from mane countries. One person said about her, “She was a light in a dark time”. Mother Teresa was a light for the poor people of Calcutta, but she is a light for all of us too, in every country of the world.


Alfred Bernhard Nobel (1833 – 1896) a Swedish chemist, engineer and industrialist became very wealthy from his factories that produced explosives. When he died, he left all his money to establish the Nobel Prizes.

The opening of Nobel’s will, which he had drawn up in Paris on November 27, 1895 and had deposited in a bank in Stockholm, contained a great surprise for his family, friends, and the general public. He had always been generous in humanitarian and scientific philanthropies, and he left the bulk of his fortune in trust to establish what came to be the most highly regarded of international awards, the Nobel prizes.

There are prizes for special achievements in Physics, chemistry, economics,

literature, and peace. It is considered a great honour to receive a Nobel prize.

Awarding Mother Teresa the Peace Prize in 1979, the committee stated: “She promotes peace in the name of love in the most basic way, by fighting for human dignity in everyone” (Supplement 1, 2).



  1. What attitude to charity do you have?

  1. Have you ever taken part in charity and helped people?

  1. Do you want to take part in charity again?

The survey of 50 pupils of the 9th form showed that

1. 97% of respondents have a positive attitude to charity;

3% of respondents have a negative attitude to charity.

2. 79% of respondents took part in charity and helped people;

21% of respondents did not take part in charity and did not help people.

3. 94% of respondents want to take part in charity next time;

6% of respondents don’t want to take part in charity and help people.

Most of the respondents have a positive attitude to charity and are ready to help people.


At the end of this research I would like to generalize all information and find answers to the main tasks.

The central idea of universal principles of Bible is how to live for peace and love. This moral law is universal for all men and women in all times.

Love is not an emotion it is the disciplined will to seek the welfare of others.

Mother Teresa took care of the poor people and showed the selfness love. It was a relationship of self-giving. Her love was not in the human heart only, but her love as self-giving was manifested.

She prayed for the poor people, helped them. First time she worked alone as a teacher, helped in the hospitals, started food kitchens, worked in the slums with the poor people, lived in a small room near a slum, stayed with dying people in the streets and they did not die alone; gave the poor people food. Then she organized “The missionaries of charity” with 12 nuns. They opened street clinics; started a home for dying people; started a big home for children, who did not have parents; opened schools, food kitchens in the 23 places in India.

Later her organization “The missionaries of Charity” worked in 123 countries with 4.000 missionaries.

Love is the big value, it is more important than cars, apartments, gold, and money.

She gave her love to the poor people and later she got the Nobel Prize.

If you want peace, you must work for it. The future begins today and it depends on us. We can save peace by unity of action in the name of love.

The most important qualities of all are love and human kindness. If a person is not kind, if he is selfish, if he cares only about himself, then all his other good qualities – courage, will-power – are worthless. If you go off into space with such a partner, you are in trouble. In outer space, in whatever situation you might find yourself as about a person who is next to you. I think one cannot do his job well and be at the same time indifferent to his partner. This just doesn’t work. You can see what a person is worth trough his attitude towards others. If he is devoted to people, he is also devoted to his work, to his country… And I have one word for all that – love. This is the main thing, the essence of what is best in a human being.

Our main task is to show people that the work for peace with love is something that every person can participate in, irrespective of his or her nationality, profession and age, and it is near and understandable to all (Supplement 3).

Millions of people all over the world highly esteem and love Mother Teresa, because she found a way to every heart and was sincere. And the main things make her memorable is her great love for people. Her love lives and makes all mankind kin. Her work was valued highly.


1. D’Arcy Adrian-Vallance. Mother Teresa, - England, 2006.

2. George Verwer. No turning back. - Carlisle, 1994.

3. Holly Bible. International Children’s Bible, - London, 1998.

4. Hollman Bible Dictionary. – USA, 1991.

5. Longman . Dictionary of English Language and Culture. – England, 2005.

6. Plus. The magazine of Positive Thinking. – USA, March, 1998.


Supplement 1


Works, not words, are the proof of love











worked alone as a teacher.

helped in the hospitals.

started food kitchens.

worked in the slums with the poor people.

stayed with dying people in the streets and they did not die alone.

gave the poor people food.

organized “The missionaries of charity” with 12 nuns.

opened street clinics.

started a home for dying people.

started a big home for children, who did not have parents.

opened schools.

opened food kitchens in the 23 places in India.

Her organization “The missionaries of Charity” worked in 123 countries with 4.000 missionaries.

prayed for people.

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