Daily Riches: The Necessary Union of Contemplation and Activism (Pete Scazzero, Mother Teresa and Stephen W. Smith)

“Paradoxically, the ability to be alone is the condition for the ability to love.” Erich Fromm

“In Stephen W. Smith’s recent book, Inside Job, he cites the Rule of Life Mother Teresa laid down for her nuns in their work among the sick and dying in Calcutta:

The Sisters shall spend 1 day in every week, 1 week in every month,
1 month in every year, 1 year in every 6 years in the Motherhouse,
where in contemplation and penance together with solitude she can
gather in the spiritual strength, which she might have used up in the
service of the poor.

“Imagine 1 Sabbath day every week, 1 Sabbath week every month, 1 Sabbath month every year, and 1 Sabbath year every 7 years. …Every one of us ministers among the sick and dying. Yet we consistently underestimate how much emotional/spiritual life is flowing out from us. If we are going to have the kind of impact Mother Teresa had, it will require we do less, not more. …Remember, we cannot give what we do not possess….” Pete Scazzero

“God is the friend of silence. His language is silence. And he requires us to be silent to discover him. We need, therefore, silence to be alone with God, to speak to him, to listen to him and to ponder his words deep in our hearts. We need to be alone with God in silence to be renewed and to be transformed. For silence can give us a new outlook on life. In it we are filled with the grace of God, which makes us do all things with joy.” Mother Teresa

“But despite Jesus’ instructions, the report of his power spread even faster,
and vast crowds came to hear him preach and to be healed of their diseases.
But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.”
Jesus in Luke 5:15,16

Moving From the Head to the Heart (Scazzero questions)

  • How aware are you of the life that is flowing out of you to others?
  • Our bodies are major, not minor prophets. If your body could speak, what would it be saying to you about the pace of your life today?
  • Are your daily rhythms sufficient for what God has placed before you (Mother Teresa’s nuns spend 3 hours a day in fixed hour prayer)?
  • What adjustments might God be inviting you to make in your weekly, monthly, and annual rhythms?  Often what worked for us in one season (e.g. last year) is not sufficient for the season we are in this year.

Jesus, may I live so that life flows into me from you and out of me to others.

For More: Come Be My Light by Mother Teresa


If you liked this, please share it! – Bill (Psalm 90:14)

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”

Daily Riches: Leadership with Vision (Pete Scazzero)

“The only miracle, except for the resurrection, that is recorded in the four gospels is Jesus’ multiplying of the loaves and fishes. Why? The truths contained there are so vast and far-reaching. In Jesus’ mentoring of the Twelve, he returns to it multiple times to teach them about mature leadership.

‘Why are you talking about having no bread?
Do you not see or understand?
Are your hearts hardened?’
Jesus in Mark 8:17


  • …redefines abundance as the presence of Jesus Himself.
  • …sees beneath other’s anxiety and fear to the deeper work God is doing in and around them.
  • …responds to the situation according to his values and beliefs (integrity).
  • …courageously does what is best for everyone despite other’s lack of support and validation.
  • …invites others to combine their ‘loaves’ and thankfully offers them to the Father.
  • …creates specific steps to make an overwhelming task manageable by effectively breaking down the problem.
  • …models flexible (not rigid) balance of rest and service to others to do good when the need arises.


  • …defines abundance by considering only visible resources.
  • …gets entangled in other’s anxiety, fear or negativity.
  • …responds to the pressure of others and accommodates them.
  • …takes an easy path in an attempt to keep everyone ‘happy.’
  • …leaves people alone and isolated in their fears, limits and discouragement.
  • …grumbles, blames or ignores the problem because of feeling overwhelmed.
  • …becomes so rigid it results in losing compassion.


Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Are you practicing a rhythm of “rest and service” like Jesus did? If not, what does that say about you?
  • What are you doing to keep compassion at the heart of your ministry, to keep it more central than anything else?
  • What might be the miracle waiting to happen should you focus on what you have, rather than on what you don’t? (Scazzero)

Abba, keep me from ministering with an unbelieving heart that misses how abundant the resources are in your hands, that settles for the reasonable, that misses out on the miracle.

For More: The Emotionally Healthy Leader by Pete Scazzero


These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow and share my blog. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”