From centuries ago, the words of our founders still resound, full of wisdom and insight for us in the transforming movements of our times. Our holy ones, Saints Elizabeth Ann Seton, Louise de Marillac, and Vincent de Paul lived deep within the mystery of Christ’s dying and rising. In it they found the power to give their whole selves in love for those most in need, just as Christ did.
Charity Wisdom from Our Saints
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
We are never strong enough to bear our cross, it is the cross which carries us, nor so weak as to be unable to bear it since the weakest become strong by its virtue.
…an Easter Communion now – in my green pastures amidst the refreshing waters for which I thirsted truly – …at all events, happen now what will I rest with God – the tabernacle and Communion – so now I can pass the Valley of Death itself. (April 14, 1805, a few weeks after her first Communion at St. Peter’s Church, New York)
Imagine…all with the devotion of Saints,…singing the hymn of the Resurrection; when they come to the words “Peace be to all here” it seems as if our Lord is again acting over the scene that passed with the assembled disciples.
St. Vincent de Paul
Think of the example of Saint Mary Magdalen and her companions. When they were on their way to the tomb they said to one another, “Mon Dieu! Who will roll away the stone?” But an angel had already done it by the time they arrived. So…what you can’t do on your own, God will do; He’ll send His angel, who will roll away the stone.
Is there any risk in loving God? Can we love Him too much? Can there be any excess in something so holy and divine? Can we ever have sufficient love for God, who is infinitely loveable? It’s true that we can never love God enough and can never go to excess in this love if we consider what God deserves from us.
Consider Our Lord close by you and within you, ready to put His hand to the work as soon as you call upon Him for help.
St. Louise De Marillac
…[C]hoose the life of Jesus Crucified as the model for our lives so that His Resurrection may be a means for glory for us in eternity.
Are you being very courageous? Are you imitating the Good Shepherd who risks his life for the welfare and safety of the flock under His care?
Offer yourself frequently to Him and ask Him what He wants you to do. Do not worry about your strength. Rest assured that you will receive all that is necessary from the goodness of God.
Charity Wisdom from Our Friends
When Good Friday comes, these are the moments in life when we feel there’s no hope. But then, Easter comes. ― Coretta Scott King
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On Easter Day,…I read over the last chapter of the four Gospels and felt that I received great light and understanding with the reading of them. “They have taken the Lord out of His tomb and we do not know where they have laid Him,” Mary Magdalene said, and we can say this with her in times of doubt and questioning. How do we know we believe? How do we know we indeed have faith? Because we have seen His hands and His feet in the poor around us. He has shown Himself to us in them. We start by loving them for Him, and we soon love them for themselves, each one a unique person, most special! – Servant of God Dorothy Day
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Love is the energy that sustains the universe, moving us toward a future of resurrection. We do not even need to call it love or God or resurrection for its work to be done. – Richard Rohr, OFM
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… [T]here are five distinct moments within the paschal cycle: Good Friday, Easter Sunday, the forty days leading up to the Ascension, the Ascension, and Pentecost…Each is part of a single process of transformation…[S]tated as a personal, paschal challenge for each of us:
- [Good Friday] Name your deaths.
- [Easter Sunday] Claim your births.
- [The 40 days] Grieve what you have lost and adjust to the new reality.
- [Ascension] Do not cling to the old. Let it ascend and give you its blessing.
- [Pentecost] Accept the spirit of the life that you are in fact living.
This is a daily cycle, which we experience in every aspect of our lives. The paschal mystery is the secret to life. Ultimately, our happiness depends upon properly undergoing it. – Ronald Rolheiser, OMI
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When day comes we ask ourselves,
where can we find light in this never-ending shade?
The loss we carry,
a sea we must wade…
When day comes we step out of the shade,
aflame and unafraid
The new dawn blooms as we free it
For there is always light,
if only we’re brave enough to see it
If only we’re brave enough to be it
– Amanda Gorman, “The Hill We Climb,” excerpt