Monday, July 14, 2008

Meditation for July 15, Weak Women

Mother Javouhey, foundress of the Religious of St. Joseph of Cluny often used to say "I don't like weak women."

She could talk thus, for the king of her day once called her A Great Man.

St. Theresa of Avila was of the same mind. Both these women thought that a religious should have a vigorous soul; that she should be above the weakness of certain religious who must be coddled like children, or always upheld and encouraged lest they lose heart on the way.

Forward then! In the service of Our Lord there is no place for inconsistent, hesitating, perturbed, unstable, cowardly souls, wrapped up in themselves.

A nun is a woman. She can never have too many womanly gifts, --love, pity, zeal for service; a certain need of being guided and of unburdening herself. But she must possess them in a great man­ner! They must be accompanied by a virile courage, a beautiful moderation in desires for marks of affection and confidence, a total forgetfulness of self, a discreet but profound humility.

Who was more a woman than the Virgin Mary? Nevertheless, who more than she possessed courage to the degree of heroism? She stood--does not this word say all? Think of her discretion in words to the point of complete silence, she kept all in her heart; we are not told of any desire on her part to be pitied or complimented.

"My God, I do not want to lay claims to gifts that I do not have, nor to imagine myself stronger than I am. I beg of You, grant me the grace to be in my community, not as a straw which floats, but a valiant soul who remains steadfast and knows how to carry on; give me character and virtue to be ready for everything, even for something harder."
Adapted from Meditations for Religious
by Father Raoul Plus, S.J. (© 1939, Frederick Pustet Co.)

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