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Louise de Marillac, D. As I reflect on the present condition of the Company,. Louise de Marillac, L When God wishes to communicate Himself He does so without effort, in a sweet, gentle, and loving manner. Let us, therefore, ask Him for the gift of prayer, and let us do so with great confidence. And let us be certain that in the end He will grant it to us out of His boundless mercy, for He never refuses to give ear to humble and confident prayer. If he does not grant it immediately, He will do so later on.

We must persevere and not grow discouraged. If we have not this spirit of God now He will mercifully grant it to us if we only hold fast. He may give it to us three or four months, hence, or perhaps in a year or two. But no matter what happens, let us be resigned to Providence, let us hope for all things from His munificence, let us leave all to Him, and let us always have plenty of courage.

When God in His goodness bestows grace on a soul, what seemed o be so hard becomes so easy, that precisely in which it experienced the greatest difficulty it now finds delight. The soul is rightly and completely astonished at this unexpected change in itself And I said, now I have begun; this is the change of the right hand of the Most High. Psalm 76, 2. The soul now finds itself in the presence of God without any trouble; His presence of God without any trouble; His presence becomes habitual and never ceases.

It is even accompanied with much satisfaction. Prayer and Preaching. Prayer is a great book for a preacher: from it you will draw the divine truths of the Eternal Word, who is their source, and you in turn will pour them forth on the people. It is hoped that all Missionaries may have a great love for this virtue, for without its help they will do little or nothing useful, but with its help it is certain that they will touch hearts.

I ask God to give us the spirit of prayer. Prayer … is the daily manna which comes down from heaven.. Like a gentle dew every morning moistens your soul by the grace which it draws down from God. It is chiefly in prayer that God will give you strength. Prayer, Meditation and Contemplation. Mental prayer is made in two ways: one by way of the understanding, and the other with the will. By way of the understanding, when after something has been read the mind wakes up in the presence of God and then occupies itself in seeking to know the meaning of the mystery proposed, in seeing its suitable lesson, and in arousing the affections to seek God and avoid evil.

And although the will produces these acts, yet it is called prayer of the understanding, because its chief function, which is to seek out the truth, is exercised by the understanding, which is occupied primarily with the subject put before it. This is what is ordinarily called meditation. Everybody can make it, each one according to his ability and the lights which God may bestow.

The other sort of prayer is called contemplation. In this the soul, in the presence of God, does nothing else but receive from Him what He bestows. Have you ever, my dear Sisters, experienced this sort of prayer? I am sure you have, and in your retreats you have often been astonished that, without doing anything on your part, God Himself has replenished your soul and granted you knowledge you never had before. Now God communicates in both these ways many and excellent lights to His servants. In prayer, He enlightens their understanding with many truths incomprehensible to all save those who give themselves to prayer; in it He influences their wills; and lastly, it is in prayer that He takes more complete possession of their hearts and souls.

Now you must know, my dear Sisters, that though educated people are more disposed to prayer, and though many succeed in it, and have, of themselves, minds open to many lights, still the conversations of God with humble souls are quite different. Confiteor tibi, Pater, etc. I thank thee, Father, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise of this world, and hast revealed them to the little and the humble. On Prayer. After you have dressed and made your bed, you will set about praying.

O my Daughters, this is the center of devotion, and you should eagerly desire to acquire thoroughly the habit of prayer. God is so good and has already been so good to you as to call you to practice charity; why then do you think He will deny you the grace you need to pray well? I was very much edified today when conversing with a good village girl who is now one of the greatest souls I know!

Always begin all your prayers with an act of the presence of God. It was also said that prayer is the soul of our souls— that is to say, that what the soul is to the body, prayer is to the soul. Now, the soul gives life to the body, makes it move, walk, speak, and do all that is necessary. If the body had not the soul, it would be an infectious corpse, fit only for burial. Now, my Daughters, the soul without prayer is almost like a body without a soul; in what concerns the service of God; it is without feeling, movement, and has only worldly and earthly desires.

My Daughters, it is into hearts without worldly knowledge, who seek God in Himself, that He is pleased to pour forth the most excellent lights and the greatest graces. He manifests to these hearts what all the schools have not discovered, and develops in them mysteries that the most learned fail to have the least sight of. And, would you believe it, my dear Sisters, we have experience of this among ourselves? O my daughter, I am very pleased indeed that you have raised this objection.

But all cannot use them. Each one can take her stand at the foot of the cross, in the presence of God and, if she has nothing to say to Him, let her wait till He speaks to her. If He should leave her there, let her remain there willingly and await from His bounty the grace either of speaking or of listening to Him. Saint Teresa waited perseveringly during twenty years for God to give her the grace of prayer and she received it in such abundance that her writings are admired by the greatest theologians.

Are you not all, my dear Sisters, willing to do So? On the Jubilee. For prayer is all my comfort; without it I should be of little service to him [William Magee Seton dying in the Lazaretto]. Prayer, progress in. All the virtues are to be found in prayer. What food is to the body, prayer is to the soul, if persons were satisfied with taking a meal every three to four days, they would soon grow weak. Soul not nourished by prayer becomes tired, weary, without strength, courage or power, a source of annoyance to others and unbearable to itself.

