Compiled by Betty Ann McNeil, D.C.

Affability

We could say in truth that Monsieur Vincent profited well from the example of the blessed prelate. Like him, he conveyed at first encounter a mildness and marvelous affability, and the most respectful language towards all classes of people. One day he said to his community:

We have great need of affability because by our vocation we must often talk with one another and with our neighbor. What contributes to the difficulty of such conversation is that we come from such diverse backgrounds, in our place of origin, our temperament, and our dispositions. Dealing with our neighbor we will have much to put up is like the soul of good conversation. Affability will make it not only useful, but agreeable as well. Affability will help us converse with pleasure, with mutual respect for all. As charity is the virtue which unites us as members of the one body, affability is the virtue which perfects that union. <Ftn: CED XI:68.> Vincent de Paul

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Alms

Divine Providence saw to it that alms were given for the sick and bashful poor in amounts for which no one had dared hope.[i] Louise de Marillac

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Asking . . . Refusing Nothing

Now this maxim of neither asking nor refusing anything which keeps us dependent on God and his guidance, can only be pleasing to God, especially because it destroys human sentiments that, under pretext of zeal and of the glory of God, lead us often to undertake works that He neither inspires nor blesses.[ii] Vincent de Paul

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Availability

How happy is the Missionary [Daughter of Charity] who has no limit in this world on where he can preach the Gospel. Why then do we hesitate and set limits, since God has given us the whole world to satisfy our zeal?[iii]

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Availability

She who has the spirit of a true Daughter of Charity is ready to go to any place, prepared to leave all to serve her neighbor. If we love Our Lord, He is to be found everywhere. And there, my dear Sisters, are the three marks of charity; to love God, to make no exception of persons and to be indifferent to all places. # 50. – on the Spirit of the Company. Conference of February 2, 1653

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Availability

It is essential that you should be ready to go anywhere you may be ordered, and even to ask and say: I do not belong to this parish or that, but to wherever God is pleased I should be. Do not act like the sons of Zebedee for whom places were asked surreptitiously, which God, for their own good, did not give them. You have been chosen to be at the disposition of Divine Providence and, if you do not fully submit to It, you will lose much. # 1.- Explanation of the Rule, Conference of July 31, 1634

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Balance, Health

Health is the most precious treasure of Life.[iv] Louise de Marillac

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Balance

It seems to me that you are killing yourself from the little care you take of yourself.[v] Vincent de Paul

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Balance

Blessed be God that you have arrived in good health!. Oh! take great care to preserve it for the love of Our Lord and His poor members and be careful not to do too much. It is a ruse of the devil, by which he deceives good people, to induce them to do more than they are able, so that they end up not being able to do anything. The spirit of God urges one gently to do the good that can reasonably be done, so that it may be done perseveringly and for a long time. Act, therefore, in this way, Mademoiselle, and you will be acting according to the spirit of God. [vi] Vincent de Paul

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Balance

Our Lord wants us to serve him with common sense, and the opposite is called indiscreet zeal.[vii] Vincent de Paul

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Balance

Although God commands us to love Him with our whole heart and with all our strength, in His goodness He does not however desire that this should go so far as to injure and ruin our health through making all those acts [of excessive zeal to acquire virtue]. No, no, God does not wish us to slay ourselves in that fashion. [viii] Vincent de Paul

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Balance

It is a ruse of the devil, by which he deceives good people, to induce them to do more than they are able, so that they end up not being able to do anything. The spirit of God urges one gently to do the good that can reasonably be done, so that it may be done perseveringly and for a long time.[ix] Vincent de Paul

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Balance

You will see a great amount of misery that you cannot relieve. God sees it as well and does not want to give those who suffer greater abundance. Share their trials with them; do all you can to provide them with a little assistance and remain at peace.[x]

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Baptism

COL 2:12 You were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.

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Baptism

I affirm and renew the sacred profession made to God for me at my Baptism. I irrevocably resolve to love and serve Him with greater fidelity and to give myself entirely to Him. Louise de Marillac, A.3

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Baptism

ROM 6:4 We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life.

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Baptism

Since the sacrament of Baptism is a spiritual birth, it follows that He, in whose name we are baptized, is our Father and that, as His children, we must resemble Him. Louise de Marillac, A 23

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Baptism

EPH 4:5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism;

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Barque (bark)

In the name of God, Monsieur, let us have greater confidence in Him than we do; let us allow Him to steer our little bark; if it is useful and pleasing to Him, He will save it from shipwreck. Far from being submerged by the multitude and the size of other boats, it will sail along with greater assurance in the midst of all those fine ships, provided it keeps straight on its course and does not waste its time crossing over into their path. CCD 4:347, Document 1478

Monsieur, please have greater confidence in God let him steer our little ship. Abelly, 3:27

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Beginning

Once God begins a good work. . . Abelly 3:28

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Blessings

I pray our Lord himself will be your strength and life, as he is for all those who feed upon his love.[xi] Vincent de Paul

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Blessings

One way to ensure the continuing blessings of the Lord is to use them as soon as we receive them, according to his good pleasure for the greatest benefit to our neighbor.[xii] Vincent de Paul

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Blessings

Water with eternal blessings this establishment like a new tree planted by Your hand. Vincent de Paul, #989 to Etienne Blatiron, 27 September 1647, CCD, 3:, 241.

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Blessings of God

One way to ensure the continuing blessings of the Lord is to use them as soon as we receive them, according to his good pleasure for the greatest benefit to our neighbor.[xiii]

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Body of Christ

ROM 12:4 For as in one body we have many parts, and all the parts do not have the same function,

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Body of Christ

1COR 10:17 Because the loaf of bread is one, we, though many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf.

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Body of Christ

1COR 12:12 As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ.

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Body of Christ

ROM 12:5 so we, though many, are one body in Christ and individually parts of one another

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Burden

Believe that God will not leave a heavy burden on your back without sustaining you. He will be your strength and will as your reward.[xiv] Vincent de Paul

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Call

God never calls anyone to do some task unless He sees in her the appropriate qualities to carry it out, or which He plans to give her. Therefore, it is He, by His grace, who has called and united you.[xv]

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Care of Children

The work [with children] is very troublesome, but where is there not trouble? When you were in the world, had you no troubles? There are trials and troubles in every walk of life.[xvi] Vincent de Paul

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Certainty

I have nothing to say to this [legal issue involving real estate], except God be blessed for having willed all earthly things to be uncertain and perishable so that we may seek in Him alone the stability of our plans and affairs because things then turn out well for us. Vincent de Paul, to Jacques Chiroye, Superior, in Luçon, Paris, CCD, 2352. (August 26, 1657)

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Certainty

I am like you, Mademoiselle; there is nothing that bothers me more than uncertainty. But I do indeed greatly desire that God may be pleased to grant me the grace of making everything indifferent to me, and to you as well. Come now, we shall make every effort, please God, to acquire this holy virtue. Vincent de Paul to Louise de Marillac,

CCD 1: 175. [Between 1632 and 1636, probably July 22]

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Certainty

God determines some things for certain times, which He does not want at others. Since we are uncertain of the time when God will be pleased to grant us this grace, we must go forward without becoming discouraged, no matter how unlikely success may appear . . . Vincent de Paul to René Alméras, Superior, in Rome, CCD 1307. ( January 3, 1651)

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Charity, Organization of

“Since charity toward the neighbor is an infallible sign of the true children of God, and since one of its principal acts is to visit and bring food to the sick poor, some devout young women and virtuous inhabitants of the town of Châtillon-les-Dombes, in the Lyons diocese, wishing to obtain from God the mercy of being His true daughters, have decided among themselves to assist spiritually and corporally the people of their town who have sometimes suffered a great deal, more through a lack of organized assistance than from lack of charitable persons.”[xvii]

(The translation is different, but it is the source of the quote: “The poor suffer less from a lack of generosity than from a lack of organization.”)

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Charity

Since charity toward the neighbor is an infallible sign of the true children of God,[xviii]

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Charity, robe of

Always strive to have the robe of charity of which the signs are love of God, love of our neighbor, and love of our Sisters, lest God may wipe your names out of the book of life.[xix]

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Charity, State of

As long as they remain in a state of charity, they will always be in God and God in them.[xx]

cf. 1JN 4:16 We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us. God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him.

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Charity

Charity . . . is the life of the soul.[xxi] Vincent de Paul

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Charity

It is certain that when charity abides in a soul it takes entire possession of all its powers; charity allows it no rest; it is an ever-growing fire.[xxii] Vincent de Paul

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Charity

Charity leads us to God.[xxiii] Vincent de Paul

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Charity

O, Savior of our souls, Light of the World, enlighten . . . our understanding that we may grasp the truth of what we have just heard, You have formed . . . a Company of poor girls who serve You in the manner You has taught them. Make them your instruments, O my God, and give them . . . the grace to carry out all [their] actions through charity, humility and simplicity for the assistance of our neighbor . . . We trust that if we are faithful in the observances of these virtues, we shall have the reward You promised to those who serve You in the person of the poor.[xxiv] Vincent de Paul

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Charity

Loving someone is wanting all that is good for that person. Loving the Lord then is wanting that this name be known and manifested other whole world, that his kingdom come, and his will be done on earth as it is it in heaven.[xxv] Vincent de Paul

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Chosen by God

We must hope that God, in His goodness, will bless your efforts and bestow upon you all the graces you need to accomplish His most holy will because you were chosen for this work by the guidance of Divine Providence.[xxvi] Louise de Marillac

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Church

Do what the Son of God did when He was on earth. And what did He chiefly do? . . . He labored unceasingly for his neighbor, visiting and healing the sick and instructing the ignorant unto their salvation. . . . You have the happiness to be the first women who have been called to this holy work . . . Since the time of the women who ministered to the Son of God and the Apostles, there has been no community established in God’s Church with this end in view.[xxvii] Vincent de Paul

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Church

A day of days for me . . . to the Church of Saint Peter . . . here my God I go said I, heart all to youCthe endearments of this day with the Children and the play of the heart with God. Elizabeth Ann Seton, 14 March 1805 (on her conversion to Roman Catholicism)

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Church

Oh what a comfort while the church of God is reduced to such distress and seems as it were abandoned to its enemies her permits us to serve him in peace in this happy corner, where he stays with us even under our very roof. Elizabeth Ann Seton, To Rose Stubbs, 24 January 1810

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Church

Vincent often invited his confreres to thank God for the protection and graces given to the Church, and for the elements which made it up, especially the prelates, pastors, and other ecclesiastical workers engaged in its preservation and advancement. Abelly, vol. 3, Ch. 17

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Church

MT 16:18 And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.

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Church

ACTS 9:31 The church throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria was at peace. It was being built up and walked in the fear of the Lord, and with the consolation of the holy Spirit it grew in numbers.

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Church

Go to Holy Mass every day but do so with great devotion; conduct yourselves in church with great modesty and be an example of virtue to all who may see you. #1.- Explanation of the Rule. Conference of July 31, 1634, Conferences of Vincent de Paul to the Daughters of Charity.

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Church

ACTS 11:26 and when he had found him he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught a large number of people, and it was in Antioch that the disciples were first called Christians.

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Church

The Church says that it is the nature of God to be merciful and to confer this spirit upon us.[xxviii]

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Collaboration

We should assist the poor in every way and do it both by ourselves and by enlisting the help of others…. To do this is to preach the gospel by words and work.[xxix] Vincent de Paul

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Compassion

Then, Sisters, you should nurse those poor sick with great charity and gentleness so that they may see you are going to their assistance with a heart filled with compassion for them.[xxx]

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Compassion

When we go to visit the poor we should so identify with them that we share their sufferings. We should have the same attitude as the great apostle who said <Ftn: 1 Cor 9:22.> omnibus omnia factus sum, I make myself all to all, so completely that the words of the prophet would not apply to us: Sustinui qui simul mecum contristaretur, et non fuit, <Ftn: Ps 69:21.> I looked for someone to grieve with me in my sufferings, but found none. We must open our hearts so that they become responsive to the sufferings and miseries of the neighbor. We should pray God to give us a true spirit of mercy, which is in truth the spirit of God. The Church says that it is the nature of God to be merciful and to confer this spirit upon us. Ask this grace of God, my brothers, that he may give us this spirit of compassion and mercy, and that he may so fill us with it that as soon as anyone sees a missionary, he immediately will think, there goes a person full of compassion. Think for a moment of how much we ourselves stand in need of mercy, we who must exercise it towards others. We must bring this mercy everywhere, and endure everything for the sake of compassion.[xxxi]

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Consolation, Interior

With all my heart I wish you the joy and interior consolation of a soul that is lovingly submissive to the most holy will of God . . . [xxxii] Louise de Marillac

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Consolation of God amidst unmet needs and suffering

Do not be impatient with your trials, and at seeing yourselves as receiving no other consolation but God’s. Oh, if we only knew God’s secrets when He places us in this state, we would see that this must be the time of our greatest consolation. In fact, you will see a great amount of misery that you cannot relieve. God sees it as well and does not want to give those who suffer greater abundance. Share their trials with them; do all you can to provide them with a little assistance and remain at peace. Perhaps you share in this need; in that is your consolation because, if you had plenty, your hearts would be troubled to use it while seeing our lords and masters suffering so. Since God chastises His people for our sins, is it not reasonable for us to suffer with the others? Who are we to think that we should be exempt from public evils? If the goodness of God does not expose us to the worst miseries, let us be truly thankful to Him for this, and let us believe that it is due solely to His mercy and is in no way merited.[xxxiii]

