Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on April 30, 2013

portrait-of-christ-1440.jpg!BlogGospel reading of the day:

John 14:27-31a

Jesus said to his disciples: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. You heard me tell you, ‘I am going away and I will come back to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father; for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you this before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe. I will no longer speak much with you, for the ruler of the world is coming. He has no power over me, but the world must know that I love the Father and that I do just as the Father has commanded me.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: Jesus tells us in the Sermon on the Mount that a good tree bears good fruit. Peace, love, joy, self-control, and faith are each among the fruits of the Holy Spirit which Paul lists in Galatians. The presence of these characteristics described in today’s gospel are signs to us that the Holy Spirit abides in our lives. Jesus left us so that the Spirit of God, which moves where the Spirit wills, could come and abide with us to continue the Master’s work among us.

Saint of the day: Blessed Marie of the Incarnation, O.S.U., was an Ursuline nun who was the leader of the group of nuns sent to establish the Ursuline Order in New France, which founded the oldest educational institution for females in North America. She was beatified in 1980.

She was born Marie Guyart in Tours, France, the fourth of the eight children of Florent Guyart, a master baker, and his wife, Jeanne Michelet, a member of the minor aristocracy. At her father’s direction, she married Claude Martin, a silk merchant, with whom she had a son, also named Claude, before her husband died, leaving her a widow at the age of 19. Martin left behind a struggling business that Marie was able to make profitable before selling it, and returning to her family home. Free to pursue her religious inclinations, she then took a vow of celibacy, while living with her parents and supporting herself and her son with embroidery. She experienced a mystical vision in March 1620, that set her on a new path of devotional intensity.

After a year with her parents, Guyart acceded to a request by her sister and brother-in-law, Paul Buisson, in the running of a major transport company for the colony. This work had her nursing the marieguyardemployees who were sick and injured, as well as running the large stables and warehouse.

In 1631, after working with a spiritual director for many years, Guyart decided to enter the Ursuline Convent in Tours to try her religious vocation, at which time she received the religious name by which she is now known. She left her son in the care of the Buisson family, but the emotional pain of the separation would remain with them both. Later, when her son had became a Benedictine monk, they corresponded candidly about their spiritual and emotional trials.

Not long after her admission to the convent, during Christmastide of 1634, Marie was guided by visions to go to New France in order to help to establish the Catholic faith in the New World, in which vision she saw herself accompanied by a woman unknown to her. In February 1639 she was introduced to Marie-Madeline de Chauvigny de la Peltrie. She was a widow who was also drawn to serve in the new colony and had heard of Marie’s interest in this, being financially able to support such an endeavor. Marie immediately recognized her as the woman from the vision she had experience five years earlier. Marie, along with another Ursuline, Sister Marie-de-Saint-Joseph, aged 22, received permission to undertake this mission. Then they accompanied de la Peltrie to Paris, where they had to sign a contract with the Company of One Hundred Associates who were responsible for the running of the colony, and with the Jesuit Fathers, responsible for its spiritual life. Despite the strong opposition of her family, de la Peltrie signed over the bulk of her estate to the Ursuline Order for the maintenance of the mission in New France. They then traveled to Dieppe, the port of departure for New France, where a member of the local Ursuline community, Sister Cécile de Sainte-Croix, volunteered to join their mission.

The group set sail in May 1639 and landed in Quebec City the following August. The group managed to found the first school in what would become Canada, as well as the Ursuline Monastery of Quebec. Both the French colonists and the local Native people sought the education of their daughters by the nuns, and a monastery was soon opened, with a boarding school. In 1645, Mother Marie developed liver disease which was to trouble her the rest of her life. Nevertheless, she led the school, taught the students, guided the other nuns and worked to find the funds needed to keep the community functioning. Additionally, she soon mastered the local languages and composed dictionaries in Algonquin and Iroquois, a sacred history in Algonquin, and a catechism in Iroquois. Marie died at the monastery she had built on April 30, 1672.

Spiritual reading: “The times are bad! The times are troublesome!” This is what humans say. But we are our times. Let us live well and our times will be good. Such as we are, such are our times. (Augustine of Hippo)


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