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Tell me what you pray for – I will tell you who you are.

by | May 16, 2014 | Formation

Louise 135, Spain, drawing, color_jpgTell me what you pray for and I will tell you who you are. Well maybe that is not the way we usually hear this but it may well be as accurate as tell me who your friends are…

We know that St. Louise deMarillac prayed passionately in the days before her famous light of Pentecost experience. In the Saturday Study Hall series of reflections based on  articles found in the Vincentian Encyclopedia we can benefit from an article The Prayer of St. Louise . Fr. Corpus Delgado CM catalogs not only what and who Louise prayed for but also what she asked others to pray for. This article can well serve as a companion piece to the Formation Friday presentation of a mini retreat with Louise in preparation for Pentecost.

An interesting way of reading the following wold be to draw up your own list of what and who you pray for.

 Louise’s life can only be understood from the perspective of her on-going, habitual relationship with God. This attitude was cultivated through various forms of prayer.

Her prayers to the Holy Spirit…

  • In her Rule of Life in the World, Louise expressed her desire to spend the days between the feast of the Ascension and Pentecost in retreat [21].
  • We also possess Louise’s thoughts that were written during a retreat in which she meditated on the coming of the Holy Spirit and the dispositions that were necessary in order to receive the gifts of the Spirit [22].
  • Louise wanted the Sisters in the various houses to make their retreat on the days between the feast of the Ascension and Pentecost
  • 12.2] Louise’s correspondence, those letters written during the time of the approach of the feast of Pentecost, reflected her esteem for this feast which she referred to as the great feast .
  • On Pentecost Louise renewed her commitments and her desire to live wholly for God: I beg God with all my heart to take complete possession of all that we are on this holy feast day .
  • Each month, on the date on which the feast of Pentecost had been celebrated that year, Louise would pray the Sequence, Veni, Sancte Spiritus, which the Liturgy assigned to that feast.
  • Louise wanted all the Daughters of Charity to have a great devotion to the feast of Pentecost and felt that this should take the form of a special devotion (SWLM:768 [A.75]).
  • 12.3] Louise was eager for the coming of the Holy Spirit and invoked the Spirit throughout her life: Should I be so fortunate as to receive the Holy Spirit, oh, how I must desire this with my whole heart! .
  • Louise invoked the Holy Spirit at the beginning of the day and she also invoked the Spirit throughout her life .
  • Louise exhorted the Sisters to invoke the Holy Spirit … an exhortation that reflected her own practice in this regard:
    • The Sisters ministering on behalf of the galley salves should invoke the Holy Spirit frequently in order to purify their thoughts, words and actions .
    • The Sister in charge of the Seminary should frequently implore the assistance of the Holy Spirit in order to see the Sisters and all that they do in the light of the Spirit … here Louise referred to the Sisters in the seminary as well as those in the various parishes who would be visited by the Director of the Seminary or who would be received by her when they came to the Seminary .
    • The Sisters teaching in the various schools will go to school at 8:00am and there kneel down and ask for the help of the Holy Spirit for themselves and for their pupils, that they be taught purely for the glory of God (.
    • The Sisters should have recourse to the Holy Spirit in order to request greater strength .
    • The Sisters will ask the Holy Spirit for joy in ministering on behalf of the poor, one of the seven gifts of the Spirit .

Louise requested prayers for the following intentions :

  • Louise asks the Abbé de Vaux to pray for the Sisters
  • Louise asks Monsieur Portail to pray for the Sisters
  • Louise asks Vincent to pray for the Sisters
  • Louise asks the Sisters to pray for one another:
  • Louise asks the Sisters to pray for Vincent de Paul
  • Louise asks the Abbé de Vaux to pray for Vincent de Paul
  • Louise asks for prayers for the Missionaries
  • Louise asks for prayers for Monsieur Portail
  • Louise asks for prayers for Brother Ducourneau
  • Louise asks the Abbé de Vaux to pray for her family
  • Louise asks the Sisters to pray for her family
  • Louise asks Vincent de Paul to pray for her family
  • Louise asks Vincent de Paul to pray for her son
  • Louise asks the Sisters to pray for her son
  • Louise asks Monsieur Dehorguy to pray for her son
  • Louise asks the Sisters to pray for her
  • Louise asks Monsieur Portail to pray for her
  • Louise asks Abbé de Vaux to pray for her
  • Louise ask Vincent de Paul to pray for her:
  • Louise asks a woman to pray for her
  • Louise asks Monsieur Dehorguy to pray for her
  • Louise asks for prayers for peace
  • Louise asks for prayers for the Church, for France and for priests
  • Louise asks for prayers for the world
  • Louise asks for prayers for religion and for Poland
  • Louise asks for prayers for vocations
  • Louise asks for prayers for benefactors
  • Louise asks for prayers for the infirm
  •  Louise asks for prayers for a woman
  • Louise asks for prayers for some intention

The many references in her letters and in her writings, as well as the testimony of those who knew her, indicate that Louise viewed God as her all and therefore was painstaking in cultivating these various expressions of her relationship with God.

 


Tags: Formation

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