Charity Wisdom

Pentecost & Ordinary Time — June – August 2020

Charity Wisdom from Our Saints

Red and yellow rose, NY Botanical GardensFrom 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.

At all events, happen now what will — I rest in God.

The debt we pay for this beautiful creation and the many enjoyments of this life are to be borne in some degree by us all. Human life and sorrow are inseparable.

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.

~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~

From our Wisdom Figures

Pure Gift of God…Indwelling Presence…Promise of the Father…
Life of Jesus…Compassionate observer…Hidden love of God…
God’s secret plan…Warmer of hearts…Attentive heart…Will of God…                
– adapted from “Litany of the Holy Spirit,”  – Richard Rohr, OFM

It is precisely in the places where there’s no sign of life, no reason to hope, that our God unleashes torrents of love and life.  – Donald Senior, CP

Hard times tempt one to run for cover and hide, wait it out, give up trying to act in the face of gigantic problems no one of us is equipped to solve. The temptation is to withdraw … We have got to warm ourselves back to the certainty that it is only when we lose the connection between ourselves and other people that we begin to freeze up into despair.  – May Sarton, poet

Like a new flame this Good News springs up …: “Christ, my hope, has arisen!” (Easter Sequence).
     This is a different “contagion”, a message transmitted from heart to heart – for every human heart awaits this Good News. It is the contagion of hope. … This is no magic formula that makes problems vanish. No, the resurrection of Christ is not that. Instead, it is the victory of love over the root of evil, a victory that does not “by-pass” suffering and death, but passes through them, opening a path in the abyss, transforming evil into good: this is the unique hallmark of the power of God.
     The Risen Lord is also the Crucified One, not someone else. In his glorious body he bears indelible wounds: wounds that have become windows of hope. Let us turn our gaze to him that he may heal the wounds of an afflicted humanity. – Pope Francis, Urbi et Orbi Easter Message, April 12, 2020

Who shall bear hope, who else but us?
……..We must shine
with hope, stained glass windows that shape
light into icons, glow like lanterns
borne before a procession. Who can bear hope
back into the world but us, …
all of us who have seen the face
of hope at least once in vision, in dream,
in marching, …     – Marge Piercy, “stone, paper, knife”


Photo: Yellow and red rose, New York Botanical Gardens, by Sr. Regina Bechtle

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