Prayer in Common. Vincent said to them: My dear Sisters, always do what you can so that, prayer being your first occupation, your mind may be filled with God for the rest of the day. It is true that, in case of necessity, you should prefer the service of the poor to making your prayer, but, if you take care, you will find plenty of time for both. The sick are not often purged during extremely hot weather. The devil does all he can to prevent us from making our prayer, because he well knows that if he is the first to fill our mind with frivolous thoughts, he will be the master of it for the rest of the day.

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So, my daughters, I urge you, as far as I can, to make your prayer before going out and to make it together. If, however, you are legitimately prevented from doing so, you can make your prayer afterwards and in the church. I beg you to be exact about this holy exercise, to tell one another how you have spent the time at prayer and, especially, the resolutions you have taken, and you should do so quite simply.

August 2, He [Vincent] wanted his missionaries to be men of prayer, as much for their personal advancement as for the ability to be of real service to others. He was most anxious that his confreres should progress in their practice of this holy exercise. Give me a man of prayer, and he will be able to do everything. He will be able to say with the apostle that he can do all in him who strengthens him and who gives him support.

Mental prayer is the impregnable ramparts which will protect the missionaries from all sorts of attacks. It is like a mystical arsenal, a tower of David, which will be the source of their arms, not only to defend themselves, but to attack and rout all the opponents of the glory of God and the salvation of souls.

Prayer rejuvenates the soul far more truly than the fountains of youth the philosophers speak of rejuvenate the body. In prayer your soul. It is a fountain of youth. Prayer, Daily. That being settled, my dear Sisters, you and I must resolve never to omit our daily prayer. I say daily, my Daughters, but if it were possible I would say: let us never cease praying, and let us spend no time out of prayer— that is to say, without having our minds lifted up to God; for properly speaking, prayer is, as we have said, an elevation of the soul to God. But prayer prevents me from preparing this medicine, from taking it along, from seeing this patient or that lady?

Not at all, my Daughters, your soul will never cease to be in the presence of God, and will always direct a sigh towards Him. If you only knew, my Daughters, what pleasure God takes in seeing a poor village girl, a poor Daughter of Charity, address herself lovingly to Him, you would go to prayer with far more confidence than I can inspire in you. If you but knew the treasures and graces that God has planned to pour out upon you! If you but knew how much knowledge you would find there, how much sweetness, how much love!

You would find everything there, my Daughters, because it is the fountain and source of all knowledge. Prayer as a Mirror. I may also add, my dear Daughters, that prayer is like a mirror in which the soul can see all its stains and disfigurements; it notes what renders it displeasing to God; it arranges itself so that it may be conformable to Him in all things. Fashionable ladies will not leave their homes without looking at themselves in a mirror to see that nothing is wanting, and that there is nothing unseemly about them.

There are, indeed, some of them so vain as to carry mirrors in their girdles, so as to take an occasional glance to see if anything has happened that needs adjustment. Now, my Daughters, is it not reasonable that, just as fashionable people strive to please the world, those who serve God should strive to please God? They should never leave home without looking in their own mirror. God wishes those who serve Him to look at themselves in holy prayer, so that every day and often during the day, by means of interior looks and aspirations, they may see whatever in them is displeasing to God, that they may ask pardon for it and remove it.

Presence of God. Always begin all your prayers with an act of the presence of God because, sometimes, for want of doing so, an action will cease to be pleasing to Him. Just consider, my Daughters, that while we do not yet see God, faith teaches us that His holy presence is everywhere, and this is one of the means that we should propose to ourselves.

I mean, this presence in all places, penetrating all things and even our hearts to their very depths. This is even more true than the thought that we are all here present. Another means of placing ourselves in the presence of God is to imagine ourselves before the Most Blessed Sacrament of the altar. It is there, my dear Daughters, that we receive the dearest testimonies of His love. Let us love Him dearly and remember that He said when on earth: if anyone love me, we will come to him, where He speaks of the Father and the Holy Spirit; and souls will be guided by His holy Providence as a ship by its pilot.

It is he most sublime on earth, the very one Our Lord willed to assume and follow. As for myself, if I had known what it was when I had the temerity to enter it as I have come to know since then I would have preferred to till the soil than to commit myself to such a formidable state of life. Indeed, the older I get, the more convinced I am of htis because day by day I discover how far removed I am from the state of perfection in which I should be living. I feel so strongly about this that, if I was not already a priest, I never would become one. We must put our cares and concerns into his hands, for he will never fail.

Remedies, botanical.


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Licorice is used in making infusions, and I sent you some small bits of it so that you can use it more easily. However, it must be used fresh; only cut what you are going to use because it blackens quickly. I would not dare boast that it grows in our garden because so far we have only seen leaves and flowers.

Remedies for the sick. As for herbs, fruit, eggs, etc. The administrators promised to have butter provided for the house, as they did all wood, wine, vinegar, oil and other necessities. Point that out to Monsieur Lambert. Your letters all arrived together, making it hard for us to know the actual state of affairs of the sister about whom you say you asked. I hope that he will also put a stop to our sisters going out to gather herbs in the countryside; such high-quality herbs are not needed in the pharmacy. It is enough to have the common and the most needed ones.

Otherwise, we would be spending a lot of money needlessly. Since it has pleased God to give you a steward who, I believe, is one we would want, I urge you, Sisters, not to go out any longer. Even Sister Henriette [Gesseaume] should have her medical herbs brought to her. For a long time I have wished that your poor could be treated with remedies like those used in the parishes of Paris. If this were so, the sisters employed in the pharmacy would have more time and energy to serve the poor. I am sending you the bill of exchange that we drew up when we sent the hundred pounds.

