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Kindness: It won’t kill you and you just might change the world

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30 seconds of humanity will spread grace to others ... and benefit you, too

2. Kindness goes both ways

With Mother Teresa’s canonization, there’s been much talk about how to imitate her. One person who already does is her namesake.

Since the moment I met this Teresa five years ago, she has completely transformed my life.

Teresa was born with an intellectual developmental disability. She is a person some want to avoid, yet her joy and enthusiasm for life transforms her family and friends. She always has us laughing about something she has noticed. Like St. Teresa, she is completely focused on the human beings she encounters.

Over the past five years, Teresa has acquired the phone numbers of all of my friends and is constantly in touch via text. It’s not uncommon to sit down for a margarita with a friend and hear, “I was talking with Teresa today!”

Teresa texts to ask the mundane details of the day that interest her: What you had for breakfast, what you are doing now, how your day is going, and when she will see you again.

She once called me after a rough day at work and asked me what I had done that day. I was about to answer, “Nothing. I worked all day,” but I realized that would not be an acceptable answer for Teresa. So I had to think through my day and tell her some of the “exciting” details. That night I went to bed happy and thankful for the details of the day that Teresa had forced me to look for.

I’ve found that every time I’m having a rough moment I get a text from Teresa, reminding me that she is thinking about me.

Her greatest testimony is her spiritual life. It is something she does not talk much about, but it is not uncommon to get a text that reads, “I’ll pray Mary Powers.” Recently, she asked me to read her favorite part of the Psalms with her before she went to bed. It was Psalm 68. It starts out with God’s judgment, but the ending is her favorite part:

“You kingdoms of the earth, sing to God;/chant the praises of the Lord …

“Confess the power of God,/whose majesty protects Israel,/whose power is in the sky/

“Awesome is God in his holy place,/the God of Israel,/who gives power and strength to his people./Blessed be God!”

All I could think after I read it is, “Teresa has her priorities in line: Praise God every night before bed.”

Both St. Teresa and Teresa have that one thing that makes them beautiful: love. And they challenge us to become better people to share that love with those around us.

Challenge accepted Teresas!

—Mary Powers

Mary Powers is a pro-life conservative who lives and works in Washington DC. She has written for various publications on politics and the Catholic faith. You can follow her on Twitter at: mary_e_powers.

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