By Sister Isabelle, O.C.D.
This morning I found myself turning to St. Paul for consolation during these very challenging times. In his letter to the Romans, Paul encourages us saying: “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” He even goes so far as to say: “We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope…” (Rom 5:3-8). Then Paul tells us that the hope that never disappoints is the love of God that has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit.
This is the same love that was the driving force in the life of Jesus of Nazareth, the most joyful man who ever walked this earth. As He faced the darkest times of His life, feeling abandoned by the Father, He never stopped loving. Because of this, the Father was able to use all for His good and even for the salvation of the entire human race. When we love, we always win because our hearts expand and we reach a level of greatness we never thought imaginable.
Maybe that is what will transform these dark days into light: the love that we keep in our hearts. Love can change the darkest prison into a cathedral when your heart is full of praise. It can change one man’s peril into the story of another man’s heroism in the rescue. As we spend these days waiting out the coronavirus, let us never let love leave our hearts. Rather, may we take every opportunity to reach out through a phone call, a kind gesture, a long overdue email to a loved one. Let’s make the most of these days, realizing that because He loves us, our Father is giving us a chance to come back to Him with our whole hearts.
Hope and love draw our eyes upward to heaven, where our Lord resides. And in trying and difficult times, there is no better place than to fix our gaze than toward Jesus, where our soul will find peace in learning to trust in the Father’s loving providence. Our foundress, Mother Luisita, had unwavering confidence in God’s providence with every fiber of her being, even in the darkest of times. In her letter on trusting in God’s providence, her wisdom and encouragement shine through, and are just as relevant to our times today, as they were nearly a century ago. Read Mother’s Letter here.
Want to read the rest of Mother’s Letters? Mother Luisita’s letters can be food for the soul during this time of trial. Let her maternal words comfort and strengthen you.