Charity Wisdom

Pentecost & Ordinary Time (June – June 2019)

Photo by R. Bechtle, SC

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 invite us to open our hearts to Christ’s gift of the Holy Spirit, to our neighbors around us, especially those in need, to all the members of the Body of Christ, near and far, and to God’s glorious creation.

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

[God] will direct your heart to that prayer of the Spirit which neither occupations nor pain can drive from it — though it may not be active, still it is there.

Heart of Jesus, receive me.
Spirit of Jesus, enliven me.
Goodness of Jesus, pardon me.
Beauty of Jesus, draw me. (excerpt from Mother Seton’s adaptation of the prayer, Anima Christi)

I hope you continue to enjoy that happy peace which surpasses all understanding. Should it, however, be disturbed by doubts, anxieties, etc., do not get discouraged. In the midst of the storm and when Jesus seems to be asleep, call upon him with earnestness. He will arise, and everything will be calm within you. (Bishop John Cheverus to Elizabeth Seton, 1805)

St. Vincent De Paul

The inspirations of God are gentle and peaceful, inclining us lovingly toward the good He desires of us.

Remember that patience is as necessary to bear with ourselves as charity is to bear with the neighbor. May God be pleased to give us both.

The poor who do not know where to go or what to do, who are suffering already and who increase daily, are my burden and my sorrow.

St. Louise De Marillac

I beg the goodness of our Lord to dispose our souls for the reception of the Holy Spirit so that, burning with the fire of His holy love, you may be consumed in the perfection of this love which will enable you to love the most holy will of God.

I adore You, Most Holy Trinity, one God in three persons and I thank You for all the graces that, in Your goodness, You have bestowed on me. I give You my heart and all that I possess so that henceforth I may accomplish Your holy will.

They [the Sisters] should be the image of the Most Holy Trinity; and even though they are several, they should form but one heart and one mind.

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Wisdom from our Friends

(Reflecting on Acts 15:7, Pope Francis speaks of “the first great meeting of the history of the Church” where “an unexpected situation” arose.)  Here is the temptation of hyper-efficiency, of thinking that the Church is okay if she has everything under control, if she lives without jolts, with the agenda always in order. However, the Lord doesn’t proceed in this way. In fact, He doesn’t send His own answer from Heaven; He sends the Holy Spirit. And the Spirit doesn’t come bringing the order of the day; He comes with fire. Jesus doesn’t want the Church to be a perfect little model, pleased with her organization and capable of defending her good name. Jesus didn’t live thus but, on the way, without fearing life’s jolts. The Gospel is our program of life. It teaches us that questions aren’t addressed with a ready recipe and that the faith isn’t a schedule, but a ‘Way” (Acts 9:2), to follow together, always together, with a spirit of trust. From the account of the Acts we learn three essential elements for the Church on the way: the humility of listening, the charism of the whole, the courage of renunciation.
(Pope Francis, homily of May 23, 2019) 

We can say nothing more moving about human beings than that they call each other to life. It is the beautiful reality behind the fidelity of husband and wife or the steadfastness of friends; it is what helps relationships to endure through good times and bad.
(Sr. Verna Holyhead, SGS)

Community is not an ideal; it is people. It is you and I. In community we are called to love people just as they are with their wounds and their gifts, not as we would want them to be…We give dignity to each other by the way we listen to each other, in a spirit of trust and of dying to oneself so that the other may live, grow and give.
(Jean Vanier)