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Trust and work

Saint Mother Theodore Guerin

Saint Mother Theodore Guerin

I recently discovered a post on Franciscan Media by Father Don Miller, OFM, about Saint Mother Theodore Guerin. After a brief summary of her life, he provided this reflection: “God’s work gets done by people ready to take risks and to work hard—always remembering what Saint Paul told the Corinthians, ‘I planted, Apollos watered, but God caused the growth.’”

What a beautiful reflection on the life of our saint.

Saint Mother Theodore trusted always in God. Words she wrote in her lifetime that we continue to rely on so greatly attest to that: “Have confidence in the Providence that so far has never failed us.” “Rest assured, my dear sisters, if you lean with all your weight upon Providence, you will find yourselves well supported.”

I love what Father Miller pulled out of her story: the risk-taking and hard-work necessary to bring about God’s kindom.


Taking risks and working hard: a reflection on Saint Mother Theodore Guerin

Mother Theodore also said, “We cannot do our work if we all stay in the nest.” More importantly still, she lived that. She left France for Indiana, leaving behind everything she knew. She undertook an expensive journey back to France in search of much-needed financial support. She opened a school before having a reasonable place for her sisters to live. She toiled in the fields and in the house despite her observation that “It is astonishing that this remote solitude has been chosen for a novitiate and especially for an academy. All appearances are against it.” Despite her doubt, she trusted God’s will and worked in pursuit of it.

This reminds me of one of my favorite prayers, known as the Romero Prayer: “We are workers, not master builders; ministers, not messiahs. We are prophets of a future not our own.”

What risks do you take trusting that Providence is leading you in the right direction? How do you work in pursuit of the path God is leading you down?

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Sister Emily TeKolste

Sister Emily TeKolste

Sister Emily TeKolste is in formation with the Sisters of Providence. She is a native of Indianapolis and has a degree in sociology from Xavier University in Cincinnati. Emily is passionate about justice with special interest in environmentalism and sustainability. You can follow her blog at solongstatusquoblog.wordpress.com. She currently ministers with the NETWORK lobby for Catholic social justice.

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  1. Avatar Donna Butler on November 30, 2016 at 8:19 am

    Emily, Thank you for this reflection in a time that certainly requires risk taking and hard work. While this prayer is often attributed to Romero, it was really composed by Bishop Ken Untener (RIP) of Saginaw, MI.

    • Avatar Emily TeKolste on November 30, 2016 at 10:45 am

      Thanks for that clarification on the Romero Prayer attribution!

  2. Avatar Cathy Campbell, SP on November 30, 2016 at 10:08 am

    What great questions you offer us to ponder in this blog, Emily! Thanks for being among us and challenging us with your wonderful reflections.

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