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Charity Wisdom

Ordinary Time — Fall 2018

Autumn — a time to thank God for a full harvest of blessings, and to pray for peace, for responsible care of creation, for workers & those who seek work, for teachers & students, for those living in poverty. 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 invite us to open ourselves to the Spirit’s life in us and around us.

Charity Wisdom from Our Founders


Never mind — God is God, in it all. If you are to do his work the strength will be given; if not,…someone else will do it….No great affair where his dear Atom is, if only his will is done.
(to Sr. Cecilia O’Conway, after her first hectic months with the orphans in New York in 1817)

All our affairs…go on with the blessing of God. Sisters are just now [ Fall,1817] established in New York as in Philadelphia for the care of orphans,…[B]ranches are gone from our house to sow the little mustard seed.


Trust fearlessly in God who has called you and you will see that all will go well.

May your words be like seeds sown in their hearts, bearing a hundredfold the fruits of charity and good example to the poor faithful.


All truly Christian souls should have great devotion to the Blessed Virgin, especially in her role as Mother of God.… … When we are filled with gratitude for the graces that God has bestowed upon us through the Incarnation and the exemplary life of Jesus Christ, let us look upon the Blessed Virgin as the channel through which all these benefits have come to us and thank her … Let us take Our Lady as the model for our daily lives and bear in mind that the best way to honor her is by imitating her virtues.

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A community is only being created when its members accept that they are not going to achieve great things, that they are not going to be heroes [heroines] but simply live each day with new hope, like children, in wonderment as the sun rises and in thanksgiving as it sets.

Community is only being created when they have recognized that the greatness of people is to accept their significance, their human condition and their earth, and to thank God for having put in a finite body the seeds of eternity which are visible in small and daily gestures of love and forgiveness. The beauty of people is this fidelity to the wonder of each day.  —Jean Vanier

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The Christian does not live outside of the world; she knows how to recognize, in her life and in what surrounds her, the signs of evil, of selfishness, and of sin. She is in solidarity with those who suffer, with those who weep, with those who are marginalized, with those who despair.

At the same time, the Christian has learned to read all of this with the eyes of Easter, with the eyes of the risen Christ. Thus, she knows that we are living in the time of waiting, the time of longing which transcends the present, a time of fulfillment….

How often are we Christians tempted to give in to disappointment, to pessimism? At times, we allow ourselves to resort to pointless complaining, or we remain speechless and do not even know what to ask for, what to hope. Yet once more, the Holy Spirit – the breath of our hope, who keeps the groans and the expectation alive in our heart – comes to help us. The Spirit sees for us beyond the negative semblance of the present and reveals to us the new heavens and the new earth that the Lord is preparing for us all.   —Pope Francis, On Hope (Loyola Press, 2017)

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Each day is the field of brightness where the invitation of our life unfolds.
A new day is an intricate and subtle matrix.
Written into its mystery are the happenings sent to awaken and challenge us. – John O’Donohue