A gift that finds expression in people like Elizabeth Ann Seton, Vincent de Paul, Louse de Marillac, Frederic Ozanam and countless others is the charism — the gift of the Holy Spirit — we all share. When I write #IamVincent, I could easily write #IamElizabeth.
…whenever generosity is offered or kindness expressed, when forgiveness is shared or a truth is told, love is realized in our world. And that’s because at the heart of caring and giving and forgiving and truthfulness is the heart of God.
This simple reflection from the blog, Future of Charity, inspires us to think about our role in letting the charism take flesh in myriad ways.
The Greatest is Love
By Sr. Cecilia Harriendorf
The story goes like this . . .
Once upon a time there were two brothers – one was married, the other single. Together, they worked the farm they had inherited from their father. Their life was difficult; farming isn’t easy. But they loved the land and took great pride in working it as their father and grandfather had done before them.
One year, they had a particularly rich and abundant crop. Each was satisfied with the fruits of his labor. The married brother sat in his home, watching his wife read and listening to his children at play and thought to himself, “My poor brother. He works so hard and has no one with whom to share his life and good fortune. Late tonight, I will take some of my crops and add them to his. This way, when he markets the crop, he’ll have an extra reason to be happy.”
The single brother sat at home in his favorite chair with this faithful dog at his feet and thought to himself, “My poor brother. He works so hard and never has a minute to himself. He has a wife to support and three children to feed. Late tonight, I will take some of my crops and add them to his. This way, when he markets the crop, he’ll have an extra reason to be happy.”
Late that night, each brother gathered a portion of his crops and set out to visit his brother’s barn. Halfway between their houses, the brothers surprised each other. The story goes on to say that a Chapel was built on the spot where the brothers met because it was on that spot that love was realized in the world.
This charming tale reminds us that whenever generosity is offered or kindness expressed, when forgiveness is shared or a truth is told, love is realized in our world. And that’s because at the heart of caring and giving and forgiving and truthfulness is the heart of God. Furthermore, our faith teaches us that we are not only called to share our goodness and giftedness with others, but that we are actually graced to do so.
So, if you are thinking about a career in Public Service, considering Associate Relationship with the Sisters of Charity, contemplating marriage or decerning the call to religious life, please remember that at the heart of each of these calls is an invitation to enter into a deeper relationship with the source of all life. It was love that brought each of us into this world and love that sustains us. And every time a man or woman says “yes” to God’s intimate call, love is, once again, realized in our world.
As Saint Paul’s letter to the Corinthians reminds us, “Only three things continue: faith, hope and love. And the greatest of these is love.”
Will you say yes? Have you said yes?
Tell us about it. #IamVincent. #IamElizabeth. So are you.