Excerpt from: Conversations with Mother Teresa, A Personal Portrait of the Saint, Her Mission, and Her Great Love For God by Renzo Allegri
“You should come visit us in Calcutta,” she said. “You could better understand the real spirit of our community and understand the profound significance of the work Jesus has called us to do.”
“I would like to visit Calcutta,” I said. “I should definitely come. If you give me your address and phone number there, I will write to you and come for a visit.”
Mother Teresa took the notebook that I had nearby, which I carry to jot down my thoughts. She opened it to a blank page and wrote her address. Then, smiling, she told me; “One day in America, I met an important person who was very rich. He gave me his business card and asked for mine. ‘I don’t have one,’ I told him. ‘What?’ he exclaimed, surprised. ‘A famous woman like you should have business cards. In America the people who count pay close attention to those. I advise you to get some as soon as possible, and you will see that they are very useful.’
“I listened to that man and had some cards made. But I did not put my title and credentials on them since I do not have any. I am less than nothing. Instead, I wrote a few sentences that represent the principles I live by.”
Mother Teresa rummaged through the pockets of her sari and took out one of the cards and gave it to me. It was a dull blue rectangle of poor-quality paper with words in English:
The fruit of SILENCE is Prayer.
The fruit of PRAYER is Faith.
The fruit of FAITH is Love.
The fruit of LOVE is Service.
The fruit of SERVICE is Peace.
On the left side of the card, there were two hands folded in prayer.
“This card,” she explained, “allows me to follow the custom of important people whom I often encounter. They give me their card, and I give them mine. That way I can share a good thought, a good message. Who knows if someone reading these lines might not reflect on the importance and significance? I can do some good in this way too.”