There are no more fruit capsules to be found, but I am sending two pounds of inexpensive senna, which the doctors approve, as well as a half-pound of better quality. We cannot yet send you directions for making spirit of vitriol because we do not know how to make it ourselves. In keeping with what the merchant advised us, these are the ingredients we bought to make it. Sister Philippe [Bailly] said that she cannot remember any other remedy for dropsy except to purge the patient often and sometimes to use gamboge.

If I can learn anything more, I will let you know. It would truly be difficult for me from here to give our sisters the necessary advice that they will need once they are there. I would have to know the customary way of serving the sick, the number of sick, the situation of the hospital meaning the lodging arrangements for the men and the women , whether there are officers who prepare the meals for the sick, whether there is a pharmacist, and whether bloodletting is allowed. Also, it seems to me that Monsieur [Guillaume] Gallais [C.

However, Monsieur, this seems to me a point of great importance. In my opinion, it is more appropriate to have a large number of sisters and to remove the servants entirely as gently and charitably as possible. Please God, the sister who is bringing this letter will find you still there so that I may have news of you before your departure; may it be that you are in perfect health.

I am also sending some preserves which I think will be much better for you than the pills I mentioned. May For several months a number of ladies from the city made a habit of visiting the sick because of their great need for food. Between supper in the evening and dinner the next day there was no food in the hospital, nor was there anything between dinner and supper. Such was the situation that these ladies brought bouillons, eggs and other things.

They stopped this upon our arrivaLetter Knowing of the practice, we suggested that they continue it, but in a different manner.

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We showed them that they did not have to come in the morning, which could be a bad time for them because of their family obligations. Likewise, we let them know that they did not need to bring fresh bouillon since there now would always be some available in the hospital, along with eggs, for the most sick individuals. This does much good for the sick, as well as being pleasing to God, and they can draw much merit from it. It would also console our sisters who would be motivated by their example and would receive with respect the advice that they would do them the honor and charity of giving them.

These ladies resolved to continue their visits in this way, and several took the trouble to come to find out what they should bring. There is not a single orderly in the hospital except two or three hired hands who help in serving the men, bringing water, and other services of. As for provisions, the administrators take care of that themselves. There is a married man living in the city whose responsibility it was to procure all the supplies, even the herbs for the soup. I pray to our good God that the medicine was beneficial to your health. However, I truly fear you took it too early. Several days ago I was thinking of suggesting bouillons to you; I think they would do you a lot of good.

Please allow us to send you some tomorrow. I, myself, took some this week and felt markedly better as a result. I thank you with all my heart for the beautiful, delicious apples you sent us. It seems to me that you once mentioned that you were going to make honey. Please find out if that white honey is natural, or if it can be made some way because sugar is becoming very expensive, and it could be used to make syrups and even preserves.

We are sending you a half-pound of catholicon, a pound of senna, a pound of cassia and two and a quarter pounds of licorice. If you need anything else, let me know. I believe, Monsieur, that you asked me to send you the formula for rose syrup as well as the method for administering it to the sick.

I am enclosing it. Please excuse the deficiencies. Our Master, the loving Doctor, whom I have asked to aid you will make up for them. I reduced somewhat the quantity of the drugs you asked for because we must never be excessive. Remember, my dear Sisters, that it is the poor that you serve, that it is their money you are using, and that you must save every sou as a matter of conscience. Such a great quantity of drugs can spoil.

Moreover, only common remedies must be used. I do not even advise you to prepare your catholicon all at once, because it is more effective when freshly made. I am very surprised that you did not receive your share of the drugs we sent. To make up for this, I am sending you a loaf of sugar to make rose and cherry syrups. All our sisters ask to be remembered to you, and they praise God for the courage His goodness gives you to serve these poor afflicted people. Take care of your health. I believe that you have been bled for the swelling.

I know of no other remedy. Take purgatives frequently. I am rather curious to know how you treat yourself in your ailments with regard to food and medicine and especially if you are considered as one of the sick of the parish. If you are, then the matter needs to be examined because of your continuing fragile health. I urge you, my dear Sister, to let me know what the situation is and I will offer some suggestions.

I believe, Sister, that some changes among our sisters are necessary, and I would ask you to let me know as soon as possible if you could train a sister who already knows how to prepare medicines and other remedies to mix compounds. Letter Forgive me, Monsieur, if I take this liberty as well as that of telling you that, if you have not already been purged, I would be pleased to render you this little service by preparing you a potion which I believe should be made up of the equivalent of the weight of three copper coins of senna steeped overnight in a good mixture of refreshing, pleasant-tasting herbs.

To this add one-half ounce of cleaned black currants mixed with an ounce of peach syrup the pharmacist here has given me some that is excellent or, if this is not available, the same amount of pink rose syrup. However, I believe that you should wait until the pain which is causing the inflammation has subsided completely, or at least for a week, so as not to bring on another attack.

Tell Brother Alexandre that I feel he should not hesitate to purge Monsieur Vincent; in my opinion he is in need of it. I think a mixture of chicory syrup and peach blossom syrup would be very good for him. You will know how to handle this message. Letter B. The state of suffering and submission to which it pleases Our Lord to subject you increases the boldness I always show in expressing my puny thoughts to you.

But do not do this without consulting two doctors. Tea may be taken between the early morning bouillon and dinner. Experience has shown me that it must not be taken as a substitute for other food, but that it is an excellent way to prepare the stomach to take food. I believe it has been quite a long time since I have taken the liberty of speaking to you, and for that reason please excuse me if I tell you that I am worried about your illness.

