Thursday, May 21, 2015

God's Great Love: Simple and Beautiful

Dorothy Pilkington, ssj

Several months ago while reading HOPE AGAINST DARKNESS by Richard Rohr, OSF, I was awestruck by Einstein’s statement,

 “All I know is, the great truth – when we discover it – will be simple and it will be beautiful.”  

Reflecting on his insight, I began to reflect on the seven women who came to pray at the Little Kitchen in LePuy, France.  In this little village, these women saw the great poverty, horrific violence and oppression of the people.  God’s Spirit moved their hearts to pray, to reflect on the Gospel message and to go forth to meet the needs of their time.
Le Puy Kitchen by Carol Hebert, ssj 

During their kitchen gatherings, these women prayed.  

Prayer gave them the courage to go forth with loving, caring and compassionate hearts and bring Jesus’ presence to their people.  All was given in utter simplicity but with the great beauty of love.
All was not easy for them.  Certain groups reacted violently toward them – trying to suppress their good works.  But with courage, fortitude, trust and faith in their God and the Gospel message, these women simply and beautifully served their neighbors.

With time the number of women increased.  Vowed members, associates, agregrees and partners shared the same vision of uniting neighbor with neighbor and neighbor with God.  Eventually we became known as the Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Joseph with a vision and never-ending charism of the Great Love of God – to be ever present to our dear neighbor as Jesus was in His time.

As years turned into centuries, the needs of the people and the violence of our day are ever present to us.  Like the seven women of 1650, we face the challenges of standing tall and walking with Jesus in and with love to all we meet.  Our ministries are simple and beautiful but also challenging.  It is the grace of God that guides us daily.

Like our first sisters, each of us in the Community of Saint Joseph is discovering as Einstein did “All I know is the great truth – when we discover it – will be simple and it will be beautiful.”  Through our charism, we try to bring love to our dear neighbor.  And as Einstein wrote, we are discovering God’s Great Love to be simple and beautiful!


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