Week 4: Daily Lenten reflections with Saint Mother Theodore
Sunday, March 19
“The Samaritan woman said to him, ‘How can you, a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?’ —For Jews use nothing in common with Samaritans.” – John 4:9
“Behold, people, but not our Sisters. We shall not meet with friendly faces, with devoted hearts, in this foreign land. Here we shall be looked upon with contempt, perhaps with hatred; at most, we shall meet only pity.” – Saint Mother Theodore Guerin
• How have I sought or welcomed encounter with someone who seemed different from me?
• What is one thing I could do this week to engage more deeply someone whose world I might not understand?
Monday, March 20
“So if you think you are standing, watch out that you do not fall. No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it.” – I Corinthians 10:12-13
“It is true, my dear child, that our Lord has very often tried the love of His most remarkable servants by temptations and crosses of every kind before bestowing upon them his choicest favors; but they were very faithful to Him even during those days of trial. Continue to be faithful yourself, my dear child.” – Saint Mother Theodore Guerin
• How do I discern what is mine to bear?
• How do I remain faithful in those days when the burden is unenjoyable and hard to carry?
Tuesday, March 21
“So let our sacrifice be in your presence today as we follow you unreservedly; for those who trust in you cannot be put to shame. And now we follow you with our whole heart, we fear you and we pray to you.” – Daniel 3:40-41
“Let us beg our Lord to choose for us that which will unite us more closely to Him; and beseech Him for the light, the grace, the strength we need to do in all this His adorable Will.” – Saint Mother Theodore Guerin
• What part of me holds back from following God’s will for me?
• How can I honor that part of me that resists while calling it forward into trust in God?
Wednesday, March 22
“Now, Israel, hear the statutes and decrees which I am teaching you to observe, that you may live, and may enter in and take possession of the land which the LORD, the God of your fathers, is giving you.” – Deuteronomy 4:1
“This Act contained an abridgement of what we had already done, some vague excuses, and a positive promise that we would remain in the Diocese of Vincennes if what we asked was granted.… His Lordship replied at once that he would now give the official approbation to our Rules, and also that he would give us the property of Saint Mary’s.” – Saint Mother Theodore Guerin
More than two years after Mother Theodore wrote, upon returning from a fundraising trip to France, that she felt Indiana to be her home, the sisters actually received title to the land. Before that, they had been under threat of having to leave due to the bishop’s continual refusal to grant what he had promised to the sisters upon their agreement to begin the mission from France to Indiana. Throughout the six years, Mother Theodore remained faithful to the genuine attempts to seek God’s will above all else.
• When have prolonged challenges tested my faithfulness?
• How have I overcome these challenges or continued to seek faithfulness?
Thursday, March 23
“This is the nation that does not listen to the voice of the LORD, its God, or take correction. Faithfulness has disappeared; the word itself is banished from their speech.” – Jeremiah 7:28
“Come, then, very dear Sisters, to consider the one thing necessary, the only thing that is truly our own. Sad experience teaches us that exterior occupations, even the holiest, dry up the soul and, in separating it from God, make it forget, like Martha, the one thing necessary which Mary had chosen.” – Saint Mother Theodore Guerin
• How does my inner life feed my outer, active life?
• How aware am I when I have a need to reconnect to God in prayer?
Friday, March 24
“Return, O Israel, to the LORD, your God.” – Hosea 14:1
“This, then, is the portion of the vineyard of the Lord which we are called upon to cultivate. In order that you may work therein with fresh ardor, we invite you to come to renew your souls in the retreat.” – Saint Mother Theodore Guerin
• When I begin to feel drained in my work, do I take time to return to God for renewal?
• What are a few small ways I can seek God’s renewal even if I can’t escape for a full retreat?
Extra Challenge: Take an extra hour of quiet and prayer for yourself this weekend. Spend some time painting or drawing or creating music. Invest in an adult coloring book, if that feels appropriate. Explore the movements of God inside yourself in a new way.
Saturday, March 25
“Sacrifice or oblation you wished not, but ears open to obedience you gave me.” – Psalm 40:6
“If ever this poor little Community becomes settled, it will be established on the cross; and that is what gives me confidence and makes me hope, sometimes even against hope.” – Saint Mother Theodore Guerin
• When in my life has obedience required sacrifice?
• Which am I more willing to offer — sacrifice for the sake of sacrifice or sacrifice for the sake of obedience?