For some time now I have been struck by the interweaving of the lives of Frederic Ozanam and Sr. Rosalie Rendu, DC. We know their lives are interwoven at least to the degree that both have been recognized as “Blessed” by the Church.
September 9 marks two other significant connections. Sr. Rosalie Rendu, DC was born on this date in 1786. This date also marks the Feast of Blessed Frederic Ozanam. He died September 8,1853.
This morning, in a homily by a recently returned Bolivian missionary, Fr. Aidan Rooney, CM, some things fell into place.
Drawing on how indigenous people in so many places in the world remember history he translated a phrase from the Aymara language this way. “Tell the new story on top of the old story.” If you want to understand this situation or person today, think of that person or situation a long time ago. If you want to understand Pedro today think of Frederic in our history.
Something clicked about the connection between Fredric and Rosalie. Frederic was telling his story on top of the story of Sr. Rosalie. She was telling her story on top of the stories of Louise and Vincent. All these stories go back to the story of Jesus in Temple in Luke 4.
He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” they asked.
This day this scripture is being fulfilled in your midst.
We talk today of organizational silos where various people in an organization have little sense of what is happening in the rest of the organization or, for that matter, the world in which their organization exists.
As I ponder these things I look at our celebration of 400 years of our charism and realize how important it is. We are recognizing that the story today is told on top of an old story. We must connect the gift we have been given by Louise and Vincent. We must recognize that by our walking in their footsteps that we are telling the story of Jesus, the Evangelizer of the poor.
So my questions for today…
- What story am I writing?
- How is my story the fulfillment of Luke 4?
- What can I understand better about my story when I see it on top of the stories of our family, Vincent and Louise and Jesus?
Tags: Frederic Ozanam, Rosalie Rendu