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Consolations

Strength, Interior

What can you do in this situation, my dear sisters? Nothing but practice patience and imitate, as far as you are able, the example of Our Lord who consumed His strength and His life in the service of His neighbor. By doing so you will find strength not only for your bodies but also for your minds which will receive very extraordinary consolations.[xxxiv] Louise de Marillac

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Contentment

Try to live content among your reasons for discontent and always honor the activity and unknown condition of the Son of God. This is your center and what he asks of you for the present and for the future.[xxxv] cf. Hebrews 13:5

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Country Girls

Make use of Gods gifts quite simply, if you think you have done something good, attribute the glory to God, and imitate true country girls who act openly and speak out quite frankly whatever they know, without reflecting too deeply about what they say or do. Conference #13. – On imitating the conduct of country girls, January 23, 1643

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Cross

God, who has granted me so many graces, led me to understand that it was His holy will that I go to Him by way of the Cross. His goodness chose to mark me with it from my birth and He has hardly ever left me, at any age, without some occasion of suffering.[xxxvi] Louise de Marillac

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Day by day

Take every day as a ring which you must engrave, adorn, and embellish with your actions, to be offered up in the evening at the altar of God. Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton

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Death, fear of

‘Those who love the poor in life will have nothing to fear in death, as I have seen on many occasions myself.’ Because of this he [Vincent] tried to teach a love of the poor to those who were afraid of death. Vincent de Paul (Abelly 3:117; cf. CED 11:3992-93)

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Desires

Resolutions

Openness

No desires-no resolutions. The grace of my God will accomplish whatever He pleases in me.[xxxvii]

Cf. Imitation of Christ Book 3; Chapter 32 On Self Denial and Giving up our Desires, p. 151. Give up everything, and you shall find everything; renounce desire, and you shall discover peace. (Page 15, Underhill translation)

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Divine Providence

hidden treasures are found in divine providence and so those who honor our Lord so magnificently, follow providence and do not anticipate it.[xxxviii] Vincent de Paul

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Divine Providence

Wisdom consists in following providence step by step.[xxxix] Vincent de Paul

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Divine Providence

I have great reason to say, in truth, that it has been Divine Providence alone at work. Going there, I had no knowledge of what there was to do. I can say that I saw what was being done only when it was completed. In encounters where I could have met with obstacles, the same Divine Providence provided, totally unexpectedly, persons who could help me . . .. It also seemed to me that I was doing what I was meant to do without knowing how. May God be forever blessed for it![xl] Louise de Marillac

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Divine Providence

I have a particular devotion to following the adorable providence of God step by step. My only consolation is that I think our Lord alone has carried on and is constantly carrying on the business of the Little Company. [xli] Vincent de Paul

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Divine Providence

You also owe obedience to the guidance of Divine Providence[xlii]

Vincent de Paul

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Divine Providence

How marvelously our Lord is honored by those who follow it [Divine Providence] and do not rush ahead of it.[xliii] Vincent de Paul

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Divine Providence

I must practice great humility and mistrust of myself; abandon myself continuously to the Providence of God; imitate, insofar as I am able, the life Our Lord who came on earth to accomplish the holy will of God His Father; assist my neighbor to the best of my ability both corporally and spiritually for the love which God has for all of us equally; carry out my spiritual exercises carefully.[xliv] Louise de Marillac

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Education of Girls

After Mass, you should learn how to read in order to prepare yourselves to teach little girls. It is necessary, my dear Sisters, for you to apply yourselves seriously to this study, because it is one of the two reasons for which you have given yourselves to God: the service of the sick poor and the education of youth, especially in country places. The city is almost fully supplied with Sisters, and so it is only right that you should go and labor in the country. Are you not all ready to do so, my dear Sisters, without any further thought of where you may be sent, or of your acquaintances, or whether the places may be far away or near home? #6. Explanation of the Rule, August 16, 1641, Conferences of Vincent de Paul to the Daughters of Charity

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Education of Foundlings

Is it not the duty of fathers to look after the needs of their children? Since God has put us in the place of their parents to save the lives of these children, to raise them, and to instruct them in saving knowledge, we must take care not to fail in a task so dear to him. After their own mothers have left them exposed on the doorsteps, if we too should neglect their care and education, what would become of them? Could we consent to see them all die, as used to happen in this great city of Paris? <Ftn: Abelly’s version differs considerably from CED XII:89.>

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Eternity

I conclude, prostrate in spirit at your feet, asking you alos, please, to offer me to our common Lord, so that I may be faithful to Him and finish the journey to eternity in His love. Vincent de Paul to Charles Nacquart, CCD 3:283.

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Eucharist

Vincent: But let us draw near to this fire to be first of all enkindled ourselves and then, by our charity and good example, to draw others toward it. # 23. – On Holy Communion. January 22, 1646, Conferences of Vincent De Paul to the Daughters of Charity.

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Eucharist

one means of acquiring and, indeed, of increasing the love of God is the reception of the holy Sacraments, especially the Blessed Eucharist. It is impossible for us to draw near a fire without being warmed, provided we do so with the necessary disposition, that is to say, with a desire to give ourselves entirely to God and ardently implore Him to give us His love.41. On the Love of God. Conference of September 19, 1649, Conferences of Vincent De Paul to the Daughters of Charity.

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Excellence

As for your conduct with the sick, may you never take the attitude of merely getting the task done. You must show them affection; serving them from the heart; inquiring of them what they might need; speaking to them gently and compassionately.[xlv]

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Faith Formation

Let your chief study be to acquaint yourself with God because there is nothing greater than God, and because it is the only knowledge which can fill the Heart with a Peace and joy, which nothing can disturb. Elizabeth Ann Seton, 19 November 1802

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Faith

Faith lifts the staggering soul upon one side, Hope supports it on the other. Experience says it must be, and Love sayslet it be.[xlvi] Elizabeth Ann Seton

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Faith

Faith is indeed a great possession for the poor, because a lively faith draws down from God all that we may reasonably hope for. . . . God has chosen the poor to make them rich in faith.[xlvii] Vincent de Paul

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Faithfulness of God

No, Sisters, fear not, God will never fail you, if you are faithful to Him.

#8. – on the Faults and Failings of the past Year. January 6, 1642, Conferences of Vincent De Paul to the Daughters of Charity.

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Fear of death

God takes away the fear of dying from those who have generously exercised charity towards the poor in their lives, even if during their lifetime they had always lived in this fear. Vincent de Paul, CED I:595-97.

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Fed by the Poor

These poor vine dressers who labor for us expect us to pray for them while they themselves are working to feed us . . . We are living on the patrimony of Jesus Christ, on the sweat of the poor. The poor feed us.[xlviii] Vincent de Paul

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Feeding the hungry

He said practically the same thing to a lawyer of the Parlement of Paris who was making a retreat at Saint Lazare. He was surprised to see so many people in the dining room, besides the large number who normally lived there. His curiosity led him to ask Monsieur Vincent how he managed to feed so many. He answered, “Monsieur, the treasury of God’s Providence is large. We must put our cares and concerns into his hands, for he will never fail to provide our food, as he has promised.” Quoted in Abelly 3:24.

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Feminism

The sisters here are truly resigned to God’s good pleasure in this painful separation [the death of Louise de Marillac], and are filled with confidence in Our Lord, who will hold the place of father and mother in their regard. Letter #3109, to Sr Jeanne Delacroix, 27 March 1660

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Feminism

Our Lord Jesus Christ is our father, our mother, and our all. Letter #2001, To Nicholas Etienne, CM, January 30, 1656, V,534

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Feminism

You must praise God for this [the death of Louise de Marillac] and hope that He will take the place of father and mother in your regard. Letter #3104, to Sr Nicole Horan, 20 March 1660

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Financing Charity

I am now completely convinced that when one does a deed of charity one need not worry about where the money will come from: it will always come.[xlix] Frédéric Ozanam

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Fire of God’s love

But let us draw near to this fire to be first of all enkindled ourselves and then, by our charity and good example, to draw others toward it. # 23. – On Holy Communion. January 22, 1646, Conferences of Vincent De Paul to the Daughters of Charity.

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Fire

Eucharist

Elizabeth: Jesus is as a fire in the very center of our souls ever burning. Yet, we are cold because we do not stay by it. Elizabeth Ann Seton ASJPH 1-3-3-26A (11)

Vincent: But let us draw near to this fire to be first of all enkindled ourselves and then, by our charity and good example, to draw others toward it. # 23. – On Holy Communion. January 22, 1646, Conferences of Vincent De Paul to the Daughters of Charity.

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Forbearance

Try to excuse one another; say: Surely what that dear good Sister said to me was not intentional; she was taken by surprise, and not, she is bad tempered; no one can ever get on with her. I will take very good care never to submit to her; she is conceited. Oh! no, my dear Sisters, if you cannot accept a rebuff there is reason to think that you do not act for the love of God. Reflect that this person, who seems to you to be so difficult to get on with, may one day be far above you in heaven, and that she is the image of God; moreover, my dear Sisters, honor the forbearance which the Son of God exercised toward His creatures who are so far below Him. Is it not true, my daughters, that you have failed to show this mutual forbearance and, for want of it, have often been angry with one another?

#22. ON RECONCILIATION. Between 1634 and 1646. Conferences of Vincent De Paul to the Daughters of Charity.

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Foundation

Our beginnings were at the same time simple and unexpected:

Who would ever have thought that there would be Daughters of Charity ? . . . I did not think of it . . . God thought of it for you.

#15, Explanation of the Rule,

Conferences to the Daughters of Charity ( June 14, 1643), 1:102.

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Fruits of apostolic labor

To both begin well and to succeed, you must act in the spirit of our Lord. Unite your actions to his and dedicate them to his greater glory, to give them a totally noble and divine purpose. In this way, God will shower all manner of blessings upon you and your work. You may not live to see them, at least not in their full extent, since God for good reasons hides from his servants the fruit of their labor. Nevertheless, he causes them to be effective. A farmer has to work many hours before seeing the fruit of his work, and sometimes he sees nothing of the abundant harvest his sowing has brought about. This same thing happened to Saint Francis Xavier. In his lifetime he never saw the results of his work, nor the great development which the holy works had produced after his death, nor the marvelous progress of the missions he had begun. This consideration ought to keep your heart at peace, and strongly centered in God, in the confidence that all will be well, despite everything you may see to the contrary. <Ftn: CED V:456-57.> Quoted in Abelly 3:100.

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Future

And that was the beginning of your Company. As it was not then what it is now, there is reason to believe that it is still not now what it will be later on when God brings it to the state on which He has decided. My daughters, you should not think communities come into existence all at once. Saint Benedict, Saint Augustine, Saint Dominic, and all the great servants of God, whose Orders are so flourishing, never in the least dreamed of doing what they actually accomplished. But God acted through them. Vincent de Paul, 13 February 1646, CED 9:245; Leonard: Collins ed., 218 [C1.2]

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Gentleness

Respect

Serve your masters with great gentleness. Be very respectful to the administrators and greatly honor the clergy. You owe this to them.[l] Louise de Marillac

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God

God is my God.[li] Louise de Marillac

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God’s Instruments

God has raised up this Little Company . . . for his love and good pleasure . . . [and] we are bound to show it [love] by leading people to love God and their neighbor; to love the neighbor for the sake of God and God for the sake of the neighbor. We have been chosen by God as instruments of his boundless and fatherly love which desires to be established in and to replenish souls.[lii] Vincent de Paul

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God’s Love

I wish you a young heart and a love in its first bloom for Him who loves us unceasingly and as tenderly as if He were just beginning to love us. For all God’s pleasures are ever new and full of variety, although He never changes. Vincent de Paul to Louise de Marillac, 1 January 1638 (CCD, 1:#288).

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God’s Initiative in Works

And is this not also most clearly visible in its beginnings and progress? The sign by which Gods works may be known, so St. Augustine tells us, is that they come into existence by themselves. They proceed in such a manner that no one can notice them, and yet, in the end, they are accomplished, and no one can say how. Now this is true of your establishment, my dear daughters, for no one can say how it came into existence, or who made it, if not God. Ask Mademoiselle Le Gras if she ever thought of it. Nothing was farther from her mind. As for me, I can tell you before God, that I never thought of it at all. And who, then, did think of it? Oh! it was God, my daughters, who well knew what He meant to do. Therefore, love the way in which He has guided your Company and cherish the spirit with which He infused it, and the observance of the rules with which He endowed it, for these rules contain in themselves the most certain means for living the life of true Christian women. And not only that, but observed in the spirit of God, they will enable you to reach the highest form of religious devotion, and the most solid virtue that can be practiced in Christendom.

