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Journals and Letters week 22: “I am so tired …”

[Today we are discussing “Journals and Letters” page 200 to page 209 mid-page. Join us in reading a portion of Saint Mother Theodore’s writings every week in the coming year.]

“I am so tired of treating of these matters with His Lordship.”

These words of Mother Theodore’s sum up this whole passage for me perfectly. For so long we have been following along with all the unnecessary hardship this bishop is putting these sisters through. I am so tired of it, too, Mother Theodore! And I am not even living through it, just reading about it.

Where I find myself in this moment makes me appreciate Mother Theodore still further. I am home sick with a family of five. One daughter has been diagnosed with COVID-19. And, although the rest of us are awaiting our test results, I’m guessing most, if not all, of the family has it. So here I am, trying to keep up with my work remotely, keep at least some clean dishes in the house, feed people, take care of people and I don’t feel good myself.

Working while ill

I think of Mother Theodore. She had to stay in charge and oversee everyone else. A true “mother.” And on top of all that the bishop keeps causing problem after problem. All of this is compounded by Mother Theodore’s chronic poor health that leaves her ill or weak much of the time. Oh, to feel ill much of the time and still accomplish so much! This woman is my hero.

“I should be only too happy if my task were accomplished and I might be allowed to retire, to think of myself and prepare for death, which I believe is not too far off,” she writes. Ahh such luxury for an overworked woman in ill health! Retirement. Reflection. But she continues, “However, I do not will or desire anything but the fulfillment of the Divine Will.” And in that willingness to give her all, I think we see what makes this woman a saint. She would love a break, but she works for God’s mission to the very end.

In one letter Mother Theodore refers to a “year of anxieties.” I’m guessing most people the world over can relate to that this year. In yet another letter she writes, “I turned to my God and felt my confidence reanimated.” A good bit of advice for all of us as we move forward after a long and difficult year.

Your turn

In what ways does “turning to God” help you to feel your “confidence reanimated?” 

With what words of Mother Theodore in this passage can you most easily relate?


Next week > page 209 to page 219 mid-page

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Amy Miranda

Amy Miranda is a Providence Associate of the Sisters of Providence and a staff member in their Mission Advancement office. Amy is a 1998 graduate of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. She currently manages the SP publication HOPE and works on marketing support for Providence Associates, new membership and Saint Mother Theodore Guerin.

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7 Comments

  1. Marsha Speth on March 6, 2021 at 7:14 am

    Ahhh, well said, Amy! You share a mother’s heart with our Mother Theodore!

  2. Donna Butler on March 6, 2021 at 9:12 am

    Amy,
    A woman whose struggles you can relate to.
    Praying for you and your family that soon all will be well.

  3. Barbara Bluntzer SP on March 6, 2021 at 10:33 am

    Oh, Amy! No wonder people love reading stories about you and so many other mothers…INCLUDING Mother Theodore. You both who expressed your tiredness, your seemingly being “up-against-it”….and yet you take a deep (spiritual) breath and keep on going. What a model you two are for so many women (and men) around the world at this time !! God bless you…..

  4. Jeannie Smith on March 6, 2021 at 11:09 am

    Amy Dear! I know that Mother Theodore has you in her arms, and is caring for you and your family. Be confident that the Providence Family is praying for you and for a full and swift recovery.
    Your reflection shows how well you understand what it means to be tired and not well, yet to keep moving on to care for the needs of others. I always think of the departed (and the not-departed, too) as a drop of God, and those departed ones have joined the ocean that is God, all those drops. And since we all exist in God, so the drop that was Mother Theodore is also what we rest in – if we can recognize that, then perhaps we, too can carry on in the face of adversity with the selflessness that she embodied. Bless you!

    • Ann Casper, SP on March 9, 2021 at 4:21 pm

      The departed as drops of God. The ocean that is God. The drop that was Mother Theosodre is also what we rest in …

      What beautiful images, Jeannie!

      Thank you.
      Ann C.

  5. Linda McMahon, PA on March 6, 2021 at 11:57 am

    As I read this week’s pages and then your reflection, Amy, I was touched by the depth of maternal love that Mother Theodore held in her heart and that women through the ages have held. I have received many emails about International Women’s Day that is celebrated on March 8. As I read the mission “to educate, enlighten and empower women world wide to rise in excellence” I see our dear Mother’s life summed up in these words. And, as Catholic Sisters Week begins on March 8, with its focus on how Women Religious “.. fight injustice, share spirituality, empower women, teach children, offer hope…” I see a description of Mother Theodore’s life and ministry and the legacy of the Sisters of Providence. It is a good reminder for me of all that can be accomplished with a trust in Providence that enables one to continue despite the obstacles.

  6. Cathy Dearing on March 7, 2021 at 10:20 am

    Amy,

    Thanks so much for your reflection. I am sorry to read that you and your family are not feeling well. I am praying for your healing and theirs.

    Being ill or in pain while still having to forge through the responsibilities of the day is so very difficult. Again, in these pages, it is still a great struggle for me to come to know the terrible and unjust treatment that Mother Theodore endured over so many years from the Bishop of Vincennes and that it was allowed to continue. I cannot imagine the pain and anguish this caused her.

    I took note of the words she wrote to the Bishop of Le Mans (page 206) “. . . after God, it is to you we owe our happiness.” So my ‘turning to God” helps me recognize and cultivate those relationships and people to which I owe my happiness. Time and time again, Mother Theodore remembers that it is God, her Community, and other supportive individuals to which she owes her happiness

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