Week 5: Daily reflections with Saint Mother Theodore Guerin
Sunday, March 26
“Try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the fruitless works of darkness; rather expose them, for it is shameful even to mention the things done by them in secret; but everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for everything that becomes visible is light.” – Ephesians 5:10-13
“If in leaving this dear mission I could bear away with me the consoling thought that my Sisters were happy and in the enjoyment of peace, I would say, like you, what does it matter what becomes of us, provided God’s work be accomplished? God’s work – ah, it will ever be accomplished. What can we do against it?” – Saint Mother Theodore Guerin
Mother Theodore was faced with the threat of being forced to leave her community. Still, she strove that her primary concern was that the work of God be accomplished.
• How do I let go of self-interest for the sake of doing God’s work?
• How can I foster the type of detachment Mother Theodore showed in this instance, faced with being kicked out, not only of leadership, but of the community she had founded?
Monday, March 27
“Thus says the LORD: Lo, I am about to create new heavens and a new earth; the things of the past shall not be remembered or come to mind.” – Isaiah 65:17
“This land was no longer for me the land of exile; it was the portion of my inheritance, and in it I hope to dwell all the days of my life.” – Saint Mother Theodore Guerin
• How do we work with God to create God’s reign “on earth as it is in heaven”?
• How do I honor the land given to me as a portion of my inheritance, as a gift from God?
Tuesday, March 28
“Along both banks of the river [that flows from the sanctuary], fruit trees of every kind shall grow; their leaves shall not fade, nor their fruit fail. Every month they shall bear fresh fruit, for they shall be watered by the flow from the sanctuary. Their fruit shall serve for food, and their leaves for medicine.” – Ezekiel 47:12
“In the midst of all our storms, however, we have the consolation of seeing the religious spirit become solid amongst the Sisters, and that is not a little thing. If we are good Religious, God will protect us; and if He be with us, who shall be against us?” – Saint Mother Theodore Guerin
• Do I trust God to bring fruit to bear in the work I do? Do I trust even as I struggle to do my work the way I’d hoped to or when I struggle to see results?
Wednesday, March 29
“Sing out, O heavens, and rejoice, O earth, break forth into song, you mountains. For the LORD comforts his people and shows mercy to his afflicted.” – Isaiah 49:13
“I turned to my God and felt my confidence reanimated. If He takes away our last support, is it not because He wishes to be the sole support of His Daughters of the Woods?” – Saint Mother Theodore Guerin
• When has God remained faithful to me, even when all seemed hopeless?
Thursday, March 30
“But Moses implored the LORD, his God, saying, ‘Why, O LORD, should your wrath blaze up against your own people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt with such great power and with so strong a hand?’” – Exodus 32:11
“Profit by the experience you have just had at your own expense and do not speak to the children but with prudence and discretion. There is no way of repairing what you have done but by showing the pupils what you can do. Do your utmost to be recollected at the time of prayer. There you will obtain all the graces you need, in order to overcome your passions and to acquire the virtues which should adorn your soul. You will also obtain humility to see your faults without being vexed and discouraged.” – Saint Mother Theodore Guerin
• Do I forgive myself when I make mistakes? How can I offer mercy to myself?
• Do I strive to correct my behavior for the future?
Friday, March 31
“The wicked said among themselves, thinking not aright: ‘With revilement and torture let us put him to the test that we may have proof of his gentleness and try his patience.’” – Wisdom 2:19
“Finally did [Bishop de la Hailandiére] come on the fourteenth of this month and brought us the deed for a portion of the land – about eighty acres. He reserves the rest for himself.… As the law in this country admits of no conditions, it is very probably that the deed will not be valid.” – Saint Mother Theodore Guerin
If anyone tested the patience of another, it was Bishop de la Hailandiére to Mother Theodore. Still, she strove to see his zeal for God beyond the false accusations he mounted against her, beyond his refusal to follow through on his promises to approve their Rule and grant them the land promised them. Saint Mother Theodore stood up for herself and still approached Bishop de la Hailandiére with love and respect.
• How do I strive to see my “enemies” with eyes of love?
Listen to the On Being episode with Rep. John Lewis, a leader in the Civil Rights Movement.
Saturday, April 1
“Let me witness the vengeance you take on them, for to you I have entrusted my cause!” – Jeremiah 11:20
“No fear nor human respect ever made her give in to any injustice.” – Sister Mary Eudoxie on Mother Theodore
• How do I trust God enough to offer another person my mercy and forgiveness?