Everything depends upon the pure intention! Mary's great perfection consisted in this: she did and suffered all for God, in the most intimate union with him and his will, and for his greater glory.
Mother Pauline 1848
We wish you a blessed Advent Season!
The following Video shows the moment when Pope Francis closed the Holy Door of St. Peter. The Holy Year of Mercy has ended, but the "door" of God's merciful Heart remains open. (Remark: The video begins with a hort advertisment. Source: La Repubblica)
On November 20 - Feast of Christ the King - Holy Father will close the last Holy Door - that of St. Peter. The Holy Year of Mercy is ending, but not the daily challenge to be merciful as the Father in Heaven is merciful. Here an exerpt of a homily that Pope Francis gave on September 21, 2016:
Mercy is expressed, first of all, in forgiveness: “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven” (v. 37). Jesus does not intend to undermine the course of human justice, he does, however, remind his disciples that in order to have fraternal relationships they must suspend judgment and condemnation. Forgiveness, in fact, is the pillar that holds up the life of the Christian community, because it shows the gratuitousness with which God has loved us first.
The Christian must forgive! Why? Because he has been forgiven. All of us who are here today, in the Square, we have been forgiven. There is not one of us who, in our own life, has had no need of God’s forgiveness. And because we have been forgiven, we must forgive. We recite this every day in the Our Father: “Forgive us our sins; forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us”. That is, to forgive offenses, to forgive many things, because we have been forgiven of many offenses, of many sins. In this way it is easy to forgive: if God has forgiven me, why do I not forgive others? Am I greater than God? This pillar of forgiveness shows us the gratuitousness of the love of God, who loved us first. Judging and condemning a brother who sins is wrong. Not because we do not want to recognize sin, but because condemning the sinner breaks the bond of fraternity with him and spurns the mercy of God, who does not want to renounce any of his children. We do not have the power to condemn our erring brother, we are not above him: rather, we have a duty to recover the dignity of a child of the Father and to accompany him on his journey of conversion.
Jesus also indicates a second pillar to us who are his Church: “to give”. Forgiveness is the first pillar; giving is the second pillar. “Give, and it will be given to you.... For the measure you give will be the measure you get back” (v. 38). God gives far beyond our merits, but He will be even more generous with those who have been generous on earth. Jesus does not say what will happen to those who do not give, but the image of the “measure” is a warning: with the measure that we give, it is we who determine how we will be judged, how we will be loved. If we look closely, there is a coherent logic: the extent to which you receive from God, you give to your brother, and the extent to which you give to your brother, you will receive from God!
Merciful love is therefore the only way forward. We all have a great need to be a bit more merciful, to not speak ill of others, to not judge, to not “sting” others with criticism, with envy and jealousy. We must forgive, be merciful, and live our lives with love.
This love enables Jesus’ disciples to never lose the identity they received from Him, and to recognize themselves as children of the same Father. In the love that they practice in life we see reflected that Mercy that will never end (cf. 1 Cor 13:1-12). Do not forget this: mercy is a gift; forgiveness and giving. In this way, the heart expands, it grows with love. While selfishness and anger make the heart small, they make it harden like a stone. Which do you prefer? A heart of stone or a heart full of love? If you prefer a heart full of love, be merciful!
Solemn profession was set for November 4, 1850, the feast of St. Charles Borromeo.
The festivities again took place in the Bussdorf Church, the Bishop celebrating the Pontifical Mass. In the Memoirs, which she had intended for her Sisters, Pauline described these ceremonies in an outburst of jubilation.
“After the Gospel we approached the altar and when we had expressed our desire to pronounce the holy vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, the Bishop responded: ‘Let us first of all beg for you the intercession of the Blessed Mother of God and of all the Saints of heaven.’ And then he began to pray the Litany of the Saints; in an earnest chorus all present answered with the priest at the altar: ‘ora pro nobis!’ During this time, we lay prostrate before the altar, our faces on the lowest step. What went on then in my soul? Tears of emotion and joyful confidence filled my eyes. I cannot recall exactly what I prayed from the innermost depths of my heart. I begged God to accept the offering, which I brought to him with such inexpressibly great joy, and begged him trustingly to help me to be faithful in the observance of my vows and to bless the Congregation. These were blessed moments! Then the Bishop, in mitre and crosier, turned to us, and three times spoke the words of blessing over us, whereupon we four Sisters, each holding a burning candle, pronounced our vows, one after the other, and received the ring which the Bishop placed on our finger.”
In this account, Pauline’s heart overflows with pious sentiments. She considers herself fortunate “to conclude her former life with death to the world, to live from now on for Christ alone.”
We cannot expect that others have none but good qualities; they have their faults too. This remains an imperfect world. (1872)
We experience a far greater spiritual gain by being patient with annoying people than the time we would have gained by dealing with them abruptly. (1842)
Love conquers all. May you possess this holy love toward all. This love and solicitude must embrace all, all, all persons. (1877)
Though others be sad or serious, let your countenance always be cheerful and friendly. Thus you will eventually drive away all sadness. (1847)
Guard against any partiality, and if you have a preference, let it be for the most ragged, the most abandoned children. Exclude nor child from your heart. (1847)
Each one must respect the opinion of the other and all must discuss matters in common. Things will not go well if each one insists on her own ideas, and God's blessing will then be wanting. (1877)