Mother Teresa will be canonized a saint on Sunday, September 4 --  about 20 years after her passing. But Mother Teresa will achieve sainthood not just because of her powerful mysticism, her life of prayer, but because of this important, simple fact: Mother was compassion in action.

Mother Teresa would routinely pick up a broom or a mop in any one of her 750 houses around the world and get right to work, a clarity of focus that rang like a bell. That is the power of intention. That is doing the simple, ordinary, little things with love. That is the driving force behind why Mother Teresa won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979.

Mother’s sisters continue today to take of care of the poor and those suffering from all manner of diseases, be it tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, even leprosy. The Missionaries of Charity are running orphanages, shelters for women, residences for homeless mothers, administering soup kitchens, schools, teaching or counseling children, their families, around the planet.

In fact, ring the front door bell of any of the Missionaries of Charity’s houses, and you’ll soon be wearing an apron, washing dishes.

Each house is a powerful engine of love, each of the parts working forward toward making the surroundings better, cleaner, just as hard as the sisters and even the residents work internally on their own souls.

The sisters have a vision that runs like electricity through all of their houses. And that is to serve, without getting noticed, without pride, without a pat on the back, without the instant gratification of, say, more social media followers.

Mother and her sisters always said they need to return to their wellspring of prayer to get up before dawn to tirelessly do thankless work, cleaning up blood, vomit, excretions, diarrhea, changing adult diapers, and bandages, among other things.

But watch this. The sisters do it laughing, with joy. One sister told me: “We were once on the Staten Island Ferry, laughing, and I looked up and noticed none of the other passengers were laughing. I felt so sad for them, there was no joy.”

When you’re in the world you’re of the world. When you do the work Mother and her sisters do, you come home to yourself. And your limitations, an excruciating painful journey. But both Mother Teresa and her namesake, the Little Flower, Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, a 19th-century French Carmelite nun, found faith, found light in darkness.

Maybe you feel it, when you come to work. Maybe you feel unnoticed, unimportant, unappreciated. Maybe your colleagues feel it, too.

But what Mother and her sisters have given is a chance to change that perspective.

The sisters have a vision that runs like electricity through all of their houses. And that is to serve, without getting noticed, without pride, without a pat on the back, without the instant gratification of, say, more social media followers.

Once you change that perspective, once you see how every little thing, every little interaction, every little task matters, watch the joy unfold.

The sisters live in poverty, but they accomplish so much. These are the role models we need, these are the unspoken heroes.

Because the genius of the soul is not just compassion, it’s kindness. Kindness is compassion in action. And that is living like there is heaven on earth. Because it is here. And now soon to be St. Teresa showed us just that.

Elizabeth MacDonald is senior stocks editor of the FOX Business Network and is the author of "Skirting Heresy: The Life and Times of Margery Kempe" (Franciscan Media, June 2014).
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