Why do I love Saint Mother Theodore?
Editor’s note: During the month of October, several Sisters of Providence and Providence Associates will be sharing some of what they love about Saint Mother Theodore Guerin. This is our first blog post in the series. Enjoy!
Another year, another October, another season of beautiful fall leaves … and, no doubt, in even greater abundance at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. There are many important dates on our calendar. We, the Providence Community, celebrate two major feasts: Saint Mother Theodore Guerin’s Feast Day (October 3) and our Foundation Day (October 22).
I would like to share a practical reflection on how I love our dear Mother Theodore. How do I relate to her as a daughter of Providence?
I have a habit of reading her quote of the day every morning before beginning my “worldly tasks.” It becomes a routine for me to seek some kind of consolation, affirmation or just her daily wisdom before engaging in my daily life. In fact, Saint Mother Theodore’s words are much more than “quote of the day” to me. They become a way of her being present in my life and accompanying me through each day’s journey.
This practice of letting Mother Theodore’s words inspire my actions each day strengthens my faith. It simply progresses by trust, trust that she (Mother Theodore) would speak to my heart in a timely fashion — that’s faith. If I trust, I will always find meaning and a special message in her words.
There is a personal story about how this custom has become ingrained into my daily ritual. One day, I was troubled by an untruthful accusation and struggled to find a righteous answer to that mind-boggling situation. I came across her quote on that day, which told me that “There are some among you who are like old Bouraux. This was a turkey-cock that got angry at the least thing. He did not have one good quarter of an hour during the day because he got mad at everything.” Suddenly, my heart was touched by her frankness and humor. I laughed out loud and the tension was immediately released from my mind — whatever was bothering me must be nonessential! I really trust her wisdom and judgment!
Saint Mother Theodore Guerin always comes through at the time when I earnestly ask for her wisdom and consolation. When I read the daily news on the struggling economy and inflation, she asks the same question that I have: “But again I must talk about money. When will the day come that we shall be able to be occupied only with God?” Her message to me is that she used to face the same challenges, and she handled situations like many of us. The fact that her sainthood and encouragement are so real, so near for us to reach, has become a solid foundation for my faith.
A bit of humor
Recently, I worried about my mental capacity for dealing with academic and professional pressures. My dear Mother Theodore mirthfully teases me with her famous quote: “You are very foolish, my dear sister, to be tormenting your imagination with the fear of losing your mind. … Believe me, my daughter, we cannot lose what we never had.” Oh, dear Mother Theodore, I just do not have the wit to come up with a response to that quote, but rather I diligently ask myself: “What exactly do I have then?”
Oh, how blessed to be a member of this Providence Community! The founding spirit that is expressed so poignantly in Saint Mother Theodore’s words continues to challenge and comfort my soul. May we all experience this season of thankfulness as Saint Mother Theodore said: “With hearts full of gratitude we offered our thanks to God for all the benefits bestowed on us.”