The poor are very wonderful people. One evening we went out and we picked up four people from the street. And one of them was in a most terrible condition，and I told the sisters: You take care of the other three. I take care of this one who looked worse. So I did for her all that my love can do. I put her in bed, and there was such a beautiful smile on her face. She took hold of my hand as she said just the words “thank you” and she died. I could not help but examine my conscience[良心]before her and I asked what would I say if I was in her place. And my answer was very simple. I would have tried to draw a little attention to myself. I would have said I am hungry, that I am dying, I am cold, I am in pain, or something, but she gave me much more---she gave me her grateful love. And she died with a smile on her face. As did that man whom we picked up from the drain[阴沟、下水道], half eaten with worms, and we brought him to the home. “I have lived like an animal in the street, but I am going to die like an angel, loved and cared for.” And it was so wonderful to see the greatness of that man who could speak like that, who could die like that without blaming anybody, without cursing anybody, without comparing anything. Like an angel-this is the greatness of our people. And that is why we believe what Jesus had said: I was hungry, I was naked, I was homeless, I was unwanted, unloved, uncared for, and you did it to me.
I believe that we are not real social workers. We may be doing social work in the eyes of the people, but we are really contemplatives[修行者、沉思冥想的人] in the heart of the world. For we are touching the body of Christ twenty-four hours…And I think that in our family we don’t need bombs and guns, to destroy, to bring peace, just get together, love one another, bring that peace, that joy, that strength of presence of each other in the home. And we will be able to overcome all the evil that is in the world.
And with this prize that I have received as a Prize of Peace, I am going to try to make the home for many people who have no home. Because I believe that love begins at home, and if we can create a home for the poor I think that more and more love will spread. And we will be able through this understanding love to bring peace be the good news to the poor. The poor in our own family first, in our country and in the world. To be able to do this, our sisters, our lives have to be wove with prayer. They have to be woven with Christ to be able to understand, to be able to share. Because to be woven with Christ is to be able to understand, to be able to share. Because today there is so much suffering…When I pick up a person from the street, hungry, I give him a plate of rice, a piece of bread, I have satisfied. I have removed that hunger. But a person who is shut out, who feels unwanted, unloved, terrified, the person who has been thrown out from society---that poverty is so full of hurt and so unbearable…And so let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love, and once we begin to love each other naturally we want to do something.
作者介绍: 特蕾莎修女(Mother Teresa,1910-1997)，印度著名的慈善家，印度天主教仁爱传教会创始人，在世界范围内建立了一个庞大的慈善机构网，赢得了国际社会的广泛尊敬。1979年被授予诺贝尔和平奖。本文所选即好在领取该奖项时的演讲辞，语言简洁质朴而感人至深。诺贝尔奖领奖台上响起的声音往往都是文采飞扬、热烈、激昂。而特雷莎修女的演说朴实无华，其所举事例听来似平凡之至，然而其中所蕴含的伟大而神圣的爱感人至深。平凡中孕育伟大，真情才能动人。