Journals and Letters week 45: Sorrows and shadows
If it weren’t for Sister Basilide, the daily flip calendar featuring quotations from Mother Theodore would be very slim. And we’d lose out on some of Mother Theodore’s observations delivered with wit and wisdom.
In the two brief letters to her much loved and often irritating Sister Basilide, Mother Theodore has this to say:
- “Indeed it is very difficult, and it requires an uncommon virtue, not to make others suffer when we suffer.”
- “Always and everywhere you will find people who will try your patience, and you yourself will try theirs.”
- “The talent of a good superior is to require of each one only what she can give.”
Mourning and ill health
The brief four letters in the pages of this section reveal another aspect of Mother Theodore’s mind and heart. Sorrows and shadows weighing on her begin to surface more frequently.
She writes of the illnesses of other sisters at Saint Mary’s and of her grieving the death of Bishop Bouvier and “little Sister Josephine.”
Mother Theodore also writes very frankly of her declining health and energy.
- “This [writing letters] has taken all my time. I am truly tired but I believe I shall rest only in heaven.”
- “When Sister Theodore has been well for one day, she spends three day repenting of her good behavior.”
- “ … my health is still very miserable.”
Immediately following Mother Theodore’s letter of March 22, 1855, the editor inserts these words: “Continual bad health and frequent long illnesses had marked [Mother Theodore’s] years ever since her arrival in America. … She was now evidently getting weaker.”
Sober words and a foreshadowing of things to come.
Why not reread pages 397–402? Why not reread the pages just to see what happens?
Share your thoughts here.
Next week: page 402 bottom to page 409, starting with “Letter Circular”
Download the complete reading schedule: