Mother Theresa’s spirituality deeply influenced the spirituality of her congregation. Her love for God, nourished and strengthened by her devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, enkindled the burning desire of her life: to know him and to do his will. Her longing to honor God and her concern for the kingdom were the ruling and pervading principles which dictated all her efforts. She grounded her community in poverty in order to reach the poor and dedicated it to Mary, in whom she found a model for herself, her sisters, and the young girls she served. In education she insisted on the absolute necessity of the example of the educator and on the integration of instruction and character development.
The structure of her congregation flowed from her perception of the needs of those she served as well as those of her sisters. By sending sisters in two’s and three’s to reach people in rural areas, she departed from the contemporary pattern of large, formal monasteries. In order to maintain a common spirit, direction, and goal among the sisters, among the branch houses, and later among the provinces, she insisted on a unifying central government in her congregation. In contrast to established precedents and the prevailing spirit of the times, she was convinced that a woman could better understand and, therefore, direct and motivate her sisters. When her views about the government of her congregation were misunderstood, her trust in God and her deep loyalty to the church sustained her in the suffering she endured.