The following is from Chapter 5, "The Poor Are Wonderful People", from the book, Mother Teresa of Calcutta—A Personal Portrait: 50 Inspiring Stories Never Before Told, by Monsignor Leo Maasburg:
Whenever she was in Calcutta, Mother Teresa accompanied the group of volunteer coworkers to the Nirmal Hriday (Pure Heart), the House for the Dying. This house was, so to speak, her favorite child. After morning Mass, before breakfast, she usually gave a short talk and then went with the group to the House for the Dying. I noticed that on these occasions she seemed somewhat agitated and nervous. You could tell that she was anxious to get on with things. As soon as the groups were ready, she would lead them quickly to the House for the Dying. Once there, she would personally give each new volunteer his assignment. She would take each volunteer by the hand, one at a time, and lead him through the rows of sick and dying people, lay the volunteer's hand on one person's forehead, and tell him exactly what to do next: Give the dying person something to eat, or just sit by him, pray beside him, or shave him. That was very helpful; being with a dying person is not easy, especially for young Europeans or Americans who have never seen someone die.
Finally, when each volunteer had his assignment and was carrying it out, she would position herself on the slightly raised doorstep at the entrance, from which she could oversee everything. Then she would smile broadly and contentedly. One could see it clearly—because of her firm belief in the presence of Christ in the poorest of the poor, she was only relaxed and happy when she had put the volunteers physically in touch with the dying.
When Pope John Paul II came to Calcutta, she did exactly the same with him: She took him by the hand, led him to a dying person and said, "Holy Father, please bless him."
Her job was not to convert people, for only God does that. Her job was "to put you in touch with Jesus". By personally leading the volunteers and even the Pope to a dying person, she connected them to Jesus!
For we encounter Jesus—and this was Mother Teresa's deepest conviction—first in the Most Blessed Sacrament and second in the poorest of the poor, indeed, in every fellow human being who is suffering. For her, the presence of Jesus in the poorest of the poor was just as real as in the Eucharist. Jesus teaches, "Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me" (Mt 25:40). Mother Teresa sometimes held up the five fingers of one hand to explain this. The whole Gospel, she said, could be counted on five fingers: "You-did-it-to-me!"
An American journalist who observed Mother Teresa attending to a sick man with foul-smelling ulcers is supposed to have said in disgust that he would never do that for a million dollars. And she replied, "Yes, for a million dollars I wouldn't do it either." She did it for Jesus.
Over the years I have noticed that helping out in a soup kitchen or helping with the poor is only difficult and takes willpower at the very beginning. After a while, most people who do these things are filled with great joy. And some of them have very interesting conversations with these "very spoiled" poor people; now and then friendships are formed that last for years, for they are "wonderful people" once you get to know them and their stories.