Ordinary Time, January–February 2018
Charity Wisdom 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 Charity.
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.
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.
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.
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CHARITY WISDOM FROM OUR FRIENDS
Having doubts and fears is not a sin…. The sin is to allow these fears to determine our responses, to limit our choices, to compromise respect and generosity, to feed hostility and rejection. The sin is to refuse to encounter the other, to encounter the different, to encounter the neighbor, when this is in fact a privileged opportunity to encounter the Lord…. [R]esponding to the supreme commandment of charity and love of neighbor, may we all learn to love the other, the stranger, as ourselves. (Pope Francis, 1/14/18 homily, World Day of Migrants and Refugees)
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Do you think there is anything not attached by its unbreakable cord to everything else? (Mary Oliver, poet and writer)
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The tensions are not between the races, but between the forces of justice and injustice; between the forces of light and darkness. (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.)
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Do I add to the gathering reservoir of global rage or am I able to transform my anger into compassion? (Donna Markham, OP)
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The old year is over. Whatever we waited for this year either came or it did not. One thing is sure: if what we wanted did not come, something surely came in its place. The temptation is to count the change as loss. Julian of Norwich, the 13th century anchorite, wrote that even sin “was behovable” — necessary, important in life, part of our growth and an opportunity for union with God. And, not to worry, she says, for “all shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well.”
If we are still waiting for something, we must remember that the New Year is waiting for us, too, with fresh challenge, virgin promise, rude discovery and confirming triumphs. Open your hearts to life’s new hurdles and simmering victories now. Life is waiting for your gift. (Joan Chittister, OSB, Sparks of Advent Light)