She was considered very old for the time she lived. What can we learn from Louise in her last years?
Sister Maria Angeles Infante, DC writes…”Louise de Marillac accepted old age as a special blessing from God. She taught us how to journey along this path with peace, a path that involved engaging in activity to the degree that is possible, vigilance over ones senses, exercising the mind, trust, surrender, detachment from creatures and a constant desire to receive whole-heartedly the Holy Spirit, source of love and strength: to live for as long as it please You, but with Your life which is one of total love (SWLM:819 [A.26]).” She then proceeds to look at the following dimensions of her aging.
1 Introduction: accept old age as a blessing
2 Saint Louise accepted ailments and concerns calmly
2.1 Concern for Monsieur Vincent’s health
2.2 Spiritual security of the Company
2.3 Physical and spiritual health of her son and other members of her family
2.4 Health of the Sisters and her attitude with regard to illness
3 Separation accepted with a spirit of faith
3.1 The death of Sister Barbara Angiboust, a difficult blow
3.2 The death of Monsieur Antoine Portail, an immediate call
3.3 Detachment for the mission: designation of a successon
4 Waiting for sister death
4.1 The ailments continue and are accepted as something natural and part of the cross
4.2 Preparation for the definitive encounter with the Lord
4.3 Final illness and death
Some things to consider….
- Which of the above dimensions might be most meaningful for me?
- How do I cope with ailments – my own and others?
- What is my reaction in the face of separation?
- What is my attitude toward “Sister Death”?
Tags: Aging, Featured, Louise de Marillac
I wish to thank Sister Ma. Angeles Infante for this enlightening material which can do so much good for so many of our Sisters who are in or approaching the “senior years.” Thank you, too, dear Sister, for sharing your archival materials on the Philippines.