Something Beautiful for God by Malcolm Muggeridge comes just as the world has just observed the 100th birthday of Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, an obscure nun of Albanian origins, popularly known and revered as Mother Teresa on August 26. This beautifully illustrated book is an uplifting chronicle of Muggeridge’s discovery of Mother Teresa and the religious order that she instituted, based on close and personal experiences as he spent time with her in Kolkata. When first published in 1971, it served to introduce Mother Teresa to the Western world.
There are moving transcripts of his conversations with Mother Teresa and a selection of her own writings and meditations that reveal her as an unsurpassed icon of simplicity, faith and compassion. As she worked for the poorest of the poor in Kolkata, she challenged the world to greater acts and to the importance of small things done with great love.
What the poor need, she would say, even more than food and clothing and shelter, is to be wanted. It is the outcast state their poverty imposes on them that is the most agonising.
Seeing that people were puzzled on seeing the smiling faces in her institutions, she explained that she attached utmost importance to this joyousness. The poor deserve not just service and dedication, but also the joy that belongs to human love. Joy is prayer, joy is strength, joy is love, joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls. God loves a cheerful giver.
Thoughtfulness is the beginning of great sanctity. She reminded her people that it was Christ who said: I was hungry, not only for food, but for peace that comes from a pure heart. I was thirsty, not for water, but for peace that satiates the passionate thirst of passion for war. I was naked, not for clothes, but for that beautiful dignity of men and women for their bodies. I was homeless, not for a shelter made of bricks, but for a heart that understands, that covers, that loves.
Something Beautiful for God by Malcolm Muggeridge