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Heart of Joy by Mother Teresa > Part 3: Chapters 9, 10, 11 and Appendixes A and B

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message 1: by Manny (new)

Manny (virmarl) | 3654 comments Mod

Chapters 9 and 10 are two short speeches Mother Teresa spoke and chapter 11 is another chapter of collected short anecdotes or aphorisms she gave to her sisters, all of which seem to work well as devotional snippets. Appendix A is a prayer Mother apparently wrote and Appendix B is a chronology of the future saint’s life up to June 27, 1980. There is nothing inherently different about these chapters than the prior chapters, but they do fill out her intellectual portrait as a collage ultimately does.

message 2: by Manny (last edited Oct 08, 2017 10:22AM) (new)

Manny (virmarl) | 3654 comments Mod
I went and looked at the dates of each of the speeches. It’s actually quite interesting. The numbers refer to the chapter number:

1. Aug 6, 1976
2. Aug 7, 1976
3. Aug 5, 1976
4. Spring 1977 (Published)
5. June 10, 1977
6. N/A
7. Aug 15, 1976
8. N/A
9. 1974
10. Oct 26, 1975
11. N/A

Just to note, chapters 6, 8, and 11 are not dated. All three of those chapters are the ones that are filled with anecdotes and aphorisms addressed to her sisters.

There’s a couple of things interesting about the dates. (1) They are not in chronological order. Three of the speeches come in sequential days (the first three chapters) and chapter seven is a little over a week later from the three. I don’t really know what to make of the out of chronology, except perhaps they are meant to flow thematically. The very first chapter starts with a prayer, which would be a good way to start the book. Whatever was the intent of the ordering, I can’t discern it.

(2) The speeches and publication span three years, which is very narrow window. It’s not surprising that they are repetitive. Few speakers could have enough material in so short a time period to expand ones thoughts and bring in other themes, especially if one is speaking off the cuff as Mother seems and one is not driven by intellectual exploration. Mother Teresa is a doer, as I’ve said before, and this book provides her motivations and rationales for her work. And that’s good enough.

message 3: by Manny (new)

Manny (virmarl) | 3654 comments Mod
I gave my Goodreads review of the book if anyone wants to read it, here:

I still have more to say in the course of this week. I did enjoy the book, and I thank whoever the person (can't remember exactly) was that proposed it.

message 4: by Frances (new)

Frances Richardson | 540 comments An excellent review of Heart Of Joy, Manny.

message 5: by Colleen (new)

Colleen (colleenisterrific) | 21 comments Definitely helpful to look more closely at the dates of the speeches. You are correct- many times it is repetitive. But as you said, understandable for being given so close to one another.

I just finished up the book today and I think my favorite pearl of wisdom was "Love is a fruit in season at all times." Something I have to remind myself of often!

message 6: by Manny (new)

Manny (virmarl) | 3654 comments Mod
By the way, if I had the flexibility of half stars, I probably would have given the book three and a half stars.

message 7: by Kerstin (new)

Kerstin | 1320 comments Mod
Colleen wrote: ""Love is a fruit in season at all times." "

Isn't it poetic? and so applicable and immediate.

message 8: by Manny (last edited Oct 11, 2017 09:50AM) (new)

Manny (virmarl) | 3654 comments Mod
The thesis of this little passage has probably been said, but I wanted to highlight this because I think it’s the best written passage in the entire book. It has me wondering if she wrote it herself or if someone edited it for her. The balanced sentence and the parallel structure is absolutely exquisite. Great writing sparks me as much as what’s being said. This passage is a rhetorical joy!

The Vine and the Branches
“Let us be like a genuine and fruitful branch of the vine, which is Christ, accepting him in our lives the way he gives himself to us: as truth, which must be spoken; as life, which must be lived; as light, which must shine out; as love, which must be loved; as a way, which must be trodden; as joy, which must be communicated; as peace, which must be radiated; as sacrifice, which must be offered to our families, to our closest neighbors, and to those who live far away.”

I haven’t done this yet, but I think a good spiritual exercise would be take each clause in the parallelisms and meditate over them individually.

message 9: by Kerstin (new)

Kerstin | 1320 comments Mod
Again we have her spirituality of connectedness - if that is a word. She must have pondered these constantly to arrive at such depth.

message 10: by Manny (new)

Manny (virmarl) | 3654 comments Mod
Kerstin wrote: "Again we have her spirituality of connectedness - if that is a word. She must have pondered these constantly to arrive at such depth."

Oh, absolutely.

message 11: by Manny (new)

Manny (virmarl) | 3654 comments Mod
There was one anecdote that I thought was hilarious which seemed somewhat out of place for the book. But it's worth the smile to quote it here.

Unexpected Details

"Jesus has unexpected details sometimes.

Once, in London, I received a telephone call from the police: "Mother Teresa, there is a woman in the street, reeking of alcohol, who is asking for you." We went to pick her up.

As we were coming back she said, "Mother Teresa, Christ changes water into wine in order to give us to drink." She was, indeed, very drunk."

That was it! I guess it was an unexpected detail from Jesus. I bet Mother was a very funny lady.

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