In the first place, they are in harmony with the Gospel. They contain all that is most perfect in Our Lords teaching. They trace out the whole road for reaching the kingdom of God as pointed out by Jesus Christ. They mark it out for you; I would make this clear to you in every particular, if I were not pressed for time, but I will point out just two or three instances. Conferences of Vincent de Paul to the Daughters of Charity #30. On the Rules. May 30, 1647

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Good Samaritan

Society today seems to me to be not unlike the wayfarer described in the parable of the Good Samaritan. For while journeying along the road mapped out for it by Christ, it has been set upon by thieves of evil human thought. Bad men have despoiled the wayfarer of all his goods, of the treasures of faith and love . . . . The priests and the Levites have passed him by. But this time, being real priests and true Levites, they have approached the suffering, wretched creature and attempted to cure him. But in his delirium he has not recognized them and has driven them away. Then we weak Samaritans, outsiders as we are, have dared to approach this great sick patient. Perhaps he will be less affrighted by us? Let us try to measure the extent of his wounds in order to pour oil into them. Let us make words of peace and consolation ringing in his ears. Then, when his eyes are opened, we will hand him over to the tender care of those whom God has chosen to be the guardians and doctors of souls.[liii] Frédéric Ozanam

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Goodness of God

On one occasion Louise wrote a sister that, the City Administrators [plan] to furnish . . . water. The pipes have already been laid form the reservoir to the House. This leads me to hope that we will have a completely functioning water supply before Christmas . . . God is so good to us![liv] Louise de Marillac

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Gospel Maxims, Missionary Virtues

Behold the power and the strength of Gospel maxims, of which, because they are numerous, I chiefly select those that are most suitable for Missionaries; and what are they? I have always thought and believed them to be simplicity, humility, meekness, mortification, and zeal. #211, 22 August 1659 to CM (Leonard, 677)

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Gospel Maxims

Another motive for exact observance of our rules is that they are all taken from the Gospel. As you may see, Gentlemen, as you may see. They all tend to conform our life with that which Our Lord led on earth. Our Lord came and was sent by His Father to preach the Gospel to the poor. Pauperibus evangelizare misit me Pauperibus, to the poor. Gentlemen, to the poor! As, by the grace of God, the little Company strives to do.

A great motive for the said Company to humble itself is that hitherto there has never been a Company (it is unheard of ), that had for its end to do what Our Lord came into the world to do, namely to preach the Gospel to the poor alone, to the forsaken poor: Pauperibus evangelizare misit me. For, mark you, that is our end, and one which some short time ago God was pleased to bequeath to the Company as a monument and as a memorial for posterity.

#180, 17 May 1658 to CM (Leonard, 414)

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Grace

Grace has its moments.[lv] Vincent de Paul

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Grace

May my life be solely for Jesus and my neighbor so that, by means of this unifying love, I may love all that Jesus loves. Louise de Marillac, A 23

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Grace

We must hope that God, in His goodness, will bless your efforts and bestow upon you all the graces you need to accomplish His most holy will because you were chosen for this work by the guidance of Divine Providence.[lvi] Louise de Marillac

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Grace

God never calls anyone to do some task unless He sees in her the appropriate qualities to carry it out, or which He plans to give her. Therefore, it is He, by His grace, who has called and united you.[lvii]

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Grace

I shall greatly honor and respect those persons who hold the place of the Apostles since God has granted them the power to make us His children and to dispense His grace to us by means of the sacraments. Louise de Marillac, A.5

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Grace

O, Savior of our souls, Light of the World, enlighten . . . our understanding that we may grasp the truth of what we have just heard, You have formed . . . a Company of poor girls who serve You in the manner You has taught them. Make them your instruments, O my God, and give them . . . the grace to carry out all [their] actions through charity, humility and simplicity for the assistance of our neighbor . . . We trust that if we are faithful in the observances of these virtues, we shall have the reward You promised to those who serve You in the person of the poor.[lviii] Vincent de Paul

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Gratitude

rejoice with you, by thanking God for the graces His goodness has bestowed upon you, enabling you to continue to love His service by observing your Rules especially by the cordiality and support you show one another . . . You can be certain that God is with you.[lix] Louise de Marillac

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Gratitude

God only can measure my joy and gratitude. Elizabeth Ann Seton

To Antonio Filicchi, 22 April 1816

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Gratitude

See Abelly, vol. 3, Ch. 17. His Justice and Gratitude

He[Vincent] appreciated even those who expected nothing of him, for example, the people who cultivated the fields. By their labors they enabled the clergy and nobility to live according to their condition. Here is how he spoke of this, in a conference to his community:

God serves as our provider, furnishing us with what we need and beyond. He gives a sufficiency and more. I do not know if we think often enough of thanking him as we should. We live off the patrimony of Jesus Christ, off the sweat of these poor peasants. When we go to the refectory, we should consider whether we have earned the food we are going to eat. I often have this thought, and it causes me to blush. O miserable one, have you earned the bread you are about to eat? This bread and other food coming from the labor of others. At least, if we have not earned it as we should, let us pray to God for them. We should not let a day pass without offering them to our Lord, that they may have the grace to use their pains and suffering well, and one day crown them with his glory. <Ftn: CED XI:201.>

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Gratitude

See Abelly, vol. 3, Ch. 17. His Justice and Gratitude

He [Vincent] used to say that nothing was so efficacious in winning the heart of God as a spirit of gratitude for his gifts and blessings. In this spirit he had the custom of thanking God often for the gifts from his bounty to all sorts of creatures, going back to the beginning of the world. He also thanked God for the good works accomplished through the inspiration of his grace, and he urged others to do the same. Coming down to particulars, he often invited his confreres to thank God for the protection and graces given to the Church, and for the elements which made it up, especially the prelates, pastors, and other ecclesiastical workers engaged in its preservation and advancement. He was careful to thank God for the fruits produced by all well run companies and congregations. How can we express adequately the thanks he gave the divine bounty for the blessings he had poured forth on his own Congregation and each of its enterprises, such as the missions, the ordination retreats, the retreats, the clergy conferences, the seminaries, and the other services given to the Church? He often thanked God for the help given to the poor, for the promotion of good priests to positions of responsibility in the Church, for the happy outcome of the worthy designs of the king, for the victories he gained, for the triumphs of the king and other princes and Christian states over the heretics and schismatics, or in general, for all those events favorable to the glory of God and the good of the Catholic religion. These were the usual subjects of his thanks to God, but his own gratitude seemed to him so inadequate that he invited pious persons and even entire communities, mainly his own, to join him in his praise and glorification of God, and he asked others to offer their sacrifices and prayers for this intention.

He was often heard to say, “We must give as much time to thanking God for his favors as we have used in asking him for them.” He complained vehemently of the extreme ingratitude of men towards God. He was referring to the lament of Jesus Christ reported in the Gospel on the occasion of his curing the ten lepers. He urged his confreres to practice this virtue of gratitude and thanksgiving, without which, he used to say, we make ourselves unworthy of receiving any favors from God or men.

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Gratitude

God be praised that you are ready to do his holy will in everything, and to live and die wherever he calls you to. This is what we find in true servants of God, in truly apostolic men, who stop at nothing. This is a mark of God’s true children, ever ready to respond to the designs of such a worthy Father. I thank him for you with a great sentiment of tenderness and gratitude as I ask of his divine bounty. I am persuaded that a heart as prepared as yours is, will receive heavenly graces in abundance to accomplish much good upon earth. <Ftn: CED IV:446-47.>

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Growth of Community

That was the beginning . . .it was not then, what it is now, there is reason to think that it is not now what it will be later on when God brings it to the state on which he has decided. You should not think that communities come into existence all at once. [The founders] . . . never dreamed of doing what they actually accomplished. But God acted through them.[lx] Vincent de Paul

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Health

See Balance.

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Heart

The hand must be directed as much as possible by the heart. CED 11:77.

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Heart then the work

God demands first the heart. . . then the work .[lxi] Vincent de Paul

All He [God] asks of US is the Heart. Elizabeth Bayley Seton [discussion of prayer] ASJPH 1-3-3-8:103; cf. Metz, Retreat, 87 CW, #4.51

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Help from others

Support

Sometimes we are under pressure, and it seems to us that we urgently need and hope for help from others. However, we are disappointed. This happens either through the conduct of Divine Providence or because of human weakness. We should look immediately to the will of God and accept it in this situation. We should raise our minds to God and depend only on Him, remembering that, from all eternity, He has been and is sufficient to Himself; consequently, He can and should be sufficient for us.[lxii] Louise de Marillac

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Holiness

If humility, simplicity and charity, which produce support, are well established among you, your little Company will be made up of as many saints as there are persons. Louise de Marillac, L.505 – Sister Cecile Agnes, January 8, 1657

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Hope

Be but faithful to Him with your whole heart, and never fear. He will support, direct, console, and finally crown your dearest Hope.[lxiii] Elizabeth Ann Seton

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Humility, gentleness

I urge all of them to be very courageous especially in perfecting themselves in the practice of true humility, gentleness, obedience, cordiality and support for one another.[lxiv] Louise de Marillac

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Humility, simplicity

Gentleness, cordiality and forbearance must be the practices of the Daughters of Charity just as humility, simplicity and the love of the holy humanity of Jesus Christ, who is perfect charity, is their spirit.[lxv] Louise de Marillac

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Humility

True humility will regulate everything.[lxvi] Louise de Marillac

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Image of God in Neighbor

. . . . service we owe our neighbor, who is the image of God.[lxvii] Vincent de Paul

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Image of God in Neighbor

The second, that the souls of the poor have the image of God imprinted on them, and we are therefore bound to honor the Blessed Trinity in them.[lxviii] Vincent de Paul

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Image of God

This person, who seems to you to be so difficult to get on with, . . . she is the image of God.[lxix]

Vincent de Paul

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Inculturation

May I ask something of you, my dear Sisters, which seems very necessary to me? It is that you never speak Polish among yourselves without letting our sisters know what you are saying. This will help them to learn the language more quickly and will prevent other problems which could arise if you acted otherwise.[lxx] Louise de Marillac

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Instruction

in the faith

In this regard, he learned of a group of Irish Catholics in Paris, exiled for their faith and reduced to great misery. He called in a priest of the Congregation of the Mission, a native of Ireland, and asked what might possibly be done to help these poor refugees. He said to the priest, “Is there no way we can bring them together, to console them in their suffering, and instruct them? They do not understand our language, and they seem so abandoned. My heart is stricken for I have great compassion for them.” The priest responded that he would do what he could. “God bless you,” replied Monsieur Vincent, “here are ten pistoles. Go in the name of God, to give them whatever consolation you can.” We should remark that this help was quite apart from what he also did for some Irish priests, which we will describe below. <Ftn: Sect. 5.> Abelly 3:89

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Intention

Human actions become actions of God when they are performed in him and through him.[lxxi] Vincent de Paul

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Jesus Christ, person of poor

In order to do this you should form your intention at the beginning of each exercise, and in particular when you apply yourselves to the service of the poor. What a happiness, my daughters, to serve the person of Our Lord in His poor members! He has told you He will regard these services as done to Himself.[lxxii]

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Jesus Christ, Life and death

We live in Jesus Christ through the death of Jesus Christ, and we must die in Jesus Christ through the life of Jesus Christ, and our life must be hidden in Jesus Christ and filled with Jesus Christ, and in order to die as Jesus Christ, we must live as Jesus Christ.[lxxiii] Vincent de Paul

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Justice

The thought of the presence of God helps us in the practice of fulfilling his holy will. The memory of the divine presence grows in the mind, little by little, and by his grace becomes habitual with us. We become, as it were, enlivened by this divine presence. My brothers, how many persons there are, even in the world, who almost never lose their sense of God’s presence? I, myself, a few days ago met a person who was aware of having been distracted only three times during the day. These people will be our judges. They will condemn us before the judgment seat of God’s divine majesty for our forgetfulness, since we have no other duty but to love him and to show this love by our attention and our service of him. Let us pray that our Lord will give us the grace to say, like him, Cibus meus est, ut faciam voluntatem ejus qui misit me, my food and my life is to do the will of God. <Ftn: John 4:34.> Let us beseech him to give us always a hunger and thirst for his justice. <Ftn: CED XII:163-64.> Quoted in Abelly 3:58.

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Kingdom

Do we serve God in Hope, looking to his promises, confiding in his love, seeking his Kingdom, and leaving the rest to Him?[lxxiv] Elizabeth Ann Seton

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Kingdom

In the first place, they [the Rules] are in harmony with the Gospel. They contain all that is most perfect in Our Lords teaching. They trace out the whole road for reaching the kingdom of God as pointed out by Jesus Christ. They mark it out for you; I would make this clear to you in every particular, if I were not pressed for time, but I will point out just two or three instances. Conferences of Vincent de Paul to the Daughters of Charity #30. On the Rules. May 30, 1647

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Kingdom

Loving someone is wanting all that is good for that person. Loving the Lord then is wanting that this name be known and manifested other whole world, that his kingdom come, and his will be done on earth as it is it in heaven.[lxxv] Vincent de Paul

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Leaving God for God

If you must leave prayer to attend the sick, leave it, ans as you leave God in prayer , you will find God with the sick. Keep your rules and they will keep you. Vincent de Paul, Conference of 4 August 1658 to the Daughters of Charity, 1118.

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Leaving God for God

You observe all you little regulations as well as you can, provided they do not interfere with the care of the sick; that is leaving God for God.[lxxvi] Vincent de Paul

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Leaving God for God

In the case of necessity, you should prefer the service of the poor to making your prayer, but , if you take care, you will find plenty of time for both. Vincent de Paul, Conference of 2 August 1640 to the Daughters of Charity, 29.

