Charity Wisdom

Thanksgiving — Advent 2019

From our Founders and Patrons

Advent wreath

A time of harvesting God’s gifts with grateful thanksgiving yields to the spirit of Advent expectation. A new year of the Church’s life begins. Advent — we wait in hope as God’s promise of salvation unfolds. We honor Mary as the bearer of Christ our hope, and prepare to receive the gift of the Word made flesh at Christmas.

 From centuries ago, the words of our founders and patrons still resound, full of wisdom and insight for today. Saints Elizabeth Ann Seton, Vincent de Paul, and Louise de Marillac are our companions in gratitude and waiting.


St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

I live in Hope — you know, and if in this world all is blasted still we will hope and hope to the last….

Oh if indeed you could pass this Advent with us —…do try much to take all its grace—it is so sweet a season for comforting the poor and in every one our coming Lord.

 I am a mother, so the mother’s thought came also: how was my God a little babe in the first stage of his mortal existence in Mary.

St. Vincent de Paul

We must give as much time to thanking God for his favors as we have used in asking him for them.

God serves as our provider, furnishing us with what we need and beyond. He gives a sufficiency and more. I do not know if we think often enough of thanking him as we should. 

Charity is a love above emotion and reason through which people love one another to the same end Jesus Christ loved people: to make them saints in this world and blessed in the next.

St. Louise De Marillac

God never showed greater love for His creatures than when He resolved to become [hu]man since all the graces that He subsequently bestowed on us depend on this initial act.

The love of God for [hu]mankind willed that the Son should take human flesh because His delight is to be among His creatures. By becoming like them, He could bear witness to the fact that God has loved them from all eternity. This He did throughout His human life upon earth.

Therefore, let us love this love and we will thereby grasp its endlessness since it depends in no way on us.


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Wisdom from our Friends

It is no use saying that we are born 2,000 years too late to give room to Christ. Nor will those who live at the end of the world have been born too late. Christ is always with us, always asking for room in our hearts. (Servant of God Dorothy Day, d. 11/29/1980)

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…Joy is not expressed the same way at all times in life, especially at moments of great difficulty. Joy adapts and changes, but it always endures, even as a flicker of light born of our personal certainty that, when everything is said and done, we are infinitely loved….[S]lowly but surely we all have to let the joy of faith slowly revive as a quiet yet firm trust, even amid the greatest distress: “….But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning. Great is your faithfulness… It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord” (Lam 3: 21-23, 26).   (Pope Francis, The Joy of the Gospel)

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I am not an optimist but a prisoner of hope. (Archbishop Desmond Tutu)

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Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement. ….get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible; never treat life casually. To be spiritual is to be amazed. (Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel)

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…In any dark time, there is a tendency to veer toward fainting over how much is wrong or unmended in the world. Do not focus on that. Do not make yourself ill with overwhelm….We are needed, that is all we can know….Didn’t you say you were a believer? Didn’t you say you pledged to listen to a voice greater? Didn’t you ask for grace? Don’t you remember that to be in grace means to submit to the voice greater? You have all the resources you need to ride any wave, to surface from any trough. (Clarissa Pinkola Estes)