Journals and Letters week 31: Do good to all for the love of God
Such a timely entry! Mother Theodore writes and instructs the sisters on dealing with an epidemic in her day. And here we are dealing with a pandemic in our own.
I also just helped edit and post Sister Janet Gilligan of the Sisters of Providence Archives Department’s HOPE article regarding these very letters. You can find her take on Saint Mother Theodore’s advice in the face of epidemic here.
As a mother myself, I identify with Mother Theodore’s needing constant information on the wellbeing of her “children.” These days we can call or text our children instantly to know that they are safe. I can imagine how nerve-wracking the not knowing for days or weeks at a time was for her in the face of this danger. I feel where Mother Theodore is when she asks the sisters on mission to keep her updated on “everything.”
Caring for all
Mother Theodore’s advice: “Without distinction of persons, do good to all for the love of God” touches me. In caring for the sick Mother Theodore and her sisters were not deterred by differences in creed or heritage or race. I see the Sisters of Providence carrying on that openness to loving care for everybody to this day. That is so refreshing to me. I notice some churches and religious people only serving their own little community. They leave out those they see as sinners (unless of course they think they have a chance of converting them). Even today, people don’t all have to be from the same cookie cutter mold in order to be served by the Sisters of Providence.
I also enjoy Mother Theodore’s advice in calling the sisters home for retreat. She says, “However good and holy your occupations may be, they leave distraction and fatigue. Come then, dear daughters, to enjoy yourselves a little in the Lord and prepare for what the future has in store for you.” A good reminder to all of us to take needed breaks — whether they be retreats or vacations — to refresh and rest “in the Lord.”
A wise and caring woman indeed was our Mother Theodore.
What advice would you offer a loved one after having lived through the pandemic of the past year?
What is your favorite way to “enjoy yourself a little in the Lord?”