Marie Poussepin,a route of charity in solidarity

on 16 Oct, 2020
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Bogotá (Colombia), 10/16/2020, Sr. María del Carmen Avellaneda Navas.- Celebrating Marie Poussepin as a path of charity in solidarity call us to come closer to her with the eyes of those who contemplate, reflect, appropriate and make reality through commitment of their life, that which by Grace they have been able to assimilate and welcome into their own heart.

Solidarity is the new name of charity, said St. John Paul II, and it consists of living the key to the commandment of love. “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Jn. 13, 34-35

From here, we can understand Marie Poussepin, a woman of solidarity, daughter of the charity. The epitaph engraved on her tomb is for us a lamp on the road; She saw the right in the eyes of the Lord and accomplished it...

Marie Poussepin inserted herself admirably into the realities of her time. "This is the genius of sanctity, going to the center, to the core in a given time. In her time, the Blessed is she who understands that the center is charity, active charity, intelligent charity, effective and she imagines, glimpses, perceives the challenges that sisters can encounter devoted and active" as Father Bonduelle, an historian, said at the colloquium organized in Tours, 30 November 1994, on the occasion of the Beatification.

"A great variety of people frequent the family home: the neighbors in search of a advice, of a service, of a firm; the relatives of the trainees, the work colleagues, and finally the family, a true tribe that belongs to the world of the artisans and the small local bourgeoisie. All this creates a network of relationships in an open home... " (Intervention Sister Madeleine St Jean in the 50th General Chapter).

"Marie Poussepin is immersed in this atmosphere. It is precisely the circumstances of her environment that shape her personality and lead her to live the newness of God's call.

Marie Poussepin makes a definitive journey to Sainville in the rural area of La Beauce, marked because of poverty and misery. It was there that she began her work as Founder by teaching poor girls and healing the sick. And, she does this, under the sign of gratuity. She understands very well, that only free of charge is it possible to meet the needs of her time in the French context, where she performed her charity service.

The community work for the subsistence of the community and for the service of the charity of the poorest is another innovative element that our Constitutions and regulations put forward manifesto. Work and gratuity, two realities that in the spiritual and supportive practice of our Mother Founder are indissolubly intertwined. Marie lives charitable solidarity as a member of the fraternity of Charity, in her family. She takes care of the urgencies, worries and anguish of her family. In Dourdan she had already started the free training of young people apprentices at the sock factory she owned. There, in 1693, she had received in her own house and room to the sick old woman and widow, Marie Olivier, who had no chance to live and die with dignity but with the loving, delicate and constant help of Marie Poussepin. In 1736 in Sainville there was only one well to meet the needs of more than 800 people. The construction of a new well in order to provide water to the and her community, it allows, to verify her attention to the needs of all. 

Marie does not close herself off in the restricted world of her community, but always looks far away. "The community will not simply confine itself to enclosing the gifts it has received from heaven. It will work in a way that can spread them around with largeness and abundance ". Its many foundations, - nineteen in six dioceses between 1697-1740- , presences of evangelizing service that They multiply, they are also expressions of solidarity.

Through their guidance and advice, they mark out the path of equality, of inclusion, we would say today. "No distinction shall be made either by country or by birth, and preference shall be given to the poorest and those who are most exposed in relation to their salvation". Solidarity leads her to give everything: "Having reserved nothing for myself, I possess nothing," because she was invaded by an intense and habitual charity (Sister Madeleine Saint Jean).

Marie Poussepin's face of solidarity today: to care, to contemplate, to discern and to “misericordiar”.

To care. Drink from the crystalline water and the depth of the wells, wells of spirituality, wells of encounter, of relationship, of fraternity, of mutual love. Taking care of each other, being responsible for their own lives, as well as those of our Sisters. This care urges us to rethink our lifestyle and relationships, to review our daily decisions and to integral manner. To care for each other, to support each other, to open up to each other and living in solidarity with the poorest and vulnerable.

To Contemplate. the roads that today lead from Dourdan to Sainville, with clean eyes that allow us to see, hear and grasp God in the reality we are living; that push us to move from comfort to commitment, from our mediums to the fullness of the vocation that we have been called; a contemplative look at the Word in its many manifestations; that makes us see and hear with the heart, discover the Lord present among the little ones, the poor, those who suffer and identify paths as the Worker of Providence did in her time, where poverty, need, anguish, suffering, sickness, ignorance , have a seat and express themselves in so many ways. Make inner silence to hear the cries, the clamors coming from outside and inside. But ... contemplate united. 

To discern. Letting ourselves be moved by the breath of the Spirit, which leads with strength and gentleness to at the same time, to understand the voice of God and to know where He wants us here and today, as communities, as provinces, as a Congregation, as persons. Discern to attend, welcome and give answers with the strength and imprint of our Charism as signs of Spirit of God.

To Misericordiar. (As Pope Francis says) Through service without respite or weaknesses. It is time to expand and update the Works of Mercy. Misericordiar and merciful. Let us see that what we are experiencing not only concerns us, but that we occupies and will occupy us for a long time. Allow our heart to be filled with the joy of encounter, of the simplicity lived in closeness, of the love that overflows and grows every day. Give field to the beatitude of the service of charity until we can affirm that not having reserved nothing we possess nothing ... Advance in the confidence and risk of delivery that is clothed in the garb of time and history, embracing the Cross of our Lord and Saviour by announcing it with deeds and words. Thus, we will have seen and fulfilled what is right in the eyes of God...

May the Lord open our spirit, our heart, our treasures, our hands to live in these times of crisis with the hearts of the Lord's poor, with their eyes fixed on Him and with the hands and life directed to those who are his favorites.

I conclude this reflection by appropriating the words of Sister Madeleine Saint Jean: “May Marie Poussepin be present in every dangerous curve. May she be our guide and avoid false steps. May she be our strength in the hours of fatigue.”