Ordinary Time January–February 2017
From Our Founders
From centuries ago, the words of our founders still resound, full of wisdom and insight for today. Saints Elizabeth Ann Seton, Vincent de Paul, and Louise de Marillac guide us as we walk in Christ’s footsteps. With him we seek to welcome the stranger and bring Good News to those on the margins. They are our mentors in the way of affective and effective love during this 200th anniversary year.
ST. ELIZABETH ANN SETON
I trust all to the Mercy of Him who never forsakes those who confide in Him.
[God’s] mercies are endless and I shall not be left without my portion.
ST. VINCENT DE PAUL
Oh, what great reason people of good will have to be cheerful.
You know the will of God cannot be made known to us more clearly in events than when they happen without our intervention or in a way other than we requested.
Honor God’s holy Providence in your conduct by not hurrying or bustling about.
St. LOUISE DE MARILLAC
When pleasant things happen to us, or when our undertakings succeed as we wish them to, before abandoning ourselves to the joy of the moment, let us glance interiorly toward God and thank God for this great mercy since it is God’s love alone which affords us this consolation.
CHARITY WISDOM FROM OUR FRIENDS
God of the ages, we praise your faithful love.
Christ of the now, we seek to meet our grace.
Spirit of tomorrow, we trust your sustaining presence.
Whatever the risk, whatever Providence provides,
we stand secure in your love.
In your hands is the mission of Charity.
We are blessed to tend its fire.
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be,
may your love press us forward, may Charity impel us on! Amen. (SCNY 200th Anniversary Prayer)
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Our service, here in New York, has by the grace of God, continued without interruption for two centuries. Over the years, that service has spread to many other places in our country and beyond, especially to the Bahamas and Guatemala. Even as we rejoice in the blessings of these 200 years, we focus our vision on a future full of hope. The graces of this new time of Charity are before us – as yet unknown and unseen. We open our minds and hearts, waiting for these graces to be revealed to us and eager to receive them. (Sr. Jane Iannucelli, SC)
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…As we look outward to the cry of the poor, we should not forget to look inward, to the cry of the poor within us, to the poverty within us that cries for help, for freedom, for redemption. It was Vincent’s acceptance and recognition of his own poverty that led him to purify his own heart, the heart that then beat so strongly for persons on the margins of society! Vincent’s approach to the person was not the approach of a theology from “above,” but rather an approach to the person from Vincent’s own poverty, the approach of a theology from “below.” To welcome the stranger within us, to recognize that he exists in every one of us, to embrace this stranger, accept him, and then give it all to Jesus to heal our wounds, to surrender completely to Him and trust totally in His Providence: this was Vincent’s way. Let it be the way of each one of us! (Tomaž Mavrič, CM, Superior General, Congregation of the Mission)
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In the most local and ordinary situations and in the international order, may nonviolence become the hallmark of our decisions, our relationships and our actions, and indeed of political life in all its forms….All of us want peace. Many people build it day by day through small gestures and acts; many of them are suffering, yet patiently persevere in their efforts to be peacemakers. In 2017, may we dedicate ourselves prayerfully and actively to banishing violence from our hearts, words and deeds, and to becoming nonviolent people and to building nonviolent communities that care for our common home. Nothing is impossible if we turn to God in prayer. Everyone can be an artisan of peace. (Pope Francis)