love, the Heart of the Universe. Week Four
We began our week with the life journey of St. John Eudes toward the foundation of Our Lady of Charity. We were blessed to have Srs. Marie François Le Brizaut and Angela Fahy to guide us on this journey. We traced the main events of his life that led him to found our congregation.
His experience of the great love of God was the energy that impelled him into action throughout his life. This deep love overflowed into a compassionate response particularly toward the outcast of his time.
St. John Eudes saw everything in the great Heart of God and consecrated the congregation to the loving Hearts of Jesus and Mary who incarnated this great love. This love impelled the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity to reach out to the women and girls who were the marginalized in the society of that time.
Reflecting on the life of St. John Eudes, participants were invited to name the outcasts in our societies today and examine our own inner attitudes and the assumptions we make about those who seem different than us.
Sr. Anne Josephine Carr continued with the story of the Congregation by recalling the life of St. Mary Euphrasia. She began with Rose Virginie’s carefree life on the Island of Noirmoutier, continuing to her school years in Tours, her entering the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity and the events leading to the formation of the generalate.
We were invited to focus on Mary Euphrasia as a person, how her environment and experiences shaped her. Like us she had to learn to develop her gifts. Through mistakes and misunderstandings she grew in wisdom and maturity
Her experience of the great love of God for her helped her to overcome all obstacles. This love flowed into compassion for the vulnerable of society and enabled the spread of the congregation to the whole world.
Sr. Noreen O’Shea helped us connect our charism to Laudato Si, focusing on four elements: identity, creativity, spirituality and inter-connectedness. Once more we became aware of being people of the earth and deepened our understanding of the evolutionary movement of the universe and also of the congregation.
The following mantra from Laudato Si # 80 helped keep us centered.
“The Spirit of God has filled the universe with possibility and therefore, from the very heart of things, something new can always emerge.”