Week 3: Walking through Lent with Saint Mother Theodore
Sunday, March 12:
“All the communities of the earth shall find blessing in you.” – Genesis 12:3
“Beloved: Bear your share of hardship for the gospel with the strength that comes from God.” – II Timothy 1:8
“The moment of separation and of death had come at last. We had to leave all. After having made the most painful sacrifices, which had cost our hearts so much, we had to break the last ties by tearing ourselves away from our dear ‘Providence’ of Ruillé, that home so tenderly loved by all the Sisters of Providence.” – Saint Mother Theodore Guerin
• If I’m truly being honest with myself, what is God calling me to give up right now?
• How do I experience the growth that God is calling me to?
Monday, March 13
“We have sinned, been wicked and done evil; we have rebelled and departed from your commandments and your laws. We have not obeyed your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes, our fathers, and all the people of the land.” – Daniel 9:5-6
“Do your utmost to be recollected at the time of prayer. There you will obtain all the graces you need … You will also obtain humility to see your faults without being vexed and discouraged. With a little good will you will become perfect at last.” – Saint Mother Theodore Guerin
• There’s a fine line between self-reflection for improvement and putting myself down over every minute detail. Does my time in prayer aid me in the humility to see my faults without becoming discouraged or obsessive?
Tuesday, March 14
“Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example. For they preach but they do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens hard to carry and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they will not lift a finger to move them.” – Matthew 23:3-4
“Have courage. Pray, pray much for yourself, for your mission, for that erring city, but resign yourself to what it will please God to order, and try not to let these contradictions have any influence on your dealings with your companions. This is not asking little. Indeed it is very difficult, and it requires an uncommon virtue, not to make others suffer when we suffer.” – Saint Mother Theodore Guerin
• Does my own lack of mercy add to my own burdens or the burdens of others?
• How has God’s grace helped me to respond in love even when it’s hard?
Wednesday, March 15
“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and the great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant.” – Matthew 20:25-26
“Be good enough to ask of the Lord that the life which He has spared us so mercifully be employed to serve Him with great fervor and love.” – Saint Mother Theodore Guerin
• Jesus promised that the greatest must become the least. What is one thing I am called to do today to live into this reversal of social norms?
Thursday, March 16
“Thus says your God: Cursed is the one who trusts in human beings, who seeks strength in the flesh, whose heart turns away from Yahweh.” – Jeremiah 17:5
“Believe me, ma fille, there will be always money enough in the Community of Saint Mary’s if there be always good Religious. Oh! Let us pray much for that, and the rest will be given unto us.” – Saint Mother Theodore Guerin
• Where do I place my priorities?
• Do I trust in God to provide my needs so that I can pour my energies into following what God asks of me?
Friday, March 17
“The Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that will produce its fruit.” –Matthew 21:43
“[Mother Theodore] had many trials to bear, but when she knew that she was about to face some trial, she often spent the night in prayer to ask help.” – Sister Eugenia Logan
• When have I turned to God with complete trust to help me through a trial I have to face?
• How has God’s presence helped my life to bear God’s fruit?
Extra challenge: Spend some time in prayer, perhaps through a creative approach such as journaling dialogue or creating art, seeking extra insight into this week’s reflection questions. Sometimes God speaks in a different way when you approach through a different entry point.
Saturday, March 18
“Who is there like you, the God who removes guilt and pardons sin for the remnant of his inheritance; who does not persist in anger forever, but delights rather in clemency, and will again have compassion on us, treading underfoot our guilt?” – Micah 7:18-19
“[Mother Theodore] was solicitous for the welfare of her Sisters. When they were in error, she called their attention to their faults, very sternly if necessary; but she always gave them assurance of her maternal affection for them.” – Mother Rose Angela Horan
• How am I merciful with myself? How am I merciful with others?
• How do I prioritize relationship even when addressing wrongs?