January 11, 2017

St. Marguerite Bourgeoys on Responding to God's Love

Saint Marguerite Bourgeoys

St. Marguerite Bourgeoys, the 17th century French foundress of the Congregation of Notre Dame of Montreal in the colony of New France, (present-day Canada), dedicated her life to educating the young, the poor, and natives. She established one of the first mendicant religious orders for women in the Catholic Church.
When the heart is open to the sun of grace, we see flowers blossom in their fragrance; these are seen to have profited by the word of God.
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It is true that all I have ever desired most deeply and what I still most ardently wish is that the great precept of the love of God above all things and of the neighbour as oneself be written in every heart.
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Teaching is the work most suited to draw down the graces of God if it is done with purity of intention, without distinction between the poor and the rich, between relatives and friends and strangers, between the pretty and the ugly, the gentle and the grumblers, looking upon them all as drops of Our Lord’s blood.
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It seems to me that we do not pay enough attention to prayer, for unless it arises from the heart which ought to be its centre, it is no more than a fruitless dream. Prayer ought to carry over into our thoughts, our words and our actions.
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God is not satisfied if we preserve the love we owe our neighbour; we must preserve our neighbour in the love he ought to have for us.
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The sisters ought to ask in fervent prayer for the graces they need to succeed in their work.
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It seems to me that we are charcoal ready to be kindled and that Holy Communion is entirely suited to set us on fire. But when this charcoal is kindled only on the surface, as soon as it is set aside, it is extinguished. On the contrary, that which is fired all the way to the centre is not extinguished, but is consumed.

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