If you were of our poor, it seems to me that our fortified water from Monsieur Desner would have cured you quickly. I also believe that any type of ointment used only heats the wound and keeps it festering. Repetition of Prayer. I beg you to be exact about this holy exercise [of morning prayer], to tell one another how you have spent the time at prayer and, especially, the resolutions you have taken, and you should do so quite simply.

I think I have told you already about it twice, and I shall tell you once more: we have repetitions of prayer in our house, sometimes every second day, sometimes every third, as Providence permits. I t may be a poor shoemaker, a poor baker, a poor carter, and nevertheless they fill us with astonishment. We sometimes talk about it among ourselves, and are ashamed that we are not such as we see them to be. We say to one another: Think of that poor brother; did you not remark the good and beautiful thoughts God has given him?

Is it not wonderful? For he said what he has repeated not because he had previously known it; it is since he began to pray that he learned it. Great and incomprehensible goodness of God, to take His delight in communicating with the simple, and the ignorant! Hence we may learn that all the knowledge in the world is but ignorance, in comparison with what He grants those who earnestly seek Him in the way of holy prayer. Be very gentle and courteous toward your poor. You know that they are our masters and that we must love them tenderly and respect them deeply.

Retreat, Annual. You will learn in retreat to be true Daughters of Charity and you will also learn there the best way to serve the poor. You will go over in your mind the actions of Our Lord when He was on earth and you will see that he spent a great part of His time in serving His neighbor, and you will resolve to imitate Him. Vincent de Paul, Jesus is the rule of the Mission. Vincentian Heritage, , That your Company is not a religious order. That the Daughters of Charity, being the Servant of the Poor, are clothed and fed poorly , and they may not change their white headpiece nor their habits.

You are not religious in name, but you should be religious in deed , and you are more obliged to become perfect than they are. For whoever says religious says cloistered, and Daughters of Charity should go everywhere. They shall bear in mind that they are not in a Religious Order, as this state is unsuitable to the duties of their vocation. Vincent de Paul [cx]. You will have for your chapel, the parish church; for your cloister, the streets of the city, or hospital wards; for your grate, the fear of God; for your veil, holy modesty; for your grille, holy obedience.

Seeking God. Souls who seek God will find him everywhere, but especially in the poor. Self care. Take care of yourself for the love of God and reflect that one way to do this is to remain cheerful by conforming yourself completely to the holy will of God and not worrying about anything. Sending on Mission. Reflection of Vincent when he sent Louise on her first mission to Montmirail:. Go, therefore, Mademoiselle, go in the name of Our Lord. I pray that His Divine Goodness may accompany you, be your consolation along the way, your shade against the heat of the sun, your shelter in rain and cold, your soft bed in your weariness, your strength in your toil, and, finally, that He may bring you back in perfect health and filled with good works.

How obliged you are to serve the poor respectfully as your masters, and devotedly because they represent for you the person of Our Lord who said: What you do to the least of mine, I will consider as done to me. So then, Sisters, Our Lord is really with that. I long and wish to serve our Lord with every breath I draw.

Does the life of our Jesus animate us—do we indeed give him the true service of the heart without which whatever else we give has no Value— [cxvii] Elizabeth Ann Seton. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me. To serve those who are poor is to go to God, and you should see God in them.

Service, Spiritual. Sisters, that is not enough. You should resolve to join henceforward help for the soul to the services you render the body. Yes, Savior, in future I intend to try to render all the spiritual assistance in my power to my patients, in addition to caring for their bodies. Service, Leaving God for God. Service of Poor, by priests. If priests devote themselves to the care of the poor, has not that been the office of Our Lord and of many great Saints, who have not only recommended the poor to others, but have themselves consoled, comforted and healed them?

Are not the poor the afflicted members of Our Lord? Are they not our brothers [and sisters]? And if priests abandon them, who do you think will help them? I have heard it said that it was almsgiving which helped bishops to become saints. I beg all of you to renew your courage so that you may serve God and the poor with more fervor, humility, and charity than ever. Strive to acquire interior recollection in the midst of your occupations.

Service, Vincentian values. We have now reached the 12th rule. Let us see what it says: Their chief care will be to serve the sick poor, treating them with compassion, meekness, cordiality, respect and devotion, etc. My own troubles will teach me I hope how to comfort others. Sharing of Prayer. Take care to give an account of your prayer to one another as soon as possible after making it. You cannot imagine how useful this will be. Tell one another quite simply the thoughts that God has given you and, above all, carefully remember the resolutions you made at prayer.

Blessed Sister Mary of the Incarnation made use of this means to advance very far in perfection. She gave a careful account of her prayer to her maidservant.

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Oh, yes, my Daughters, you cannot imagine how greatly this practice will profit you and the pleasure you will give to God by acting in this way. Just think, dear Saint Mary Magdalen hid in her heart the good thoughts which she gathered from the words of Our Lord, and the same thing is even said of the Blessed Virgin. The good thoughts which God gives you in prayer are relics; gather them carefully together in order to translate them into acts and you will gladden the heart of God; you will then be the Joy of God and all the Saints will hold high festival.

