Giving until it hurts


Mother Teresa said that often.

How do you give until it hurts? How much should it hurt?

When I read Mother Teresa it sounds so simple. Done out of love. Working for the poor until utter exhaustion, kind of.

And then there are so many good people who tell me I have to take care of myself as well.
And in a way they are right too.
So they would say: Don’t run around trying to help everybody until you’re utterly exhausted.

Ok, Mother Teresa also said that in the end it won’t matter how much we have done, but how much love we have put into it.

Is that the guideline, maybe? If we don’t feel love anymore, it is too much? She wouldn’t let the Sisters go visit the poor either if they were in a good mood.

Kind of interesting to think about though, I think.



This is interesting and timely for me. Suffering should be my middle name right now. I’m getting attacked seemingly from all ends. I feel on the verge of anxiety, but in my case I have no choice in the matter other than to fail as a parent and a husband. My work is normally …okay…but lately it’s like a shark feeding time. Engineers trying to buck for a promotion thinking that if I act like a jerk I should get the job. So suffering much at work right now wondering if I’ll have a job for long with all of the major changes taking place. I may end up teaching instead. Which is something I’d prefer to do. It’s just knowing whether or not I can handle the kids. Also, family not knowing we’re Catholic increases the stress always worried about slipping up. I’d prefer to come clean but my wife is still afraid. How are we going to explain our son going to the seminary to be a priest?


I think it depends on your life, your vocation, your role, are you responsible for others (yourself only, a spouse, children, elderly parents, someone who needs special help) etc. The capacity to “hurt” from giving seems built in to life. For example, a mother “hurts” when she has gone months without a decent night’s sleep, always waking up to feed and comfort a baby. Priests give their time to their flock until it hurts, but they still make the time for retreats and recreation, otherwise they get burnt out and sometimes more susceptible to various temptations. Balance is important, and discerning priorities too, and there are different seasons of life to take into consideration.

Personally, I am at a place in life where I am receiving quite a bit of help from other people. That is difficult and I have wanted to give back in some capacity, but all the options seemed to cut too much into my main priority as a mother who needs to properly care for her children. So I prayed about it, and God eventually has shown me some things I can do to help others. It is less than what I thought I should do, but I think it is God’s plan for me for now.


Well, my local parish (St. Philomena in Carson, California) send us these nifty weekly donation envelopes and suggest 5% of our take home pay to the Parish and 5% of our take home pay to other Catholic Charities.

I can do the 5% to the local Parish. But I prefer the other 5% go to my local Alcoholics Anonymous groups. So it does.


Love, coupled with prudence, is the guideline.


don’t concentrate on your own pain, your own feelings, concentrate on loving Christ and that will lead to faith, which will lead to service, as Mother Teresa says. Her love for the poor began with her love for Christ which she nurtured by daily Mass and adoration. Start there.


** If we don’t feel love anymore, it is too much?**

Love is not a feeling, but an act of the will.


I give teaching everything I have, everything I am, in the name of Christ. Every day I find myself digging deeper and deeper, to come up with more I ever knew I had. It hurts, but it’s my calling and life.


I have a question on this and maybe I was right in the beginning & shouldn’t have listened to others, or maybe not… but… and Lord, forgive me, I’m trying to understand!!! Is there a fine line where you could be helping someone to live outside their means? Like, all these extras but then there’s no food in the house etc. Or am I being too judging now? In my times away from Catholicism but out of the new age movement… I was a Protestant for a time. I don’t regret those days, I do regret my anti-Catholic bout.

And I do want to get myself a Miraculous Medal, or one of those 4 way ones (I think they were called)… I’d have to look it up. I owe a friend a crucifix first. All someday once I have income again. Job interview tomorrow.


I have struggled with this, kind of, too.

I am somebody who lives very frugally in many ways, get old bread that the bakery throws out, don’t get fancy stuff a lot… and then if somebody in the streets asks me if I can help them get an expensive meal, that I would most likely not buy for myself, what do I do?

If I offer somebody bread (even fresh bread) :wink: but they sy no they need something with meat, what do I do?



When I lived in an area that was known for scammers, I remember what one man did for a child, probably 10, 12 somewhere in that age range asking for money. He offered to by them food at a fast food restaurant but the boy refused. I certainly had a lot of people helping me out unexpectedly but then I get judging… I didn’t have cable or satalite TV, then again, I wasted time at the arcade… but only spent maybe $2 of quarters at most and always won free games. I wouldn’t waste $2 on playing pinball now! (my arcade days were in the late 80’s) Maybe I’m still falling for the trap of my pointing my finger but I have all the rest pointing back at me?


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