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Leaving God for God

When you leave prayer and Holy Mass to serve the poor, you are losing nothing, because serving the poor is going to God and you should see God in them. Vincent de Paul, Conference of 31 July 1634 to the Daughters of Charity, 4.

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Leaving God for God

[When there is an apparent conflict between the rule to pray at specified times and the obligation of serving the sick poor,] What is to be done in such a case ? Here are two rules from God. . . . In this case holy obedience reconciles all and directs you to leave prayer to go and serve the poor. Vincent de Paul, Conference of 21 July 1658 to the Daughters of Charity, 1106

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Leaving God for God

We are leaving God for God if we leave one of our spiritual exercises for the service of the poor.[lxxvii] Louise de Marillac

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Leaving God for God

To leave God only for God, that is to say, to leave one work of God to perform another, either of greater obligation or greater merit, is not to leave God. Vincent de Paul, Conference of 30 May 1647 to the Daughters of Charity, 284. [Cf. 384-85; 614.]

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Leaving God for God*

No spouse has ever regarded his spouse with a more loving eye tant Our Lord regards a Daughter of Charity who faithfully observes her rules. For instance, if it is the good pleasure of God that you should go on a Sunday to help a sick person instead of going to Mass, although that is a matter of obligation, Oh! you should go to the sick. That is called leaving God for God. Vincent de Paul, Conference of 1 August 1655 to the Daughters of Charity, 715.

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Leaving God for God

To prefer the service of the sick poor to all other corporal or spiritual exercises and to have no scruple about leaving all other things for that, provided it is urgent necessity, and not laziness, that inclines us to do so. [lxxviii] Vincent de Paul

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Leaving God for God*

The service of the poor should be preferred to everything else . . .[lxxix] Vincent de Paul

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Leaving God for God

The hour for mental prayer comes round; if you hear the poor calling for you, mortify yourselves and leave God for God, although you should do all in your power not to omit prayer because it is prayer that will keep you united to God, and as long as you are united to God you have noting to fear. Vincent de Paul, Conference of 23 July 1654 to the Daughters of Charity, 634.

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Led by God

Allow yourself to be led by the Lord. He will direct all things through you. Trust him and following his example, always act humbly , gently and in good faith.[lxxx] Vincent de Paul

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Listening to God

As in the morning you speak to God in prayer, so God speaks to you when you read. If you wish your prayer to be heard by God, listen to God when you read. There is no less happiness and profit in listening to God than there is in speaking to him. I strongly recommend you not to fail to do so . . . and to spend a little time in prayer afterwards.[lxxxi] Vincent de Paul

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Little Bark (boat)

To have greater confidence in Him [God] than we do; let us allow Him to steer our little bark [boat]; if its is useful and pleasing to Him, He will save it from shipwreck. Far from being submerged by the multitude and the size of other boats, it will sail along with greater assurance in the midst of all those fine ships provided it keeps straight on the course and does not waste its time crossing over into their path. # 1478 CCD 4:347. Vincent de Paul to Achille le Vaxeux, Assistant in Rome.

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Liturgy

Go to Holy Mass every day but do so with great devotion; conduct yourselves in church with great modesty and be an example of virtue to all who may see you. And I shall give as an example a dear lady named Madame Pavillon who for many long years was a source of admiration in her parish. It seems that she walked and carried herself as if she were visibly in the presence of God; she seemed almost insensible to everything, sin excepted. She let herself be trampled on rather than be diverted from the presence of God. That, my daughters, is the way to behave reverently in church and, principally, during Holy Mass.

#1.- Explanation of the Rule. Conference of July 31, 1634, Conferences of Vincent de Paul to the Daughters of Charity.

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Love, Affective & Effective

What then is the spirit of the Daughters of Charity . . . it is the love of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Is it not natural for children to love their father? And that you may understand what exactly this love is, you should know that it is exercised in two different ways, one affective, the other effective.[lxxxii] Vincent de Paul

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Love of God

On the third point, she noted that one means of acquiring and, indeed, of increasing the love of God is the reception of the holy Sacraments, especially the Blessed Eucharist. It is impossible for us to draw near a fire without being warmed, provided we do so with the necessary disposition, that is to say, with a desire to give ourselves entirely to God and ardently implore Him to give us His love.41. On the Love of God. Conference of September 19, 1649, Conferences of Vincent De Paul to the Daughters of Charity.

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Love

Eucharist

Love is creative even to infinity.[lxxxiii]

[Ordinarily, we use this citation to motivate others to be creative pastorally, to respond to new forms of poverty, to be inventive in new formation programs for lay leaders and for the clergy, to investigate ways of rooting out the causes of poverty. But apt as this rhetorical use of Vincent’s words might be, their actual context was quite different. They refer to the institution of the Eucharist. Vincent, in speaking to a dying brother in 1645, exhorted him to think of God’s mercy. After describing many of the signs of God’s tender love, he told the brother that Jesus, foreseeing his death, did not want to leave his followers alone. He feared that in his absence their hearts would grow cold. And so, he tells the brother, since love is creative even to infinity … he instituted this venerable sacrament which serves as food and drink for us … Because love is eager to do everything it can, he so willed it. Robert P. Maloney, CM]

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Love of God

Another Sister said that we may see whether we love God if we are grieved at offending Him, if we like to speak of Him and, finally, if in all our actions we have no other intention than that of pleasing Him, especially in regard to all those matters that concern the service we owe our neighbor, who is the image of God. 41. On the Love of God. Conference of September 19, 1649, Conferences of Vincent De Paul to the Daughters of Charity.

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Love

Let us love God . . . let us love God, but let it be with the strength of our arms and with the sweat of our brows. So very often many acts of love of God, of complacency, of benevolence, and such interior affection and practices, although very good and very desirable, are nevertheless to be suspected if they do not reach the practice of effective love.[lxxxiv] Vincent de Paul

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Love of God

Let us serve with hearts filled with the pure love of God which enables us always to love the roses amidst the thorns.[lxxxv] Louise de Marillac

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Love

It is our vocation to set people’s hearts ablaze, to do what the Son of God did, who came to light a fire on earth in order to set it ablaze with His love.[lxxxvi] Frédéric Ozanam

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Love of God,

Neighbor

It is not enough for me to love God if my neighbor does not love Him.[lxxxvii]

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Mary

O my God, why am I unable to reveal to the world the beauty which You have shown me as well as the dignity of the Blessed Virgin? Everything is comprised in her title of Mother of the Son of God. How admirable are her deeds! With good reason the Church addresses her as the Mother of Mercy because she is also the Mother of Grace. Louise de Marillac, A 14b

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Mary

First, in the rules he left to his Congregation was this one. He regarded it as one of the main ones, and he often commended it to his confreres: “We should strive, all of us in general and each one in particular, to fulfill perfectly with the help of God our duty of honoring the most holy and most glorious Virgin Mary, Mother of God: (1) by honoring her with some special practice every day, as homage given to our lady and mistress, Mary, the Mother of God; (2) by imitating as much as we can her virtues, particularly her humility and purity; (3) by exhorting others at every opportunity to honor her as she so richly deserves.” <Ftn: Common Rules, 10,4.>

Abelly 3:chapter 9 (p92)

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Meekness

Meekness makes us not only excuse the affronts and injustices we receive, but even inclines us to treat with gentleness those from whom we receive them, by means of kind words, . . . it makes us endure all for God. [lxxxviii] Vincent de Paul

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Meekness and Respect

The respect and esteem we should show our Sisters should come from the heart, which is their source, for the source of respect is esteem, and esteem is formed in the heart, and form respect springs meekness . . .but she is quick tempered and peevish! Ah, well, my daughters, who is without fault? No one in the whole world; no, not a single one . . . Look all around you and you will not see anyone who has not a defect or failing of some sort. But look at yourself more closely . . . When we compare ourselves with our neighbor, we shall see our own faults and not his/hers, and shall find that all the wrong is on our side.[lxxxix] Vincent de Paul

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Ministry

Corporal and Spiritual

“Aren’t the poor the suffering members of our Lord? Aren’t they our brothers and sisters?…If priests abandon them, who do you want to look after them?

If there are any here who thought they joined this congregation only to preach the gospel to the poor but not to comfort them, only to supply their spiritual needs but not their material ones, to them I say this:

We should assist the poor in every way

and do it both by ourselves

and by enlisting the help of others….

To do this is to preach the gospel by words and work.[xc]

Vincent de Paul

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Mirror to World

Father, we are as it were a mirror for the world on which it pauses to look and it easily does what we do. If a person has contracted a bad habit and sees a Daughter of Charity committing a similar fault he will consider himself even still more at liberty to go on committing this fault. If any of us does anything wrong in presence of the poor they will think there is no harm in doing the same thing because we have done it. #63. – On Scandal. Conference of October 9, 1654, Conferences of Vincent de Paul to the Daughters of Charity

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Mission,

Genesis of

God suggested the idea to me: Could not these good ladies be gathered together and exhorted to give themselves to God to serve the sick poor?[xci] Vincent de Paul

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Mobility and Flexibility

Withdrawal

from Ministry

You no longer belong to yourselves, you belong to God. . . . You are going to people who serve God well and [who] are very charitable . . . You have been chosen to go for, Sisters, God has selected you for this purpose. He has not chosen that Sister there, but you, and none other. . . . You have been asked to go there for a year, or six months, or forever. . . . In case you have to make a beginning with one parish, select the most suitable, on the advice of the Bishop, and then go on to another, and so on; in the end, you will see how things are going.

Vincent de Paul, Conferences to Daughters of Charity, #77, August 30, 1656, Instructions to Two Sisters Who Were Sent to Establish a House at Arras, 829.

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Model

What a picture does God place before your eyes [in the life of Louise de Marillac] which we should regard as a prototype . . . Which you should gaze on, a picture of humility, charity, meekness, patience in infirmities. Behold what a picture! And how are you to make use of it, my dear Sisters? By striving to form your life on hers.[xcii] Vincent de Paul

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Motherhood of God

May God be pleased to grant the Company to which you belong . . . a great love of Our Lord Jesus Christ, who is our father, our mother, and our all.[xciii] Vincent de Paul

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Mutuality in Spiritual Direction

The horse’s falling on top of and under me was quite dangerous and the protection of Our Lord most extraordinary. It is God’s goodness which dealt with me in this way, and the misuse of my life which caused Him to show me His rod. I beg you to help me obtain the grace to mend my ways for the future and to begin a new life.[xciv] Vincent de Paul [age 52]

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Name,

Daughters of Charity

You must live in conformity with the name you bear since it is God who has given this name to the Company . . . Notice that it was the people who, seeing what you are doing and the service that our first sisters rendered to poor persons, have given you the name, which has been kept as most fitting for your way of life.

#93, “On Mutual Charity and the Duty of Reconciliation,

Conferences to the Daughters of Charity (March 4, 1658), 4:96.

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Parenting

Never can a child know what a mother suffers. . . . Our God alone knows a mother’s heart and He will pity us.[xcv] Elizabeth Ann Seton

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Peace

We can have no peace [but] with God, with our neighbor or with ourselves unless Jesus Christ gives it to us.[xcvi] Louise de Marillac

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Poor Persons

Teach poor children as much as you can, and remember that the most necessary thing of all is whatever concerns the knowledge of God and his love. Louise de Marillac

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Poor Persons

Your Confraternity is a work of God . . . who, by divine grace, has called and united you together . . . [and] wants you to listen to the voice of the Almighty so that you may go with joy and tenderness wherever God calls you . . . Loving the poor means to love in the best way.[xcvii] Vincent de Paul

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Poor, Loving the

Your Confraternity is a work of God . . . who, by divine grace, has called and united you together . . . [and] wants you to listen to the voice of the Almighty so that you may go with joy and tenderness wherever God calls you . . . . Loving the poor means to love in the best way.[xcviii]

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Poverty

The Son of God had this spirit and gave you this specific character . . . poverty in your clothing, in your food, in all things necessary for your maintenance . . . .I have always felt that the happiness of your Company depended on its frugality. Vincent de Paul, 3 July 1660, Conferences to the Daughters of Charity, p. 1262.

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Poverty

The first evangelical maxim teaches the lesson of poverty, and that is how Our Lord begins when He teaches the way of perfection to all who wish to follow Him; and, by the mercy of God, my daughters, that is how you begin. Because when you come here, you possess nothing; if you have anything, you give it up, according to the evangelical precept. In the Motherhouse, you have poverty in all things: you are clad in the poorest materials, no headdress is as simple as yours, the frugality, which I have just said, is a mark of Gods guidance of your work, is evident in what you eat and drink and everything else is, by His grace, characterized by the greatest poverty.