Sickness of Community Members. Do not fear that you may be in any way a burden to the Company because of sickness, and you must be convinced you never will be. On the contrary, it is a blessing to have them. We will be helped greatly in this if we ask our good God for holy simplicity. Simplicity is the virtue that I love most and, to which, I pay the most attention in my actions. Social Justice. The problem which divides people today is not a political problem, it is a social one.

It is a matter of knowing which will get the upper hand, the spirit of selfishness or the spirit of sacrifice; whether society will go for ever increasing enjoyment and profit, or for everyone devoting themselves to the general good, and above all to the defense of the weakest. Many people have too much and want still more. Others do not have enough, or do not have anything at all, and they want to take by force what is not being given to them. A war is threatening between these two groups, and looks like being a terrible one.

On one side the power of wealth, on the other the force of desperation. We must get in between these two groups, at. Because we are young, because we are not wealthy, we can more easily fill the role of mediators, which, as Christians, we should consider obligatory. That is the possible usefulness of the Conferences of our Society of St. Solitude and Apostolic Ministry. The life of a Missionary ought to be the life of a Carthusian in the house, and an apostle in the countryside.

The more he cares for his own interior development the more his labors for the spiritual good of others will prosper. The apostolic life does not exclude contemplation but encompasses it and profits by it to know better the eternal truths it must proclaim. The Spirit of your Company consists of three things: to love Our Lord and serve Him in a spirit of humility and simplicity. As long as charity, humility, and simplicity exist amongst you, one may say: The Company of Charity is still alive.

Spiritual Growth. Always remember that in the spiritual life little account is taken of the beginnings. People attach importance to the progress and the end. The way to do that. Teaching style. Simplicity impresses the candidates. They are very happy with it, and they are not looking for anything else here.

Presented in this garment, truth will be well received, and will be most effective in an unadorned modesty. O Monsieur, how happy you are to have laid the first foundations of this Church. It will lead so many souls to heaven who otherwise would not have entered there, if God did not pour out on them the principle of eternal life through the teaching and sacraments which you have administered. May you continue, with the help of his grace, for a long time in your holy ministry, and serve as an example and an encouragement for the other missionaries. This is the prayer the whole Company frequently offers, for it has your person and your work very much at heart.

I feel this deeply. If they suffer for their ignorance and sin, we ought to intercede for them before the mercy of God. Charity obliges us to do this. If we do not spend ourselves to teach them and aid them in this perfect conversion to God, even at the cost of our life, we are in some way the cause of all the ills they suffer. We should work as hard as though everything depends on us and, at the same time, should trust as though everything depends on God.

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God gives me such a great esteem for simplicity that I call it my gospel. I have a particular devotion and consolation it in saying things as they are. Must I then leave all these blessings which you yourself, my God, have given me? Will you not, Lord, be satisfied with a portion of the sacrifice? Will you not accept the sacrifice of my own literary self-esteem, of my academic ambition, of my very study where pride perhaps featured more than zeal for the truth?

Humility has this peculiar property, that it hinders us from aiming at any esteem but yours, O my God, who give to things their proper value. Human beings do not know their true value. Is not the role of a fool to prefer the esteem of the world to yours, the shadow to the substance, a lie to the truth?

Let us be well grounded in this spirit, if we wish to have in ourselves the image of the Adorable Trinity, if we wish to bear a sacred relation to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. What is it that produces unity and comity in God; is it not the equality and the distinction of the Three Persons? And what produces their mutual love, if not their perfect resemblance?

And if they had not mutual love, what word the be amiable in them? Uniformity, therefore, exists in the Blessed Trinity; what the Father wills, the Son wills; what the Holy Spirit does, the Father and the Son do; they act in the same manner, the have but one and the same power, one and the same operation. Behold the beginning of perfection and our model. Let us become uniform; we shall be many as if we were only one, and we shall have holy union in plurality. Union with God. The nearer a soul is truly united to God, the more its sensibilities are increased to every being of His Creation; much more to those whom it is bound to love by the tenderest and most endearing ties.

Unity of Hearts. Great disunion may arise in the Community when charity is lacking, so, too, will be union, and therefore, there is no community at all because what keeps it together is union of hearts. Village Folks. I shall speak to you all the more willingly of good village girls, because I know them from experience and indeed by nature, for I am the son of a poor tiller of the soil and I lived in the country until I was fifteen years old. Morever, we have labored for many long years amongst country folk so that no one know them better than the Priests of the Mission.

There is nothing to equal persons who really posses the spirit of village folk; nowhere will you find greater faith, greater recourse to God in times of need, greater gratitude to Him in times of prosperity. Virtue based and built up on the Word of God will never fail [cxlvi].

Monsieur Vincent was gifted by both nature and grace with a great prudence. He acted with such integrity, moderation, and wisdom that during life he happily succeeded in all he undertook for the glory of God and in the service of those who represented God upon earth. Humility brings to the soul all of the other virtues. Vocation of Daughters of Charity.

My daughters, before proceeding any farther and in order to teach those who do not know what we are talking about, I must tell you what a vocation is: A vocation is a call from God to do something. The vocation of the Apostles was to plant the faith throughout the world; the vocation of a religious is a call from God to observe the rules of the religious life; the vocation of married persons is a call from God to serve Him in the government of a family and in the education of children; the vocation of a Daughter of Charity is a call from God, the choice which His goodness has made of her, in preference to all others who have come before His mind, to serve Him in all the employments proper to this state of life to which He summons her.

