Today is Laetare Sunday, a day of celebration. “Rejoice, O Jerusalem, and come together all you that love her: rejoice with joy.” (Is. 66:10)
Rejoice, that we have celebrated 200 years of the legacy of the Sisters of Charity of New York and now move into a third millennium!
Rejoice, that in the spirit of St. Vincent de Paul and St. Elizabeth Seton we are involved in ministries that address the needs of the people today!
Rejoice, that on this date many of us who are (or were) Sisters of Charity professed our vows!
Paul reminded the Ephesians that we have been saved through faith—the gift of God. “We are what He has made us, created in Jesus for good works.” (Eph.2:10)
How can we continue God’s work of redemption? The answer lies in John 3:21 – “…those who do what is true come to the light…their deeds have been done in God.”
We have been entrusted with the light of Christ…to behold the goodness in each and every person we meet. Listen to that person, be he/she a neighbor, a friend, a stranger. Be gracious and bring out the best in others through action and word. Listen to St. Vincent: “Let us allow God to act; He brings things to completion when we least expect it.”
This truth has been brought home to me on more than one occasion when I have encountered students many years after I taught them. First, a mother of five, remembered the kind words I said to her on elementary graduation day. In her words, I said, “If they awarded a medal for beautiful hair, you would have won it hands down.” Another student, a parolee, spotted me at Yankee Stadium where he was a porter. He hugged me and thanked me. My friend asked him if I was a good teacher. With a puffed-out chest, he replied, “She taught me how to read!”
We have the power to impact lives. With a few carefully selected words, God can use us to change a life. As St. Vincent reminds us, “Love is inventive to infinity.”
– Kathryn Brady
Kathryn Brady is a former member of the Sisters of Charity, one of the co-founders of the Companions in Charity, and a frequent visitor to our Sisters in retirement homes. A retired teacher, she spent her last twenty years teaching inmates in New York State prisons.
Image: The Romanesque Crucifix hanging in the Fuentiduena Chapel in The Cloisters, New York City. Photo by Rick Morley.