Conferences of Vincent de Paul to the Daughters of Charity. #30. On the Rules. May 30, 1647

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Poverty

The amount they [the Daughters of Charity] bring in is almost exactly equal to the amount of expenses; the ones who bring in more must supplement any insufficient amount brought in by the others. I ask this because I do not know whether the entire Company is capable of understanding that their savings truly support the House–some of them exhibit little restraint and most of them too freely tell all they know. Louise de Marillac, 132D

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Poverty

As I reflect on the present condition of the Company, . . . [it] leads me to realize how necessary it is for the Rules to continue to oblige the sisters to live poorly, simply and humbly because I fear that if they settle into a way of life that requires great expenditures, is ostentatious . . . they would thereby be obliged to find ways to maintain it, and so they would become a very withdrawn and inactive group . . . Louise de Marillac, L 655

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Prayer

When God wishes to communicate Himself He does so without effort, in a sweet, gentle, and loving manner. Let us, therefore, ask Him for the gift of prayer, and let us do so with great confidence. And let us be certain that in the end He will grant it to us out of His boundless mercy, for He never refuses to give ear to humble and confident prayer. If he does not grant it immediately, He will do so later on. We must persevere and not grow discouraged. If we have not this spirit of God now He will mercifully grant it to us if we only hold fast. He may give it to us three or four months, hence, or perhaps in a year or two. But no matter what happens, let us be resigned to Providence, let us hope for all things from His munificence, let us leave all to Him, and let us always have plenty of courage. Oh! . . . When God in His goodness bestows grace on a soul, what seemed o be so hard becomes so easy, that precisely in which it experienced the greatest difficulty it now finds delight. The soul is rightly and completely astonished at this unexpected change in itself ( And I said, now I have begun; this is the change of the right hand of the Most High. cf. Psalm 76, 2). The soul now finds itself in the presence of God without any trouble; His presence of God without any trouble; His presence becomes habitual and never ceases. It is even accompanied with much satisfaction.[xcix] Vincent de Paul

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Prayer and Preaching

Prayer is a great book for a preacher: from it you will draw the divine truths of the Eternal Word, who is their source, and you in turn will pour them forth on the people. It is hoped that all Missionaries may have a great love for this virtue, for without its help they will do little or nothing useful, but with its help it is certain that they will touch hearts. I ask God to give us the spirit of prayer.[c] Vincent de Paul

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Prayer

Prayer … is the daily manna which comes down from heaven .. . Like a gentle dew every morning moistens your soul by the grace which it draws down from God. [ci]

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Prayer

It is chiefly in prayer that God will give you strength. [cii] Vincent de Paul

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Prayer, Meditation and Contemplation

Mental prayer is made in two ways: one by way of the understanding, and the other with the will.

By way of the understanding, when after something has been read the mind wakes up in the presence of God and then occupies itself in seeking to know the meaning of the mystery proposed, in seeing its suitable lesson, and in arousing the affections to seek God and avoid evil. And although the will produces these acts, yet it is called prayer of the understanding, because its chief function, which is to seek out the truth, is exercised by the understanding, which is occupied primarily with the subject put before it. This is what is ordinarily called meditation. Everybody can make it, each one according to his ability and the lights which God may bestow.

The other sort of prayer is called contemplation. In this the soul, in the presence of God, does nothing else but receive from Him what He bestows. She is without action, and God Himself inspires her, without any effort on the souls part, with all that she can desire, and with far more. Have you ever, my dear Sisters, experienced this sort of prayer? I am sure you have, and in your retreats you have often been astonished that, without doing anything on your part, God Himself has replenished your soul and granted you knowledge you never had before.

Now God communicates in both these ways many and excellent lights to His servants. In prayer, He enlightens their understanding with many truths incomprehensible to all save those who give themselves to prayer; in it He influences their wills; and lastly, it is in prayer that He takes more complete possession of their hearts and souls. Now you must know, my dear Sisters, that though educated people are more disposed to prayer, and though many succeed in it, and have, of themselves, minds open to many lights, still the conversations of God with humble souls are quite different. Confiteor tibi, Pater, etc., said Jesus Christ. I thank thee, Father, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise of this world, and hast revealed them to the little and the humble.

#37. On Prayer. Conference of May 31, 1648, Conferences of Vincent de Paul to the Daughters of Charity .

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Prayer

After you have dressed and made your bed, you will set about praying. O my Daughters, this is the center of devotion, and you should eagerly desire to acquire thoroughly the habit of prayer. No, dont be afraid that poor village girls, ignorant as you think you are, should not aspire to this holy exercise. God is so good and has already been so good to you as to call you to practice charity; why then do you think He will deny you the grace you need to pray well? Dont let such an idea enter into your mind. I was very much edified today when conversing with a good village girl who is now one of the greatest souls I know!

#1.- Explanation of the Rule. Conference of July 31, 1634, Conferences of Vincent de Paul to the Daughters of Charity.

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Prayer

Always begin all your prayers with an act of the presence of God.

#1.- Explanation of the Rule. Conference of July 31, 1634, Conferences of Vincent de Paul to the Daughters of Charity.

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Prayer

It was also said that prayer is the soul of our souls– that is to say, that what the soul is to the body, prayer is to the soul. Now, the soul gives life to the body, makes it move, walk, speak, and do all that is necessary. If the body had not the soul, it would be an infectious corpse, fit only for burial. Now, my Daughters, the soul without prayer is almost like a body without a soul; in what concerns the service of God; it is without feeling, movement, and has only worldly and earthly desires. #37. On Prayer. Conference of May 31, 1648, Conferences of Vincent de Paul to the Daughters of Charity

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Prayer

My Daughters, it is into hearts without worldly knowledge, who seek God in Himself, that He is pleased to pour forth the most excellent lights and the greatest graces. He manifests to these hearts what all the schools have not discovered, and develops in them mysteries that the most learned fail to have the least sight of. And, would you believe it, my dear Sisters, we have experience of this among ourselves?

#37. On Prayer. Conference of May 31, 1648, Conferences of Vincent de Paul to the Daughters of Charity

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Prayer

O my daughter, I am very pleased indeed that you have raised this objection. It is quite true that those who can make use of the methods that are given for making ones prayer, and especially that given in the Introduction to a Devout Life, are doing very well indeed. But all cannot use them. Each one can take her stand at the foot of the cross, in the presence of God and, if she has nothing to say to Him, let her wait till He speaks to her. If He should leave her there, let her remain there willingly and await from His bounty the grace either of speaking or of listening to Him. Saint Teresa waited perseveringly during twenty years for God to give her the grace of prayer and she received it in such abundance that her writings are admired by the greatest theologians. So dont be discouraged, my dear Sisters, if you think you are wasting your time at prayer; it is enough that you are doing Gods will by obeying your rule. Are you not all, my dear Sisters, willing to do So? #7. On the Jubilee. October 15, 1641, Conferences of Vincent de Paul to the Daughters of Charity

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Prayer

For prayer is all my comfort; without it I should be of little service to him [William Magee Seton dying in the Lazaretto].[ciii] EAS

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Prayer, progress in

All the virtues are to be found in prayer . . . you will always do quite enough if you go to it [prayer] in the spirit of obedience and humility . . . ask God to give you the grace of prayer.[civ] [References to Teresa of Avila]

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Prayer

What food is to the body, prayer is to the soul, if persons were satisfied with taking a meal every three to four days, they would soon grow weak. . . they would be very weary, incapable of making any useful effort, and at last would have a body without strength or vigor. Soul not nourished by prayer becomes tired, weary, without strength, courage or power, a source of annoyance to others and unbearable to itself.[cv] Vincent de Paul

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Prayer in Common

M. Vincent said to them: My dear Sisters, always do what you can so that, prayer being your first occupation, your mind may be filled with God for the rest of the day. It is true that, in case of necessity, you should prefer the service of the poor to making your prayer, but, if you take care, you will find plenty of time for both. The sick are not often purged during extremely hot weather. The devil does all he can to prevent us from making our prayer, because he well knows that if he is the first to fill our mind with frivolous thoughts, he will be the master of it for the rest of the day. So, my daughters, I urge you, as far as I can, to make your prayer before going out and to make it together. If, however, you are legitimately prevented from doing so, you can make your prayer afterwards and in the church. I beg you to be exact about this holy exercise, to tell one another how you have spent the time at prayer and, especially, the resolutions you have taken, and you should do so quite simply. #4. – on Fidelity to Rising and on Prayer. August 2, 1640. Conferences of Vincent de Paul to the Daughters of Charity

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Prayer

He [Vincent] wanted his missionaries to be men of prayer, as much for their personal advancement as for the ability to be of real service to others. He was most anxious that his confreres should progress in their practice of this holy exercise.

Give me a man of prayer, and he will be able to do everything. He will be able to say with the apostle that he can do all in him who strengthens him and who gives him support. <Ftn: Phil 4:13.> The Congregation of the Mission will continue in existence only as so long as mental prayer shall be practiced. Mental prayer is the impregnable ramparts which will protect the missionaries from all sorts of attacks. It is like a mystical arsenal, a tower of David, which will be the source of their arms, not only to defend themselves, but to attack and rout all the opponents of the glory of God and the salvation of souls. Abelly, 3:62 quoting CED XI:83-84 . . .

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Prayer

Prayer rejuvenates the soul far more truly than the fountains of youth the philosophers speak of rejuvenate the body. . . . In prayer your soul . . . grows quite vigorous; in prayer . . . it recovers the vision it lost . . .; ears formerly deaf to the voice of God are open to holy inspirations, and the heart receives new strength, is animated with a courage it never felt before. . . . It is a fountain of youth. [cvi]

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Prayer, Daily

That being settled, my dear Sisters, you and I must resolve never to omit our daily prayer. I say daily, my Daughters, but if it were possible I would say: let us never cease praying, and let us spend no time out of prayer– that is to say, without having our minds lifted up to God; for properly speaking, prayer is, as we have said, an elevation of the soul to God. But prayer prevents me from preparing this medicine, from taking it along, from seeing this patient or that lady? Not at all, my Daughters, your soul will never cease to be in the presence of God, and will always direct a sigh towards Him.

If you only knew, my Daughters, what pleasure God takes in seeing a poor village girl, a poor Daughter of Charity, address herself lovingly to Him, you would go to prayer with far more confidence than I can inspire in you. If you but knew the treasures and graces that God has planned to pour out upon you! If you but knew how much knowledge you would find there, how much sweetness, how much love! You would find everything there, my Daughters, because it is the fountain and source of all knowledge. #37. On Prayer. Conference of May 31, 1648, Conferences of Vincent de Paul to the Daughters of Charity

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Prayer as a Mirror

I may also add, my dear Daughters, that prayer is like a mirror in which the soul can see all its stains and disfigurements; it notes what renders it displeasing to God; it arranges itself so that it may be conformable to Him in all things. Fashionable ladies will not leave their homes without looking at themselves in a mirror to see that nothing is wanting, and that there is nothing unseemly about them. There are, indeed, some of them so vain as to carry mirrors in their girdles, so as to take an occasional glance to see if anything has happened that needs adjustment.

Now, my Daughters, is it not reasonable that, just as fashionable people strive to please the world, those who serve God should strive to please God? They should never leave home without looking in their own mirror. God wishes those who serve Him to look at themselves in holy prayer, so that every day and often during the day, by means of interior looks and aspirations, they may see whatever in them is displeasing to God, that they may ask pardon for it and remove it. #37. On Prayer. Conference of May 31, 1648, Conferences of Vincent de Paul to the Daughters of Charity

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Presence of God

Always begin all your prayers with an act of the presence of God because, sometimes, for want of doing so, an action will cease to be pleasing to Him. Just consider, my Daughters, that while we do not yet see God, faith teaches us that His holy presence is everywhere, and this is one of the means that we should propose to ourselves. I mean, this presence in all places, penetrating all things and even our hearts to their very depths. This is even more true than the thought that we are all here present., because our eyes may deceive us, but the truth that God is in all places will never deceive.

Another means of placing ourselves in the presence of God is to imagine ourselves before the Most Blessed Sacrament of the altar. It is there, my dear Daughters, that we receive the dearest testimonies of His love. Let us love Him dearly and remember that He said when on earth: if anyone love me, we will come to him,where He speaks of the Father and the Holy Spirit; and souls will be guided by His holy Providence as a ship by its pilot.

#1.- Explanation of the Rule. Conference of July 31, 1634, Conferences of Vincent de Paul to the Daughters of Charity.

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Priesthood

. . . It is he most sublime on earth, the very one Our Lord willed to assume and follow. As for myself, if I had known what it was when I had the temerity to enter itas I have come to know since thenI would have preferred to till the soil than to commit myself to such a formidable state of life. . . . Indeed, the older I get, the more convinced I am of htis because day by day I discover how far removed I am from the state of perfection in which I should be living. . . . I feel so strongly about this that, if I was not already a priest, I never would become one. [cvii]

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Providence

We must put our cares and concerns into his hands, for he will never fail. Abelly 3:24

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Providence

The treasury of Gods Providence is large. Abelly 3:24

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Purpose

The principal end for which God had called and brought them together is to honor Our Lord Jesus Christ, their Patron.

#71 On the End of the Company, 18 October 1655,

Conferences of Saint Vincent de Paul to the Daughters of Charity, 3:106.

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Remedies, botanical

Licorice is used in making infusions, and I sent you some small bits of it so that you can use it more easily. However, it must be used fresh; only cut what you are going to use because it blackens quickly. I would not dare boast that it grows in our garden because so far we have only seen leaves and flowers. Letter 225 Louise de Marillac to Monsieur Vincent, Friday [October 1648]

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Remedies for the sick

As for herbs, fruit, eggs, etc., they should be brought to the house by women vendors. The administrators promised to have butter provided for the house, as they did all wood, wine, vinegar, oil and other necessities. Point that out to Monsieur Lambert.

