Lent invites us to clear the blocks in our hearts and minds to make way for God’s ever-new action in us. From centuries ago, the words of our founders still resound, full of wisdom and insight for today. Saints Elizabeth Seton, Vincent de Paul and Louise de Marillac accompany us in a special way during this graced season of Lent and guide us to new ways of living and being Charity.
Charity Wisdom From Our Founders
SAINT ELIZABETH ANN SETON
Unite every sacrifice of your mind and actions with the sacrifice of the cross; say often to God with your whole heart, “Lord, I am not my own, I am all yours, I offer you my whole life and being in union with my divine Saviour.”
God commands us to love one another even with all our faults – say nothing, do nothing then to pain anyone, carry those who give you pain in your heart before God, and think of their virtues instead of their faults.
SAINT VINCENT DE PAUL
I am asking Our Lord to be Himself, your strength and your life, as He is to all who nourish themselves with his love.
In the name of God be attentive to the needs of those whom God has entrusted to your guidance.
SAINT LOUISE DE MARILLAC
At the foot of this holy, sacred and adored Cross, I sacrifice everything that might prevent me from loving.
Go then courageously, advancing moment by moment on the path on which God has placed you in order to reach Him.
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CHARITY WISDOM FROM OUR FRIENDS
[Reflecting on the parable of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31), Pope Francis writes:] Lazarus teaches us that other persons are a gift. A right relationship with people consists in gratefully recognizing their value. Even the poor person at the door of the rich is not a nuisance, but a summons to conversion and to change. The parable first invites us to open the doors of our heart to others because each person is a gift, whether it be our neighbor or an anonymous pauper. Lent is a favorable season for opening the doors to all those in need and recognizing in them the face of Christ…. Let us pray for one another so that, by sharing in the victory of Christ, we may open our doors to the weak and poor. Then we will be able to experience and share to the full the joy of Easter. (Pope Francis, Lenten Message, 2017)
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Love is perhaps the most difficult task given us, the most extreme, the final proof and text, for which all other work is only preparation. (Rainer Maria Rilke)
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Love is the superstar virtue of virtues, and the most watered down word in the English language….And what we’ve done with the word, we’ve done with this thing – this possibility, this essential bond, this act. We’ve made it private, contained it in family, when its audacity is in its potential to cross tribal lines….We’ve lived it as a feeling, when it is a way of being. (Krista Tippett, Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living)
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Do we recognize Him in the crucified peoples who surround us, and stand faithfully by them? (Robert Maloney, CM)