And that, my daughters, is your vocation. When God has made His choice, He often calls you by means unknown to yourselves, most often, however, by the desire with which He inspires you and the perseverance with which you seek for admission. Somehow I believe she is right. I am willing to not worry and be afraid as I know this is what I have to do until we see each other again.

Now I may get off topic because I so want to share. We denied his decline. That became a final problem that stirs guilt in a couple of his six children eight years after his death. Particularly, I denied his dementia when he was admitted into the hospital where he died. He might have been allowed our close company and care at the end had I not exaggerated his mental well being.

He was admitted to the nearby hospital for a severe G. My brother and I persuaded our reclusive father to let us take him there, with the promise that at least one of his children would be with him in the hospital and one with his befuddled wife at home at all times. I was with him when he was moved into to a hospital room in the early a.

There a young woman with a laptop computer switched on lights and alarmed his also-elderly roommate. She asked questions which my father answered with bravado, even though she continually looked to me. I was with him through later morning tests when a tech admitted me into a procedure attempting to identify the location of the bleed for cauterization. Afterwards, my father -- pleading with me to stay with him -- was ripped away into and out of a surgery that never took place.

I did tell the surgeon my father was a vital man, again concealing his dementia to increase his human value in the medical setting. We were allowed mere minutes in the intensive care unit. My father was strapped down in panic and alternately drugged. We were told it was necessary because he might pull out the shunt in the main vein of his groin. I prayed, though not with him, unless you count the excerpt I read to him in the hospital from one of his old books by Rev. Fulton Sheen, a light and warm passage that reversed the order of birthdays to increase the joy in celebrating the later ones, nearer the other birth into eternal life.

In the end, I had walked straight into then out of ICU where I saw my father unmoving, arms outstretched, legs together, naked on his bed yes, appearing crucified , sheets on the floor, area in disarray, not breathing, not pronounced dead. I told my waiting siblings — waiting for the professionals in charge -- that he was truly dying. Alone in the car there, I raged those non-pious prayers. Then I went inside to relieve my older sister who was with our mother. She and I knew our father was as good as dead. My sister returned to the hospital. I picked up her rosary, her toy now, with blue glass beads gift from her last donation to a mission.

My own childhood training yielded something as I held the unfamiliar rosary. The beads were hot when I finished. My big sister returned and told me to go the hospital to be with the others. When I got there I found that the hospital had done a kind thing for his survivors: they had rearranged my now clean and peaceful father, neatly tucked in white linens surrounded by a warm, inflated cocoon, and connected to a breathing machine and a monitor with sounds and lights. There we all gathered, held his hands, feet, forehead, cheeks, and said good-bye and many, many thanks to him.

Simply put… I am a pastoral care minister in a long term care facility. I need aid in providing education for the LTC Nursing Staff to understand… this point of distraction. Any item of education would be most welcomed. Christina SHS. I'm not actually sure how I stumbled onto this website, but I did. We lost my step-father David to Alzheimers. It was horrible, to watch this person you love disappear. My heart goes out to anyone who has loved ones that have this disease. Thank you for a beautiful way to give glory to God and bring understanding and comfort to those associated with Alzheimers. I will pass this on to others.

My mother's name is Rosita Rodriguez. If you ask her for her name, she can tell you that she is Rosita Rodriguez from Manila. That's all she knows now. She does not know any of us, her children, anymore. If she asked me my name, she can connect it with my childhood nickname but that's about it. We have been blessed that she has a sweet personality and still very much has the desire not to offend anyone.

She is very polite and is quite aware that she does not know anything anymore. We get blessed everytime we visit Mama. She blesses us with everything we do and say. She always tell us that she will have a mass said for us and that she always keeps us in her prayers. We know that she cannot do any of those anymore but deep within her heart, she knows of God.

She knows of Jesus and this is one thing that has not left her. We feel very blessed that even if she's forgotten all of us, including my father, she has not forgotten the Lord. She still constantly speaks to Him.


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  • She seems to be physically strong and I ask the Lord every so often why my Mom has Alzheimer's. We have not experienced with any of our older relatives. But my sister says that this could be for our growth - growth in patience and in love for the mother that gave everything to show us how to love.

    We love her back by caring for her. It is good to be able to share this. May all those who care for Alzheimer's patients be blessed with our Lord's strength and love. Thank you so much for this site it has moved me deeply. May I share an experience with you that may also help others? Some years ago I suffered a very frightening memory loss. It was truly the most frightening experience I ever had had in my life. I felt completely lost and disorientated, fearful also for the future.

    It was difficult to pray but I began to pray the Suscipe, which was difficult, especially offering "my memory" but it was probably the first time I really prayed as well as recited that prayer. Bit by bit peace and courage was given to me. Quite a time later I found myself working as a chaplain with people suffering with Alzheimers and other memory-loss illnesses and in some extraordinary way I was able to enter into their world, at first with fear but gradually with an understanding that enabled me to be alongside them and a growing realization that communication is deeper than words.

    In fact, after he passed, I started a support group in our area to assist caregivers. That immediately triggered my memories and brought up some which were buried deep within my heart. They gave birth to the following poem. The silence was staggering It took away my breath The voices had no meaning There were no words left.

    Empty stares were pleading For someone to understand Hearts within were yearning For someone to hold their hand. Memories are missing Faded into a hole of black Can they even think of wishing For it all to come back. Yet when the music starts And the choir begins to sing The magic does its part And tugs on his heart strings. It stirs the group of them They begin to clap and dance The sounds of old time hymns Have broken their black trance. The sounds of song have brought Their lives back for a time And the melodies have caught Their hearts and mine.

