From centuries ago, the words of our founders still resound, full of wisdom and insight for us today, as the Sisters of Charity celebrate 200 years of mission in New York. Our holy ones, Saints Elizabeth Ann Seton, Louise de Marillac, and Vincent de Paul lived deep within the mystery of Christ’s dying and rising. In it they found the power to give their whole selves in love for those most in need, just as Christ did.
Charity Wisdom From Our Founders
SAINT ELIZABETH ANN SETON
Imitate the patience of him we adore….Persevere with yet more earnestness, and rejoice to bear your share in the cross which is our passport and seal to the kingdom of our Redeemer.
We are never strong enough to bear our cross, it is the cross which carries us, nor so weak as to be unable to bear it since the weakest become strong by its virtue.
Imagine…all with the devotion of Saints,…singing the hymn of the Resurrection; when they come to the words “Peace be to all here,” it seems as if our Lord is again acting over the scene that passed with the assembled disciples.
SAINT VINCENT DE PAUL
Is there any risk in loving God? Can we love Him too much? Can there be any excess in something so holy and divine? Can we ever have sufficient love for God, who is infinitely loveable? It’s true that we can never love God enough and can never go to excess in this love if we consider what God deserves from us.
SAINT LOUISE DE MARILLAC
…To choose the life of Jesus Crucified as the model for our lives so that His Resurrection may be a means for glory for us in eternity.
Offer yourself frequently to Him and ask Him what He wants you to do. Do not worry about your strength. Rest assured that you will receive all that is necessary from the goodness of God.
CHARITY WISDOM FROM OUR FRIENDS
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… If you want to understand the body of Christ, listen to the Apostle [Paul] speaking to the faithful: You are the body of Christ, and its members [1 Cor. 12:27]. … When you hear “The body of Christ”, you answer, “Amen”. Be a member of the body of Christ, so that your “Amen” may be true! What then is the bread? ….let us listen closely to the Apostle, who, when he spoke concerning this Sacrament, said, There is one bread; we, the many, are one body [1 Cor. 10:17]. … “One bread” – what is this one bread? It is one body formed of many…. Become what you see, and receive what you are. (St. Augustine, Sermon 272)
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Jesus is always walking beside us, even in the darkest moments, and he will reveal his presence. (Pope Francis)
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I am not an optimist but a prisoner of hope. (Archbishop Desmond Tutu)
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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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We are following a man who died because he loved our world with an extreme love. We are following a man who rose from the dead so that we might know the call of our very bodies to a risen wholeness.
No wonder as pilgrims in this season of Easter we need to dance for the joy of it all. No wonder we rejoice in the mystery of it all — the mystery of Jesus as Lord and the mystery of ourselves. No wonder we permit love to urge us on through the darkness, even the darkness of death, into the light and life of the risen leader of our wayfaring dance. (Sr. Eileen Storey, SC (dec.)