Your letters all arrived together, making it hard for us to know the actual state of affairs of the sister about whom you say you asked. As for Sister Elisabeth’s trips outside and the communications she makes to find comfort, speak to Monsieur Lambert about them. I hope that he will also put a stop to our sisters going out to gather herbs in the countryside; such high-quality herbs are not needed in the pharmacy. It is enough to have the common and the most needed ones. Otherwise, we would be spending a lot of money needlessly. Letter 189 Louise de Marillac to Sister Jeanne LePeintre, Daughter of charity, Servant of the Sick Poor at Nantes, July 30 (1647)

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Remedies for the sick

Since it has pleased God to give you a steward who, I believe, is one we would want, I urge you, Sisters, not to go out any longer. Even Sister Henriette [Gesseaume] should have her medical herbs brought to her. For a long time I have wished that your poor could be treated with remedies like those used in the parishes of Paris. If this were so, the sisters employed in the pharmacy would have more time and energy to serve the poor. Letter 289 Louise de Marillac to Sister Jeanne Lepintre, Daughter of Charity, Servant of the Sick Poor at the Hospital of Saint-Rene at Nantes, July 13, 1650

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Remedies for the sick

I am sending you the bill of exchange that we drew up when we sent the hundred pounds. There are no more fruit capsules to be found, but I am sending two pounds of inexpensive senna, which the doctors approve, as well as a half-pound of better quality. We cannot yet send you directions for making spirit of vitriol because we do not know how to make it ourselves. In keeping with what the merchant advised us, these are the ingredients we bought to make it. Sister Philippe [Bailly] said that she cannot remember any other remedy for dropsy except to purge the patient often and sometimes to use gamboge. If I can learn anything more, I will let you know. Letter 571 Louise de Marillac to Sister Marguerite Chétif, Daughter of Charity, Servant of the Sick Poor at Arras, April 30, 1658.

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Remedies for the sick

It would truly be difficult for me from here to give our sisters the necessary advice that they will need once they are there. I would have to know the customary way of serving the sick, the number of sick, the situation of the hospital (meaning the lodging arrangements for the men and the women), whether there are officers who prepare the meals for the sick, whether there is a pharmacist, and whether bloodletting is allowed. Also, it seems to me that Monsieur [Guillaume] Gallais [C.M.] told me of a number of women servants there besides those he called sisters. However, Monsieur, this seems to me a point of great importance. In my opinion, it is more appropriate to have a large number of sisters and to remove the servants entirely as gently and charitably as possible. Letter 132C Louise de Marillac to Monsieur Antoine Portail, at Le Mans, March 27, 1646

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Remedies for the sick

Please God, the sister who is bringing this letter will find you still there so that I may have news of you before your departure; may it be that you are in perfect health. I am also sending some preserves which I think will be much better for you than the pills I mentioned. Letter 180 – Louise de Marillac to Monsieur L’abbe De Vaux, (at Paris), (c. May 1644)

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Remedies for the sick

For several months a number of ladies from the city made a habit of visiting the sick because of their great need for food. Between supper in the evening and dinner the next day there was no food in the hospital, nor was there anything between dinner and supper. Such was the situation that these ladies brought bouillons, eggs and other things. They stopped this upon our arrivaLetter Knowing of the practice, we suggested that they continue it, but in a different manner. We showed them that they did not have to come in the morning, which could be a bad time for them because of their family obligations. Likewise, we let them know that they did not need to bring fresh bouillon since there now would always be some available in the hospital, along with eggs, for the most sick individuals. We suggested, however, that they would perform a great act of charity by coming at two o’clock, after dinner, with preserves or other things, as do the Ladies at the large hospital in Paris. This does much good for the sick, as well as being pleasing to God, and they can draw much merit from it. It would also console our sisters who would be motivated by their example and would receive with respect the advice that they would do them the honor and charity of giving them.

These ladies resolved to continue their visits in this way, and several took the trouble to come to find out what they should bring.

There is not a single orderly in the hospital except two or three hired hands who help in serving the men, bringing water, and other services of . . . (word omitted) such is the situation that our sisters must be cooks and dispensers for the distribution of bread and wine for the sick. As for provisions, the administrators take care of that themselves. There is a married man living in the city whose responsibility it was to procure all the supplies, even the herbs for the soup. Letter 159 – (Louise de Marillac’s Account of the Journey to Nantes), 1646

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Remedies for the sick

I pray to our good God that the medicine was beneficial to your health. However, I truly fear you took it too early. Several days ago I was thinking of suggesting bouillons to you; I think they would do you a lot of good. Please allow us to send you some tomorrow. I, myself, took some this week and felt markedly better as a result. Letter 120 Louise de Marillac to Monsieur Vincent, Saturday, Vigil of Pentecost (June 3, 1645)

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Remedies for the sick

I thank you with all my heart for the beautiful, delicious apples you sent us. It seems to me that you once mentioned that you were going to make honey. Please find out if that white honey is natural, or if it can be made some way because sugar is becoming very expensive, and it could be used to make syrups and even preserves.

We are sending you a half-pound of catholicon, a pound of senna, a pound of cassia and two and a quarter pounds of licorice. If you need anything else, let me know. Sister Marguerit& will draw up an account of what you are to pay the nurses. Letter 354 Louise de Marillac to My Very Dear Sister Julienne Loret, Daughter of Charity, Servant of the Sick Poor at Chars, October 6 (1651)

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Remedies for the sick

I believe, Monsieur, that you asked me to send you the formula for rose syrup as well as the method for administering it to the sick. I am enclosing it. Please excuse the deficiencies. Our Master, the loving Doctor, whom I have asked to aid you will make up for them. Letter 14 Louise de Marillac to Monsieur L’abbé De Vaux, at Angers, From Saint Martin, February 24, 1640

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Remedies for the sick

I reduced somewhat the quantity of the drugs you asked for because we must never be excessive. Remember, my dear Sisters, that it is the poor that you serve, that it is their money you are using, and that you must save every sou as a matter of conscience. Such a great quantity of drugs can spoil. Moreover, only common remedies must be used. I do not even advise you to prepare your catholicon all at once, because it is more effective when freshly made. Letter 186B Louise de Marillac to to Sister Anne Hardemont, Montreuil-sur-M, (1647)

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Remedies for the sick

I am very surprised that you did not receive your share of the drugs we sent. To make up for this, I am sending you a loaf of sugar to make rose and cherry syrups. All our sisters ask to be remembered to you, and they praise God for the courage His goodness gives you to serve these poor afflicted people. Letter 347 Louise de Marillac to Sister Guillemine Chesneau, Daughter of Charity at Saint-Etienne, June 1 (1651)

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Remedies for the sick

Take care of your health. I believe that you have been bled for the swelling. I know of no other remedy. Take purgatives frequently. Letter 64 – Louise de Marillac to Sister Jeanne Lepintre, Schoolmistress at Saint-Germain-en-Laye, July 5, 1642

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Remedies for the sick

I am rather curious to know how you treat yourself in your ailments with regard to food and medicine and especially if you are considered as one of the sick of the parish. If you are, then the matter needs to be examined because of your continuing fragile health. I urge you, my dear Sister, to let me know what the situation is and I will offer some suggestions. Letter 465 – Louise de Marillac to Sister Charlotte Roy, Servant of the Sick Poor at Richelieu, February 9, 1656

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Remedies for the sick

I believe, Sister, that some changes among our sisters are necessary, and I would ask you to let me know as soon as possible if you could train a sister who already knows how to prepare medicines and other remedies to mix compounds. Letter 246. Louise de Marillac to Sister Jeanne Lepintre, Hospital of Saint-Rene, Nantes, May 5 (1649)

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Remedies for the sick

Forgive me, Monsieur, if I take this liberty as well as that of telling you that, if you have not already been purged, I would be pleased to render you this little service by preparing you a potion which I believe should be made up of the equivalent of the weight of three copper coins of senna steeped overnight in a good mixture of refreshing, pleasant-tasting herbs. To this add one-half ounce of cleaned black currants mixed with an ounce of peach syrup (the pharmacist here has given me some that is excellent) or, if this is not available, the same amount of pink rose syrup. However, I believe that you should wait until the pain which is causing the inflammation has subsided completely, or at least for a week, so as not to bring on another attack. Letter 115 Louise de Marillac to Monsieur L’abbé De Vaux, (at Paris), February 8 (1641).

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Remedies for the sick

Tell Brother Alexandre that I feel he should not hesitate to purge Monsieur Vincent; in my opinion he is in need of it. I think a mixture of chicory syrup and peach blossom syrup would be very good for him. You will know how to handle this message. Letter 173B. Louise de Marillac to Sister Elisabeth Hellot, Daughter of Charity, Servant of the Poor across from Saint-Lazare, (From Liancourt, August 1648)

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Remedies for the sick

The state of suffering and submission to which it pleases Our Lord to subject you increases the boldness I always show in expressing my puny thoughts to you. The latest one that occurred to me to bring you some relief is to suggest that you bring both legs to a sweat (not the whole body) by using Monsieur I’Obligeois’ little steam bath. But do not do this without consulting two doctors. Tea may be taken between the early morning bouillon and dinner. Experience has shown me that it must not be taken as a substitute for other food, but that it is an excellent way to prepare the stomach to take food. Letter 463 Louise de Marillac to Monsieur Vincent, [December 1655]

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Remedies for the sick

I believe it has been quite a long time since I have taken the liberty of speaking to you, and for that reason please excuse me if I tell you that I am worried about your illness.l I fear that it is worse than we had been led to believe. If you were of our poor, it seems to me that our fortified water from Monsieur Desner would have cured you quickly. I also believe that any type of ointment used only heats the wound and keeps it festering. Letter 124 – Louise de Marillac to Monsieur Vincent, Feast of Saint Anne (July 26, 1645)

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Repetition of Prayer

I beg you to be exact about this holy exercise [of morning prayer], to tell one another how you have spent the time at prayer and, especially, the resolutions you have taken, and you should do so quite simply. #4. – on Fidelity to Rising and on Prayer. August 2, 1640. Conferences of Vincent de Paul to the Daughters of Charity

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Repetition of Prayer

I think I have told you already about it twice, and I shall tell you once more: we have repetitions of prayer in our house, sometimes every second day, sometimes every third, as Providence permits. Now by Gods grace the priests do it well, the clerics also do well, some better, some worse, as God grants it to them; but as for our poor brothers, oh! the promise that God made of revealing Himself to the humble and to little ones is verified in them, for we are astonished at the lights God gives them; and it seems certain that they come from Him alone because they have no learning. I t may be a poor shoemaker, a poor baker, a poor carter, and nevertheless they fill us with astonishment. We sometimes talk about it among ourselves, and are ashamed that we are not such as we see them to be. We say to one another: Think of that poor brother; did you not remark the good and beautiful thoughts God has given him? Is it not wonderful? For he said what he has repeated not because he had previously known it; it is since he began to pray that he learned it. Great and incomprehensible goodness of God, to take His delight in communicating with the simple, and the ignorant! Hence we may learn that all the knowledge in the world is but ignorance, in comparison with what He grants those who earnestly seek Him in the way of holy prayer.

#37. On Prayer. Conference of May 31, 1648, Conferences of Vincent de Paul to the Daughters of Charity

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Respect

Be very gentle and courteous toward your poor. You know that they are our masters and that we must love them tenderly and respect them deeply.[cviii] Louise de Marillac

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Retreat, Annual

This is the time when Our Lords promise to lead your soul into solitude is fulfilled, and so, my daughters, I beg you never to fail to make it. You will learn in retreat to be true Daughters of Charity and you will also learn there the best way to serve the poor. You will go over in your mind the actions of Our Lord when He was on earth and you will see that he spent a great part of His time in serving His neighbor, and you will resolve to imitate Him. Vincent de Paul, #21. On the Observance of Rule Continuation of the Conference of January 22, 1645.

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Rule

Jesus is the rule of the Mission. Vincent

[Probably from de Condren to a Missioner of the Oratory, (1637?). Cf. Vincentian Heritage, (1993), 1:5.

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Secularity

1st. That your Company is not a religious order . . . but a society of girls who, come and go constantly to assist the poor sick, in divers places and at set times, regardless of weather conditions. 2nd. That the Daughters of Charity, being the Servant of the Poor, are clothed and fed poorly, and they may not change their white headpiece nor their habits.[cix]

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Secularity

You are not religious in name, but you should be religious in deed, and you are more obliged to become perfect than they are . . . .For whoever says religious says cloistered, and Daughters of Charity should go everywhere . . . .They shall bear in mind that they are not in a Religious Order, as this state is unsuitable to the duties of their vocation . . . . Nevertheless . . . having for a convent the houses of the sick, . . . for a cell a hired room, . . . for a veil, holy modesty . . . .Vincent de Paul[cx]

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Secularity

You will have for your chapel, the parish church; for your cloister, the streets of the city, or hospital wards; for your grate, the fear of God; for your veil, holy modesty; for your grille, holy obedience.[cxi]

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Seeking God

Souls who seek God will find him everywhere, but especially in the poor.[cxii] Louise de Marillac

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Self care

Take care of yourself for the love of God and reflect that one way to do this is to remain cheerful by conforming yourself completely to the holy will of God and not worrying about anything.[cxiii] Louise de Marillac

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Sending on Mission

Reflection of Vincent when he sent Louise on her first mission to Montmirail:

Go, therefore, Mademoiselle, go in the name of Our Lord. I pray that His Divine Goodness may accompany you, be your consolation along the way, your shade against the heat of the sun, your shelter in rain and cold, your soft bed in your weariness, your strength in your toil, and, finally, that He may bring you back in perfect health and filled with good works.

