France: Letters to Marie Poussepin - 4

on 13 Jun, 2020
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Province of France, 06/11/2020.- More letters to Marie Poussepin from France. 

Querida madre,

Yes, you are our mother; you have brought us forth for 3 centuries and from the dust, after the first ones in 1696, those who shared your life. Yes, you have generated us to “live and die for the service of the Church in the exercise of charity.” Because

“The soul of the Community is charity”
Charity is a real exercise.
You know something about it, don’t you? Practice or habit, training, physical activity, process…all the synonyms of the word “exercise” make sense…which has something to do with charity.
Here…when you will meet Madeleine Delbrêl at the crossroads of heaven and have a little chat with her, she will tell you:
“That one does not learn about charity but that one gets to know it little by little as one gets to know Christ.”
Or still, “it is the Spirit of Christ who makes us fruitful in charity.”
« Charity is our life becoming eternal life”
“An act without charity is a sudden death; an act of charity is an immediate resurrection.”
“You gain charity, by desiring it, asking for it, receiving it and transmitting it.”
I believe that I have spoken enough on this subject that you know from the bottom of your heart.
Then, “to live and die in the exercise of charity,” it is without doubt what Germaine and Paul did?
And I see you welcoming them with that beautiful and delicate smile which characterizes you so well.
And in our present time which is so confusing, I am writing to tell you some Fioretti from your Presentation Family in France.
Once it is not a common practice: we are not going to fight as a couple…but to look at what has happened since March 17 of this year of grace of 2020, (that is to say, since one and a half months) as beautiful, pretty, fraternal, lively, gratuitous, inventive, courageous, communicative, joyful etc…
Your family was found entrapped by a danger that came from the far East of the earth, called coronavirus or covid19. (We do not capitalize its name; it does not deserve it.)

This terrible virus – like a plague or cholera in the past – was spread in the East and then in Europe, without sparing the other continents.

In Europe, it caused big damages and the countries had to put the people under lock-down.
Then the sisters in the Province of France slammed their shutters, pushed their metal gates and closed the doors of their houses. It is not in their habit. On the contrary they like to keep them open to go out and go to the others and also for others to come in.
Then something really nice happened.
It began like a murmur, with a suggestion from our Sister Anne.
She asked us if we would be interested in sharing a journal kept by her, day to day, about what she was experiencing. The response was undoubtedly very positive, because since March 19, she has been sending us news regularly. And what news!

Then, there was a blossoming of sharing: poems, songs, notices, information, current events, chronicles, bulletins, flashes, coming from all over the Province, you wanted it and you have it, and even from outside, from the whole congregation – your congregation – from the different continents where it is established, where it does good as you had taught us to do.
It was an anthology. In between parenthesis, it should not be like a cheese souffle: coronavirus is gone, gone are the scattered particles! (to avoid repetition of the word anthology)!
We must get something good out of this evil.
The blossom must become a sheaf of communion all around. right?
As Montaigne says, « There is a beautiful harmony when what is said and done go together.”
And yet, what I am telling you very awkwardly, is only the tip of the iceberg because there were things that happened which the lock – down has not revealed and which only the secret of hearts knows!
To live together 24 hours a day, changes relationships; views are changed, friendliness is restored, laughing together heals misunderstandings, a trust that calls for another… … …
Perhaps the verb to love is conjugated in the present tense?

And I have limited my sharing to the congregation only, because beautiful initiatives have also flourished in parishes, dioceses, neighborhoods and so on…

I thought that I would write a short letter and see, now it overflows from everywhere, as my heart overflows from the mantle of St. Martin.
So, I am going to stop my chattering…
But I spent a very pleasant time with you. Of course, speaking with one’s mother is a privileged time! May be, I am a little familiar? Am I not? You enjoy it …

Can I ask you for a service? Yes? When you meet Mother St. Pierre, convey to her all the admiration and love I have for her.

Sr. Françoise-Chantal

Dear Mother Marie Poussepin,

I come to say “THANK YOU” to you!
For three centuries, people had been talking about you and the work that Divine Providence had placed in your hands. For three centuries, you had been travelling to different countries through your daughters who had followed your steps and spread your Charism today in 36 countries and soon in the 37th, while at the same time carrying out missionary expansion.
Throughout these three centuries, your charity has been present in each Sister who takes care of a sick person, teaches a child, visits a family…speaks about God and speaks to God in the parish, prison, street…
It has been three centuries that we speak of you, pray with you and love you!
Time passes, dear Mother, not without difficulty, but every day you teach us your virtues, which, like a fresh wind, penetrate our souls, lives and communities! Help us, dear Mother Foundress, to fulfill your desire: "May charity be the soul of the community".
For ever and ever, you will remain: "the humble, pious and charitable Marie Poussepin". May we, your daughters, remain faithful to your spirit and proclaim Jesus Christ wherever the wind of the Spirit may send us!
I just came to say: THANKS TO YOU, teacher, nurse, catechist and lastly ... "THE SOCIAL APOSTLE OF CHARITY".
With love and gratitude,

Your daughter, Sr. Amanda MESA,
Maison d’Abraham - Jérusalem