A New Call of Wisdom…
A Response Filled with Passionate Love...
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Beatification of Marie Louise of Jesus is for us, Daughters of Wisdom, both a source of joy and gratitude but also a profound challenge.
I am convinced that it was not by chance that the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Beatification coincided with the event of the General Chapter. The Beatification allowed many among us to discover the endearing face of the first Daughter of Wisdom. We discovered with our eyes and hearts, the passionate and daring woman she was, responding to an exceptional call to live a new form of religious life for the time…an apostolic religious life.
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,
“The Unbelievably Generous Excess of the Love of God”
Sr. Louise Madore, D.W.
By contemplating a Nativity scene, meditating and savoring at length these texts of Montfort on the Incarnation, what links could be made between them and the theme of the General Chapter : "Love without borders! "?
Let us take the special way taught by Montfort. It is the one that he and Marie Louise of Jesus followed… Let us adopt Mary's contemplative gaze; let us be touched and transformed by this great mystery of love, the Incarnation.
The Incomprehensible, allowed himself to be perfectly comprehended and contained by the humble Virgin Mary, without losing anything of his immensity….The Inaccessible, drew near to us and united himself closely, perfectly and even personally to our humanity through Mary without losing anything of his majesty; it is also through Mary that we must draw near to God…. (TD 157)
Mary was chosen by God in order to offer to Wisdom a way of humanity that makes Wisdom, our brother. Our mission is not only to give Jesus to the world. We are also called to bring others to discover Him, to lead others to Him and to build a new humanity for whom, every day, He continues to incarnate, in us, in others and in Creation. Let us live our human journey with Mary, by becoming women who will dare : "Love without borders" and thus live the amazing excess of the love of God!
“Who will Roll Away the Stone for Us?” Mk 16: 3
Sr.Louise Madore DW
On Easter morning, this Word resounded in the heart of the women, anxious to find Jesus, their Beloved. As soon as the Sabbath was over, eager to express their love by performing the last rites, they bought the spices they needed and ran to anoint the body of the Beloved. But suddenly, on the way, a doubt arose in their hearts, “Who will roll away the stone for us?”
For the four Evangelists, on Easter morning, it is the women who were concerned about a way to roll the immense stone that blocked access to the tomb: “Who will roll away the stone for us?” (Mk 16, 3) and again, those same women were appalled to discover that the stone had been rolled (Lk 24: 2; Mt 28:2) or removed (Jn 20: 1).
I invite you to contemplate this rolled stone…as on the morning of Easter, let us try to discover what it means for us today. What is incredible takes place right before the eyes of these women, first disciples of the Resurrection.
Let us ask these women, witnesses of the Resurrection, to open our eyes to discover beyond mere appearances, through faith, the realities that overwhelm us. They thought that all was over, that the One they loved so much, in whom they had put their hope, their Master, Jesus, was sealed forever in death behind the stone.
And then, the unexpected irrupted as water gushing in the middle of a desert, life burst out of the imprisonment of the tomb, death was rolled by resurrection. In the crucible of the folly of love delivered on the cross, Life cried out “Victory” in the risen Jesus, death no longer has any power over him.
In our hearts, will we let the risen Christ roll the stones that prevent us from letting life burst out and that keep us in the darkness of the tomb? There are many such stones that turn our eyes away from the sprouts of life that are only waiting our love in order to spring forth. Stones of our indifference, anger, fears of those who are different… or stones that enclose us in the past, in a lukewarm religious life, in our individualism… What stone “rolled” by the Resurrection do I wish to see today?
In a world that often speaks of the fear of the stranger or the migrant and prompts us to withdraw within oneself, focusing on our human development at the expense of the common good and the mission, will we dare to roll the stones that enclose and stifle us?
Wisdom is this liberating force that sends us forth to our sisters and brothers in need, thirsting for authentic relationships, searching for meaning and yearning to be free from all forms of burden that weigh down their lives. (Orientations General Chapter 2012)