#39. Vincent de Paul to Louise de Marillac, 6 May 1629, Correspondence 1:64-65.

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Service

How obliged you are to serve the poor respectfully as your masters, and devotedly because they represent for you the person of Our Lord who said: What you do to the least of mine, I will consider as done to me. So then, Sisters, Our Lord is really with that . . . person [in need] who is receiving the service you render.[cxiv] Louise de Marillac

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Service

I long and wish to serve our Lord with every breath I draw.[cxv] Elizabeth Ann Seton

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Service

Do we serve God in Hope, looking to his promises, confiding in his love, seeking his Kingdom, and leaving the rest to Him?[cxvi] Elizabeth Ann Seton

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Service

Does the life of our Jesus animate us–do we indeed give him the true service of the heart without which whatever else we give has no Value–[cxvii] Elizabeth Ann Seton

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Service

We should assist the poor in every way and do it both by ourselves and by enlisting the help of others…. To do this is to preach the gospel by words and work.[cxviii] Vincent de Paul

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Service

Divine Providence saw to it that alms were given for the sick and bashful poor in amounts for which no one had dared hope.[cxix] Louise de Marillac

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Service

Mt 25:34-36 Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’

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Service

To serve those who are poor is to go to God, and you should see God in them.[cxx] Vincent de Paul

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Service, Spiritual

Sisters, that is not enough. You should resolve to join henceforward help for the soul to the services you render the body. Yes, Savior, in future I intend to try to render all the spiritual assistance in my power to my patients, in addition to caring for their bodies.[cxxi]

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Service, Leaving God for God

The hour for mental prayer comes round; if you hear the poor calling for you, mortify yourselves and leave God for God, although you should do all in your power not to omit prayer because it is prayer that will keep you united to God, and as long as you are united to God you have noting to fear. Vincent de Paul, Conference of 23 July 1654 to the Daughters of Charity, 634.

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Service, Leaving God for God

If you must leave prayer to attend the sick, leave it, ans as you leave God in prayer , you will find God with the sick. Keep your rules and they will keep you. Vincent de Paul, Conference of 4 August 1658 to the Daughters of Charity, 1118.

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Service

be solely for Jesus and my neighbor.[cxxii] Louise de Marillac

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Service of Poor, by priests

If priests devote themselves to the care of the poor, has not that been the office of Our Lord and of many great Saints, who have not only recommended the poor to others, but have themselves consoled, comforted and healed them? Are not the poor the afflicted members of Our Lord? Are they not our brothers [and sisters]? And if priests abandon them, who do you think will help them? So then, if there are any among us who think they are in the Congregation of the Mission to preach the Gospel to the poor but not to comfort them, to supply their spiritual but not their temporal wants, I reply that we ought to assist them and have them assisted in every way, both by ourselves and by others, if we wish to hear those consoling words of the Sovereign Judge of the living and the deadCome, beloved of my Father; possess the kingdom that has been prepared for you, because I was hungry and you gave me to eat; I was naked and you clothed me; sick, and your visited me. To do this is to preach the Gospel by words and by works, it is to do so most perfectly and it is also what Our Lord did, and what those who represent Him on earth, in office and in character, such as priests, should do. I have heard it said that it was almsgiving which helped bishops to become saints.[cxxiii]

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Service

I beg all of you to renew your courage so that you may serve God and the poor with more fervor, humility, and charity than ever. Strive to acquire interior recollection in the midst of your occupations.[cxxiv] Louise de Marillac

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Service, Vincentian values

We have now reached the 12th rule. Let us see what it says: Their chief care will be to serve the sick poor, treating them with compassion, meekness, cordiality, respect and devotion, etc.[cxxv]

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Service

My own troubles will teach me I hope how to comfort others.[cxxvi] Elizabeth Ann Seton

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Service

I beg all of you to renew your courage so that you may serve God and the poor with more fervor, humility, and charity than ever. Strive to acquire interior recollection in the midst of your occupations.[cxxvii] Louise de Marillac

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Sharing of Prayer

Take care to give an account of your prayer to one another as soon as possible after making it. You cannot imagine how useful this will be. Tell one another quite simply the thoughts that God has given you and, above all, carefully remember the resolutions you made at prayer. Blessed Sister Mary of the Incarnation made use of this means to advance very far in perfection. She gave a careful account of her prayer to her maidservant. Oh, yes, my Daughters, you cannot imagine how greatly this practice will profit you and the pleasure you will give to God by acting in this way. Just think, dear Saint Mary Magdalen hid in her heart the good thoughts which she gathered from the words of Our Lord, and the same thing is even said of the Blessed Virgin. The good thoughts which God gives you in prayer are relics; gather them carefully together in order to translate them into acts and you will gladden the heart of God; you will then be the Joy of God and all the Saints will hold high festival.

#1.- Explanation of the Rule. Conference of July 31, 1634, Conferences of Vincent de Paul to the Daughters of Charity.

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Sickness of Community Members

Do not fear that you may be in any way a burden to the Company because of sickness, and you must be convinced you never will be. By God’s grace, the sick will never burden us. On the contrary, it is a blessing to have them. Vincent de Paul, CED VI:491-92.

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Simplicity

We will be helped greatly in this if we ask our good God for holy simplicity.[cxxviii]Louise de Marillac

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Simplicity

Simplicity is the virtue that I love most and, to which, I pay the most attention in my actions.[cxxix] Vincent de Paul

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Social Justice

The problem which divides people today is not a political problem, it is a social one. It is a matter of knowing which will get the upper hand, the spirit of selfishness or the spirit of sacrifice; whether society will go for ever increasing enjoyment and profit, or for everyone devoting themselves to the general good, and above all to the defense of the weakest.

Many people have too much and want still more. Others do not have enough, or do not have anything at all, and they want to take by force what is not being given to them. A war is threatening between these two groups, and looks like being a terrible one. On one side the power of wealth, on the other the force of desperation. We must get in between these two groups, at

least to reduce the impact if we cannot stop it. Because we are young, because we are not wealthy, we can more easily fill the role of mediators, which, as Christians, we should consider obligatory. That is the possible usefulness of the Conferences of our Society of St. Vincent de Paul.[cxxx]

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Solitude and Apostolic Ministry

The life of a Missionary ought to be the life of a Carthusian in the house, and an apostle in the countryside. The more he cares for his own interior development the more his labors for the spiritual good of others will prosper.[cxxxi] [Theme used by Vincent Lebbe, CM.]

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Solitude and Apostolic Ministry

The apostolic life does not exclude contemplation but encompasses it and profits by it to know better the eternal truths it must proclaim.[cxxxii] Vincent de Paul

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Spirit

The Spirit of your Company consists of three things: to love Our Lord and serve Him in a spirit of humility and simplicity. As long as charity, humility, and simplicity exist amongst you, one may say: The Company of Charity is still alive.[cxxxiii]

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Spiritual Growth

Always remember that in the spiritual life little account is taken of the beginnings. People attach importance to the progress and the end. … Perfection consists in a constant perseverance to acquire the virtues and become proficient in their practice, because, on God’s road, not to advance is to fall back since man never remains in the same condition, and the predestined, according to what the Holy Sprit says , they will go from virtue to virtue. . . . The way to do that . . . is to be continually grateful for God’s mercy and goodness to us, and to have a constant or frequent fear of rendering ourselves unworthy and of failing to be faithful to our little exercises, especially those of prayer, the presence of God, examens, spiritual reading, and the daily performance of some acts of charity, mortification, humility, and simplicity. [cxxxiv] Vincent de Paul

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Sufferings

God is with usand if sufferings abound in us, his Consolations also greatly abound, and far exceed all utterance . . . .[I was] not only willing to take my cross but kissed it too.[cxxxv] Elizabeth Ann Seton

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Teaching style

Simplicity impresses the candidates. They are very happy with it, and they are not looking for anything else here. Presented in this garment, truth will be well received, and will be most effective in an unadorned modesty.[cxxxvi]

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Teaching

O Monsieur, how happy you are to have laid the first foundations of this Church. It will lead so many souls to heaven who otherwise would not have entered there, if God did not pour out on them the principle of eternal life through the teaching and sacraments which you have administered. May you continue, with the help of his grace, for a long time in your holy ministry, and serve as an example and an encouragement for the other missionaries. This is the prayer the whole Company frequently offers, for it has your person and your work very much at heart. I feel this deeply.[cxxxvii]

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Teaching

If they suffer for their ignorance and sin, we ought to intercede for them before the mercy of God. Charity obliges us to do this. If we do not spend ourselves to teach them and aid them in this perfect conversion to God, even at the cost of our life, we are in some way the cause of all the ills they suffer.[cxxxviii]

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Trust

We should work as hard as though everything depends on us and, at the same time, should trust as though everything depends on God.[cxxxix] Ignatius of Loyola quoted by Vincent de Paul

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Truth

God gives me such a great esteem for simplicity that I call it my gospel. I have a particular devotion and consolation it in saying things as they are.[cxl] Vincent de Paul

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Truth

Must I then leave all these blessings which you yourself, my God, have given me? Will you not, Lord, be satisfied with a portion of the sacrifice? . . . Will you not accept the sacrifice of my own literary self-esteem, of my academic ambition, of my very study where pride perhaps featured more than zeal for the truth?[cxli] Frédéric Ozanam

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Truth

Humility has this peculiar property, that it hinders us from aiming at any esteem but yours, O my God, who give to things their proper value. Human beings do not know their true value. Is not the role of a fool to prefer the esteem of the world to yours, the shadow to the substance, a lie to the truth? [cxlii] Vincent de Paul

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Uniformity

Let us be well grounded in this spirit, if we wish to have in ourselves the image of the Adorable Trinity, if we wish to bear a sacred relation to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. What is it that produces unity and comity in God; is it not the equality and the distinction of the Three Persons? And what produces their mutual love, if not their perfect resemblance? And if they had not mutual love, what word the be amiable in them? saith the Blessed Bishop of Geneva. Uniformity, therefore, exists in the Blessed Trinity; what the Father wills, the Son wills; what the Holy Spirit does, the Father and the Son do; they act in the same manner, the have but one and the same power, one and the same operation. Behold the beginning of perfection and our model. Let us become uniform; we shall be many as if we were only one, and we shall have holy union in plurality.

#206, 23 May 1659 to CM (Leonard, 578)

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Union with God

The nearer a soul is truly united to God, the more its sensibilities are increased to every being of His Creation; much more to those whom it is bound to love by the tenderest and most endearing ties.[cxliii] Elizabeth Ann Seton

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Unity of Hearts

Great disunion may arise in the Community when charity is lacking, so, too, will be union, and therefore, there is no community at all because what keeps it together is union of hearts.[cxliv] Vincent de Paul

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Village Folks

I shall speak to you all the more willingly of good village girls, because I know them from experience and indeed by nature, for I am the son of a poor tiller of the soil and I lived in the country until I was fifteen years old. Morever, we have labored for many long years amongst country folk so that no one know them better than the Priests of the Mission. There is nothing to equal persons who really posses the spirit of village folk; nowhere will you find greater faith, greater recourse to God in times of need, greater gratitude to Him in times of prosperity. [cxlv]

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Virtue

Virtue based and built up on the Word of God will never fail[cxlvi]

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Virtues

Monsieur Vincent was gifted by both nature and grace with a great prudence . . . He acted with such integrity, moderation, and wisdom that during life he happily succeeded in all he undertook for the glory of God and in the service of those who represented God upon earth. Abelly, 2:403

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Virtues

Humility brings to the soul all of the other virtues.[cxlvii] Vincent de Paul

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Vocation of Daughters of Charity

My daughters, before proceeding any farther and in order to teach those who do not know what we are talking about, I must tell you what a vocation is: A vocation is a call from God to do something. The vocation of the Apostles was to plant the faith throughout the world; the vocation of a religious is a call from God to observe the rules of the religious life; the vocation of married persons is a call from God to serve Him in the government of a family and in the education of children; the vocation of a Daughter of Charity is a call from God, the choice which His goodness has made of her, in preference to all others who have come before His mind, to serve Him in all the employments proper to this state of life to which He summons her. Your

vocation, then, my daughters, is of such a nature that God, from among so many thousand millions, looked on you, you who are with the children, you who are with the convicts, you who are in the Mother‑House, in the hospitals, in the villages, in the parishes and said, while choosing you, one from this place, another from that: It is my will that this soul sanctifies herself by serving Me in such or such an employment.

And that, my daughters, is your vocation. When God has made His choice, He often calls you by means unknown to yourselves, most often, however, by the desire with which He inspires you and the perseverance with which you seek for admission. After that, my daughters, one should not say to oneself: But is it God Who has willed it? For when you reason thus, you very frequently do so because you experience difficulty in the practice of humility, submission and obedience, virtues which are necessary for you, and which the devil strives to render impossible for you. God is, steadfast in His judgments, my daughters. The salvation of souls is so dear to Him that He takes all the necessary care to place them on the easiest way to reach the road to Heaven. But we must strive not to leave it, for as soon as ever a man who has set out on a long journey leaves the highway or turns off from it, he is in danger of coming upon paths which will lead him far away from the place to which he was going.

