At the Beatification celebration in Rome, on May 16, 1993, Pope John-Paul II pronounced the following words concerning her:
“Marie Louise of Jesus allowed herself to be seized by Christ, passionately seeking the inner covenant of human wisdom with eternal Wisdom. And the natural unfolding of the bond of deep intimacy, was a passionate action devoted towards the poorest of her fellow human beings. The adoration of the Wisdom of the Father, incarnated in the Son, always carries with it daily service to those who have nothing appealing to others, but who are always very dear in the sight of God.”
One wonders how these words proclaimed by pope St John Paul II echo in our hearts as we prepare to live the General Chapter inviting us to “Love without Borders”? I believe that the first place of conversion to which God calls us is to let oneself be seized by Christ, to passionately seek Him in a relationship that naturally reconciles deep intimacy with Wisdom and loving action for the destitute.
Of course, the crossroads where Wisdom calls us today does not take on the same contextual reality as that of our foundress. But to live at the crossroads requires, as religious, to be daring, to prophetically stand in the perpetual movement of life, and to stay on the “fringes or the margins” … of the chaos of a new creation from which will emerge an unprecedented way of weaving the bonds of humanity, of reconfiguring our societies, the Church, religious life and the Congregation.
Marie Louise trusted Montfort who, even at the risk of his life, questioned a tradition threatened with paralysis and that was far from being evangelical. With him, she opted for a form of religious life that was open to the four winds, exposed to the normal and disturbing hazards of life.
Are we not strongly invited to enter the vision of this woman who never hesitated to follow suit in the newness of the Spirit! Being in the margins never frightened her and that is where she is urging us on today. As First Daughter of Wisdom and as Leader, her frequent refusal to compromise speaks eloquently today.
Let us remember the secret of her audacity: a passionate love for God….
“To speak well of God, one must often speak to God.” 1
and a passionate love for the poor…
“Our love must be an active love that forms in us
a burning desire that God be known, loved and served.” 2
“If I were cloth, I would give myself to clothe the poor.” 3
May we all, from the depth of our being and in communion with one another, implore Marie Louise. Like her, may we become more deeply rooted in the love of Christ Wisdom, the only love that can turn into a burning bush. With Marie Louise, let us dare to commit ourselves as members of the Corps Congregation in a prophetic movement, bearing witness that, with Wisdom, it is possible to “Love without borders.”
Sr. Louise Madore D.W.
1.En direct avec Marie-Louise de Jésus – Écrits et paroles, p. 148
2.Ibid., p. 148
3.Documents et Recherches VII, Charles Besnard No524,