Community “View things from God’s viewpoint”

Author: SSpSAP
Subject: “Constitution 112: Love The Gift of Piety “
Language: English, Spanish
Publisher: SSpSAP Generalate
Year: 1997
  1. The witness of sisterly love in community between Mother Mary Michael and Bl. Maria Virgo, who were different in personality, character, and education, is indicative of the power of God’s grace at work in those who truly seek to love him and their neighbor with the heart of Jesus Christ. (BMV p. 95)
  2. The switch in role when Mother Mary Michael became Bl. Maria Virgo’s superior when she entered the contemplative sisters was of concern to each of them. Bl. Maria Virgo’s letters from the cloister testify to the fact that the relationship between the two foundresses was one of harmony. Mother Mary Michael understood the situation of her former superior and did everything in her power to facilitate Bl. Maria Virgo’s transfer and life in the cloistered branch. She encouraged her to write to the sisters in Argentina. She gave her the task of looking after the chapel, knowing well that Bl. Maria Virgo’s greatest joy was to dwell in the eucharistic presence. She also frequently asked her advice and kept her in contact with the Missionary Sisters as often as possible. (BMVp. 151 )
  3. Bl. Maria Virgo was deeply aware of the intimate connection between sisterly love, prayer and interior peace. She guarded this unity of love of God and neighbor as the true basis of community life. In her instruction to the Sisters she wrote: “Because it is so eminently important that sisterly love be practiced in the right manner and valued, we will, with the help of God, do our best to see that this is done among us. Sincere interior love is certainly the main thing; however, our exterior behavior towards our sisters contributes enormously towards it. For that reason we will take very great care not to hurt any sister…always approach each other with a friendly and loving smile… strive to keep our hearts in line with what we actually say. While silence is certainly important, I do believe that maintaining love among the sisters by a friendly word is more important still.” (BMV p. 150)
  4. Bl. Maria Virgo pointed out again and again how necessary it is to forgive one another, to bear with the weaknesses of the others, to encounter each other kindly, to take nothing amiss and to have patience with one another. She always tried to “view others from God’s viewpoint”. She would say: “Be glad when you meet each other! Reverently adore God the Holy Spirit in the heart of the other sister.” As we gaze in faith upon the Risen Christ present in the Blessed Sacrament, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, so should we gaze in faith upon the Risen Christ present in the hearts of our sisters and brothers with the Father and the Holy Spirit. (BMV p. 159)
  5. Mother Mary Michael, who was always the teacher, was always eager to learn and to learn the mystery of the blessed Trinity dwelling in her sisters. Her saying: “all sisters alike” flows from the realization that the same divine Trinity indwells each Sister and hence each is deserving of the same respect and honor as a temple of the Holy Spirit. (MMM2p.143)
  6. Mother Mary Michael dealt with others with integrity, generosity, simplicity, kindness, and friendliness. She knew these Gospel values were central to community life. (MMM 1 p. 27)
  7. Mother Mary Michael said: “We must always judge others leniently and we must show more love precisely to those who show less to us; very often they are just the ones who need to experience God’s love through us the most. It is so easy for us to be good; God has enriched us in so many ways: we possess in superabundance many things that others do not even have.” (MMM2 p. 109)
  8. The sister of a girl form Silesia, Germany, who was preparing to enter the Congregation, wrote of Mother Mary Michael: “The Reverend Mother’s sincere interest in my sister and me, her unassuming manner, her unfeigned cheerfulness and cordiality won me completely; yes, it even awakened in me a desire to enter with my sister.” (which she did the following day) (MMM 2 p. 102)
  9. Mother Mary Michael used to say: “Cheerfulness is a duty we owe to others” and the impression that she made upon others witnesses to here minent fulfillment of that duty. (MMM2p.106)
  10. At Christmas 1897 Bl. Maria Virgo prayed for the grace “to become great in holy love of God and for a truly motherly heart for the sisters. Further she begged the grace: “to bear every humiliation and rebuff patiently, in holy resignation, with deep gratitude to God, and faithfully and humbly to fulfill duties towards Sister-in-charge Maria Seraphim.” (The young and inexperienced Sister (Marie van Basten-Batenburg) who had been given preference over her and was placed in charge of both the Adoration and Missionary Sisters until Bl. Arnold realized her unfitness for religious life and removed her from office and returned her to her family in 1898). (BMV pp. 90-92)
  11. Bl. Maria Virgo’s love of community was supremely manifested when she transferred to the Adoration Sisters in 1898 at Bl. Arnold’s request. She hoped to restore the sisterly love and unity between the Missionary and Adoration Sisters that had suffered because of the actions of Sr. Maria Seraphim.
  12. Mother Mary Michael and Bl. Maria Virgo both witnessed to the truth of sisterly love in community of which Bl. Maria Virgo wrote so eloquently: “The most beautiful thing is the sisterly love that reigns among all the sisters. We must preserve it at all costs and strive to perfect it. Yes, dear Sisters, it should be our common goal to love one another sincerely. Each sister should take this striving as seriously as if it depended on her alone. Let us not be so sensitive, let us overcome ourselves with integrity. In a convent where sisterly love is a reality, religious life is like a foretaste of heaven.” (BMV p. 157)
  13. For both Mother Mary Michael and Bl. Maria Virgo the gift of piety, which gives us the ability to render God, our families and the members of the communities of which we are a part the love and respect that is their due, enabled them to do everything in their power to be the builders and the sustainers of the religious communities of which they were co-foundresses.

One Response

  1. Gracias por presentarnos un poco más sobre la generación fundadora. Es muy interesante saber cómo construyeran nuestras comunidades y identidad.

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