    Thank you so much for this beautiful prayer and your thoughts with it. I read your piece about your experience with your mom and it brought tears to my eyes. My dad is getting older and we're starting to worry whether he might possibly be developing Alzheimers or something similar, we're not sure and lately he seems better.

    But it's something hanging over our heads that we have to wait and see. Your sharing gave me immense comfort, as it helped me to change my thinking a little and realise that if it does happen to dad then in some way we can still serve God and glorify God as this happens to dad, and that God would enrich our lives and build our characters through the experience, even if it is an experience with heavy crosses to bear.

    So thank you so very much for easing some of my fear for the future, and I pray for you, your mother and your family for strength and God's grace to deal with this disease and the fear it brings. I pray for peace and happiness for your mom. These seem to trigger a memory from deep within. It was beautiful! As an Eucharistic Minister who visits patients in the hospital, I have witnessed the healing comfort prayer can bring to so many desperately ill people, including those who are afflicted with Alzheimers.

    Last fall, I was called to minister to an elderly man brought to the hospital for treatment of pneumonia. The poor gentleman was in the end stages of dementia and clearly agitated by the new surroundings. To offer comfort to his daughters, I suggested we form a small circle around the bed and pray a Hail Mary and an Our Father with each of his daughters holding a hand or touching a shoulder. As we did this, their father suddenly became quiet, closed his eyes and relaxed.

    Amazingly, his blood pressure and heart rate lowered. I later learned after he was discharged back to his care facility, his daughters now take turns reading the Psalms to him and reciting basic prayers. They have found he seems more at peace during these times and if done earlier in the day, his agitation level decreases. Lately they stopped wheeling her down to Sunday mass, telling me she is too out-of-it. I'm tearing up just writing this, she immediately returned to her very confused state but we had that moment with the Lord - all is gift.

    My year old father appreciated the routine because it made the change from day to night clear to her and him. As she started to lose those words, my father, ever vigilant and listening in the kitchen, walked into the bedroom and filled them in. That moved my beyond words. Once I was so tired yet determined to lift my resistant mother from her chair to tuck her in bed why not let her sleep in her chair that night?

    I wholly agreed. Now the memory makes me laugh. I was foolish. Always get behind. When residents, who were no longer verbal, participated in saying the Rosary, led by volunteers, one could see their mouths moving and fingers moving as they passed the beads through their fingers. They may not have said the words, but they were engaged in the process. The same thing occurred during Mass, even though they were not able to vocally participate, they were very aware of what was been said and done. My favorite experience was when I was assigned to assist a Catholic resident in eating his noon meal.

    He had been refusing to eat and was quite agitated during the meal times. I began by telling him we would begin by saying our customary meal prayer. I made the sign of the Cross which he did as well, and said the blessing. He continued to respond in the same way and we put it on his care plan for staff to do prior to each meal. His eating did improve and he was less agitated at meal times. My Mother is in the end stages of Alzheimer's.

    She has been in a Senior Care Facility that specializes in Alzheimer's patients since February 13, She is no longer walking or talking. She stays in a wheelchair during the day and needs help feeding, dressing, toileting, etc. In January of , she was in her "violent" stage.

    She was still ambulatory and still saying a few words, although not usually making sense and not in complete sentences. She was in the "jealous" phase of the disease and would try to hit and throw things during her "sundowning" time of the day. He brought Mom to my home in January, to take care of her for 4 hours while he went to a doctor's appointment. Although I had lived in my home for 20 years, she no long recognized my home and became very confused and violent. She was throwing things and tried to beat me with her fists she weighed lbs.

    For two hours, I was trying to save my possessions and avoid her fists. At one point, I had backed myself into a corner and knew I was going to take a beating. In desperation, I began praying the "Our Father" out loud. She stopped, got calm, and began praying with me - word for word.

    We finished the prayer together and then I began the "Hail Mary". She prayed that prayer word for word. During these prayers, I was able to work my way out of the corner. She worked herself back up into a rage and I avoided being trapped in a corner after that. I was amazed at how she was able to recite these prayers word for word and the calming effect they had on her - at least the first time.

    It didn't work after that. I have shared this story with many people and was surprised to run across your website that related the same thing. My mother has always had a strong, deep faith and this experience deepened my faith. The brain may be disintegrating, but our souls are always with God. Sometimes beautiful poetry and hymns reach deep into the heart and soul and bring comfort to Sufferers and Carers alike, as in these two extracts:.

    The 'stars' that are the beautiful person's characteristics, never fade away and teach us very much about so many things. As a controlling priest former Passionist become confessing disciple and contemplative caretaker I pray for my precious wife Joan suffering from severe memory loss.

    But I also pray for an ego-dominated clerical church suffering at times from so much memory loss. We don't have all the answers for life is a mystery God is a mystery Blank screen! Now we cafe Christians surrendering all swirl around in the sea of God's comforting uplifting and healing presence as we ride the wave of miraculous blessing. As an OSL chaplain endorsing worship wellness I continue to affirm sin disease and death have no power over us. Released from both hospital and nursing home into my care my precious wife Joan blesses me every day so that I might be a blessing to others!

    Give me only your love and your grace and that is enough for me. She was with us children as we learned to walk. She taught us to cross streets and be safe. She held us close in the terrors of the darkest nightmares. She cooked thousands of meals over decades of time. She changed diapers, Lord, and served you each time she did. Loving God, the familiar eyes of my mother now respond with a blank stare. Death onto myself so HE can have additional rein in my life.

