This prayer was written by an RSCJ, who thanks Madeleine Sophie for the gift she gave us in founding the congregation; a generous gift of what she has accomplished, but above all of who she is and what she has transmitted to us.
"Religious life is a gift that the Church has received from the Lord"
(Lumen Gentium 43)
Religious life is a gift to the Church...
Your life, Holy Mother, is a gift to the Church.
A gift given to us... all free.
The gift of what you have accomplished, no doubt...
But really the gift of who you are...
The years of your first achievements, those years marked by the characteristics of your youth,
you give them to us:
with the creative audacity of your beginnings in a world as troubled and difficult as ours;
with the mystical spirit that made you tremble when you read the Song of Songs;
to seek the meeting of your heart with the Heart of Christ and to leave us, as an irreplaceable treasure, this sign of the Heart;
with your capacity for friendship, for those warm and attentive friendships, faithful and full of spontaneity;
with that touch of fragility, that frail appearance of one who has experienced illness, a certain fear of responsibilities, and a lot of wonder in the presence of the small things.
Your long years of maturity, you also give us the gift of them:
these years of perseverance in the pursuit, in the midst of organizing and struggles,
of failures and withdrawals, of nagging worries, of debts and limited means...
these years of constant adjustments. Adjustments :
to people: 14,000 letters are proof of this,
to history, with its revolutions and its evolutions,
to countries: Europe was already beckoning you to cross borders, to the New World,
where you would have liked to join Philippine, to whom you had said: "Go forth".
And then, God wanted you to give us the years of your old age as well,
those of wondrous gratitude,
those of wisdom that revaluates and forgives,
those of serene retreat, allowing other hands to grab the torch...
All this is a gift to us.
A gift given to me... for free...
Amen! Thank you!