    One way in which I am trusting him is with a teithe. First fruits. He promised to rebuke the devourer. To open the windows of heaven and pour out great blessings. We are also told where 2 or more are gathered in his name HE would be amoung us. We can pray fir anything in HIS. According to HIS will and would be done. Would you please agree and pray for funds to put towards our living expenses while we work in therapy, work with a pro bono attorney and keep the police accountable to help with our safety while I tend to an education.

    We are without transportation. Living without a few basics, yet, i know some now some way he will come through for us. Dear Bren, You bring me to tears to read your testimony. You can count on my prayers honey. I am so glad you shared your comment here, I have been blessed by you and your honesty. This is a very good article! I wish I had known to pray for academic success and personal wellbeing about 3. I am glad I know now, I will save this article for any other students who entering as well.

    I beg to differ; I seems that we automatically turn to prayer when faced with the inexplicable, unacceptable, or the uncontrollable. If you suffer from diabetes then a visit to a doctor and faith in modern medicine will be far more beneficial than having pure faith in prayer alone. In all of the teachings in various passages of the Bible it is clear that all it takes is for one person to believe — nothing more nothing less. Passages clearly spell that out.

    So do prayers really work? If the belief of one human being is enough then we should be able to; heal the sick, raise the dead, drink any deadly thing without harm to yourself, speak in tongues, pick-up serpents without harm , cleanse lepers, and cast out demons. Your type of response reminds me of alot of the people I am in contact with right now and I would really like to understand you and them clearly.

    My conclusion is based on observation. I have yet to see real miracles performed as it is depicted in the scriptures. Christian Scientist are probably the ones who subscribe to healing through prayer the most, but often this prayer is not done in isolation. It is usually at the expense of modern medical science. As an engineer I cannot make assertions outside the realm of concrete proof.

    In the words of Christopher Hitchens; what can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof. The following article by Bruce Monson a firefighter unabridged probably highlights the concept that extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. I will give all of my possessions and money to the poor as He commanded Luke ; I will hate my father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, even my own life in accordance with His requirements to be His disciple Luke ; I will do all of these things and be a suffering servant for Jesus.

    I will make it my purpose in life to be His greatest disciple! Is it really so unreasonable to require physical proof? No, he does not! Obviously each person is different; as such, each person has different levels of skepticism and requirements of proof that will satisfy that skepticism. Throughout the Gospels we see the differences in the disciples; some need virtually no convincing at all, while others need more proof. They either asked for or were seen by Jesus as needing proof, and they got it! Resurrections seem to have been a fairly common occurrence in 1st c.

    Palestine and not limited to just Bible heroes, it seems , so is it really too much to ask Jesus to provide just one single resurrection of a child today? I am not picky. After all, according to scripture, these abilities of healing and even resurrection are supposed to be possessed by any believing and faithful Christian! Mark , 20 — [17] And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; [18] they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.

    Matthew — Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying, give without pay. Matthew — And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith. Matthew — [7] Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you [8] For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. John — Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. And what kinds of prayers DO get answers? Go away baldhead!

    Then two she-bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the boys. Not only is this a supreme example of injustice, but again we see God dealing it out at the beckoned call of a man. I guess the next time we hear of a child getting mauled to death by a Rottweiler we should just assume that the child deserved it, and justice was served? Is this not written in the Book of Jashar? The sun stayed in the midst of heaven, and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day. Of course, I will contend that this is just another typical example of literary embellishment by the author s of the Book of Joshua.

    However, since many Christians believe this to be a literally true historical event, I will use it as a means for expressing the notion that the prayers of just one man even for such an atrocious act as slaughtering people who are fleeing from him was apparently good enough to receive an immediate and physical confirmation from God—and on a grandiose celestial scale.

    Unfortunately, it was also too late for even the valiant efforts of our firefighters to save her, and that is a tragedy! Well, I am not afraid! I will give ALL of my possessions and money to the poor as He commanded Luke ; I will hate my father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, even my own life in accordance with His requirements to be his disciple Luke ; I will do all of these things and be a suffering servant for Jesus.

    So before I reply to you, I want to ask one last question…why did you come on a Christian website? First Thank you for your service as a fire fighter. I serve as Police Chaplain and also minister to the poor in my city.

    7 Good Prayers for College Students

    It makes me want to reach out to you and confirm the flicker of faith you might still have in your heart when I read your post. Jesus is real — He is still alive, He is God and He does still perform miracles. He even gives us the privilege to do many wonderful and powerful things in His name. John is powerful scripture and few ever see because they doubt or fail to serve in His name, representing Christ is not easy but rewarding to see so many lives changed by His presence and love and yes miracle. Jesus said… I am the way, the truth and the life — no one comes to the Father except through Me.

    Andre, let me ask you. Why would Jesus tell us to pray if it does not good? The Bible is full of Scriptures where we are told to pray. Good things come when we ask God and so why not ask? Do you not believe in prayer or do you not believe in God? Just curious. Religious beliefs are governed by two criteria; where and when you were born.

    So is the teachings of Jesus universal? Consider this;. We do not have a standardised life manual? Within Christianity alone we have in the region of 40, separate groups, denominations, sects, individual unaffiliated churches and para church groups in the world. Over half of them are independent churches that are not interested in linking with the bigger denominations. Doctrine vary enormously.