Those who would transplant trees shortly before the season for bearing fruit, those who would dig them out to plant them elsewhere, would never gather any fruit; trees, so moved about from place to place and from soil to soil, would even be in danger of dying.

Judas, who was called by God to be an Apostle and to whom so many graces had been given, thought he would do better in another walk of life. You all know his history and how he ruined himself. But, by the mercy of God, his place did not remain vacant and God called St. Paul from out the Gentile world in which he was plunged to make him a vessel of election.

Let us proceed, in nomine Domini. Sister, would you be pleased to tell us your thoughts?

One reason we have for persevering to the end is that perseverance deserves a crown and, on the contrary, for want of perseverance, we may lose the merit of all we have hitherto done and fall into a deplorable state of abandonment, as a punishment for the loss of our vocation. I fear this so strongly that I beg God daily that I may rather die than lose my vocation. # 32. On Perseverance in Our Vocation. Conference of September 22, 1647, Conferences of Vincent de Paul to the Daughters of Charity

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Vocation

I have no doubt that there will be some who will oppose these works. Others will say that it is far too much to send missionaries to distant lands, to the Indies, to Barbary. Yet was it not the Lord who sent Saint Thomas to the Indies and sent the other apostles to different peoples and nations? Was it not the Lord who entrusted the apostles with the care and guidance of all people? Yes, our vocation is to evangelize the poor.[cxlviii] Vincent de Paul

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Voice of God

When the whole world speaks well of a thing, then the voice of the people is the voice of God. And so it was God Who gave you this name [Daughters of Charity]. Therefore, preserve it carefully.[cxlix]

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War

Men [sic] go to war to kill one another, and you, sisters, you go to repair the harm they have done . . . Men [sic] kill the body and very often the soul, and you go to restore life, or at least by your care to assist in preserving it.[cl]

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Will of God

Our Lord is a continual communion for those who are united to what he wills and does not will.[cli] Vincent de Paul

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Will of God

Be quite cheerful in the disposition of willing everything that God wills.[clii] Vincent de Paul

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Will of God

Center

If God is the center of your life, no words will be needed. Your mere presence will touch their hearts.[cliii] Vincent de Paul [see sources for exact wording re will of god]

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Will of God

Perfection does not consist in ecstasies but in doing the will of God.[cliv] Vincent de Paul

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Will of God

With all my heart I wish you the joy and interior consolation of a soul that is lovingly submissive to the most holy will of God . . . Oh, what an excellent way of life, hard on nature but sweet and easy for souls enlightened by eternal truths and by the awareness of the joy to be found in pleasing God and in allowing Him full mastery over their wills! This, it seems to me, . . . is the road that God wills you to travel to reach Him, however difficult it may appear. Enter upon it, then, wholeheartedly as would a vessel that will carry you where you must go.[clv] Louise de Marillac

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Women

Refers to potential of women in ministry . . . returning to practice of widows of primitive Church . . . cf. CCD, #185, 13b:381

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Women, apostolic

Do what the Son of God did when He was on earth. And what did He chiefly do? . . . He labored unceasingly for his neighbor, visiting and healing the sick and instructing the ignorant unto their salvation. . . . You have the happiness to be the first women who have been called to this holy work . . . Since the time of the women who ministered to the Son of God and the Apostles, there has been no community established in God’s Church with this end in view.[clvi] Vincent de Paul

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Women, work of

As to this [care of foundlings] not being a work for women, Ladies, you may be assured that God has used persons of your sex to do the greatest things ever done in this world. What men have ever done what Judith did, what Esther did, what the Maid of Orléans did in this kingdom, what Saint Genevieve did in providing Paris with food during a famine? [clvii]

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Work of God

Our Lord has all virtues in abundance . . . but they are not in him for himself. They are for all those whom he uses in his works and who place all their confidence in his help.[clviii] Vincent de Paul

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Work of God

Do not limit your vision any longer to yourself, but see the Lord around you and in you, ready to put his hand to the work as soon as you ask for his help. You will see that all will go well.[clix] Vincent de Paul

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Work

Three can do more than ten when the Lord puts his hand to it, and he always does so when he takes away the means of doing it in another way.[clx] Vincent de Paul

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Workaholism

See balance

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World

The world has grown cold, it is for us Catholics to rekindle the vital fire which has been extinguished[clxi] Frédéric Ozanam

 

 

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Zeal

Love of God

Our vocation, then, is not to go to one parish, or even to one diocese, but throughout the whole world, and for what end? To inflame the hearts of men, to do what the Son of God did. He came to cast fire on the earth, to inflame it with His love. What else have we to desire save that it burns and consumes all? My dear Brothers, pray, let us reflect on that. It is true, then, that I am sent, not merely to love God but to have Him loved. It is not enough for me to love God if my neighbor does not love Him. I ought to love my neighbor as the image of God and the object of His love, and to act that men may, in turn, love their Creator, who knows them and acknowledges them as His brethren, Who has saved them, and so act that they may love each other for the love of God, Who has so loved them as to deliver up His Son to death for their sakes. That, then is what I am obliged to. . . . grant me the grace that your holy love may so fill my heart that it may be the life of my life, and the soul of my actions, so that in its overflow it may enter into and operate on those souls I am bound to help.[clxii]

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Zeal

If love of God is the fire, zeal is its flame. If love is the sun, then zeal is its ray.[clxiii] Vincent de Paul

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Betty Ann McNeil, D.C.

Emmitsburg, MD



[i]. L 252 Louise de Marillac to Anne Hardemont, 23 July 1649, Sullivan, Spiritual Writings of Louise de Marillac, 295.

[ii]. Vincent de Paul, #2274 to Achille Le Vazeux, June 1, 1657, CCD 6:331.

[iii]. Vincent de Paul, Abelly 2:84

[iv]. A.92 On the Duties of the Motherhouse, The Office of the Sister Pharmacist, Louise de Marillac, 810.

[v]. #95, Vincent de Paul to Louise de Marillac, n.d. [c.1632], CCD 1:145.

[vi]. #58, Vincent de Paul to Louise de Marillac, 7 December 1630, CCD, 1:92.

[vii]. #48, Vincent de Paul to Louise de Marillac, 30 May 1630, CCD 1:79.

[viii]. CED 11:216; Leonard, Conferences to CM, 213.

[ix]. #58, Vincent de Paul to Louise de Marillac, 7 December 1630, CCD, 1:92.

[x]. L.353, Louise de Marillac to Barbe Angiboust, (June 11, 1652), 396.

[xi]. Vincent de Paul to Edme Jolly, C.M., July 11, 1659, CED 8:15.

[xii]. Vincent de Paul to Pierre Cabel, C.M., November 22, 1659, CED 8:178.

[xiii]. Vincent de Paul, 22 November 1659

[xiv]. Vincent de Paul to Marc Coglec, C.M., December 4, 1650, CED 4:115

[xv]. #198, Report on the State of the Works, CCD, 13b:431.

[xvi]. Conferences to the Daughters of Charity, 7 December 1643, 121.

[xvii]. #126. Charity of Women (Châtillon-les-Dombes), Marie Poole, D.C., ed., trans., Vincent de Paul Conferences, Correspondence, and Documents (CCD), 14 vols. (New York: New City Press, 2003),13b:8.

[xviii]. #126. Charity of Women (Châtillon-les-Dombes), Marie Poole, D.C., ed., trans., Vincent de Paul Conferences, Correspondence, and Documents (CCD), 14 vols. (New York: New City Press, 2003),13b:8.

[xix]. #93. 4 March 1658, On Mutual Charity and the Duty of Reconciliation, Joseph Leonard, C.M., trans., Conferences of Saint Vincent de Paul to the Daughters of Charity, 4 vols. (Westminster, MD, 1938), 4: 97.

[xx]. #143. Regulations for the Sisters of the Angers Hospital, Marie Poole, D.C., ed., trans., Vincent de Paul Conferences, Correspondence, and Documents (CCD), 14 vols. (New York: New City Press, 2003),13b:114.

[xxi]. #51, On the Spirit of the Company, Conferences of Vincent de Paul to the Daughters of Charity, February 9, 1653, 2:206

[xxii]. CED 11:216; Leonard, Conferences to CM, 212.

[xxiii]. Conferences to the Daughters of Charity, November 15, 1657, 3:310; CCD 10:286..

[xxiv]. #51 On the Spirit of the Company, February 9, 1653, Conferences of Saint Vincent de Paul to the Daughters of Charity, 530.

[xxv]. On the Love of God, Conferences to the Daughters of Charity, CED 11:43

[xxvi]. L 539 Louise de Marillac to Barbe Angiboust, 22 August 22 1657, Sullivan, Spiritual Writings of Louise de Marillac, 563.

[xxvii]. #2 On the Vocation of a Daughter of Charity, July 5, 1640, Conferences of Vincent de Paul to the Daughters of Charity, 1:12.

[xxviii]. Abelly, 3:118.

[xxix]. #195 Conference to the Congregation of the Mission, 6 December 1658, CED 12:87 quoted in Thomas McKenna, C.M., Praying with Vincent de Paul (Winona, MN: Saint Mary’s Press, 1994), 63-64.

[xxx]. #100. To Four Sisters Who Were Sent to Calais, Joseph Leonard, C.M., trans., Conferences of Saint Vincent de Paul to the Daughters of Charity, 4 vols. (Westminster, MD, 1938), 168.

[xxxi]. Abelly, 3:118.

[xxxii]. #L448. Louise de Marillac to a Sister leaving for Poland, 20 August (1655), Sullivan, Spiritual Writings, 480..

[xxxiii]. L.353, Louise de Marillac to Barbe Angiboust, (June 11, 1652), 396.

[xxxiv]. L. 513, Louise de Marillac to My Very Dear Sisters , 10 February 1657, Spiritual Writings, 541.

[xxxv]. #29. Vincent de Paul to Louise de Marillac, [between 1626 and May 1629], CCD 1:54.

[xxxvi]. A.29 On Charity, Sullivan, Spiritual Writings of Louise de Marillac, 711.

[xxxvii]. A8, Retreat (c.1633), Louise Sullivan, DC, Spiritual Writings of Louise de Marillac , 717.

[xxxviii]. Vincent de Paul to Louise de Marillac, c. 1629, CED 1:68. See also Vincent de Paul to Bernard Codoing, 7 December 1641, Coste, CED, 2:208.

[xxxix]. Coste, CED, 2: 472-73.

[xl]. L 159 Account of the Journey to Nantes, Sullivan, Spiritual Writings of Louise de Marillac, 178.

[xli]. #559. Vincent de Paul to Bernard Codoing, 7 December 1641, Marie Poole, D.C., ed., trans., Vincent de Paul Conferences, Correspondence, and Documents (CCD), 14 vols. (New York: New City Press, 2003), 2:237.

[xlii]. #11. On Obedience, June 1642, Joseph Leonard, C.M., trans., Conferences of Saint Vincent de Paul to the Daughters of Charity, 4 vols. (Westminster, MD, 1938), 1:62.

[xliii]. Coste, CED, 1:68.

[xliv]. M. 40B, Abandonment to Divine Providence, Louise Sullivan, ed., Spiritual Writings of Louise de Marillac, (New City Press: New York, 1991), 784.

[xlv]. A.85 Instructions to the Sisters Who Were Sent to Montreuil, October 1646, ibid., 773.

[xlvi]. Elizabeth Seton to Julianna Scott, 26 March 1810, Code, ed., Letters of Mother Seton to Mrs. Julianna Scott, 197.

[xlvii]. #13 On the Conduct of Country Girls, 25 January 1643, Conferences of Saint Vincent de Paul to the Daughters of Charity , 1:81.

[xlviii]. Repetition of Prayer, CED, 11:200-01 quoted in Flores and Orcajo, The Way of Saint Vincent, 131.

[xlix]. Frederic Ozanam to his mother, 23 July 1836, Louis Baunard, Ozanam in His Correspondence (Veritas Publications: Dublin, 1925), 419. Quoted in Albert Paul Schimberg, The Great Friend: Frederick Ozanam (Bruce Publishing Company: Milwaukee, 1946), 259.

[l]. L.441 – (June 1642)

[li]. L. 369 Louise de Marillac to Vincent de Paul 24 August before 1650, Sullivan, Spiritual Writings of Louise de Marillac, 341. Toward the end of her life Elizabeth Seton uttered a similar thought, But our God is God, and I know all will turn out well at last. (Elizabeth Seton to Julianna Scott, 24 July 1817, Code, Letters of Mother Seton to Mrs. Julianna Scott, 262. )

[lii]. Conference #207 On Charity to the Congregation of the Mission, 30 May 1659, Saint Vincent de Paul. Correspondence, entretiens, documents, ed. Pierre Coste, C.M., 14 volumes (Librairie Lecoffre J. Gabalda: Paris, 1920-1926), 12:262. (Hereinafter cited as CED).

[liii]. Frederic Ozanam to M.X., Paris, 23 February 1835, Letters of Frederic Ozanam, Ainslie Coates, trans. (New York: Benziger, 1886), 123-27. Quoted in Shaun McCarty, S.T., Frederic Ozanam: Lay Evangelizer, Vincentian Heritage 17, no.1 (1996), 11.

[liv]. L. 634 Louise de Marillac to Sister Anne Hardemont, 13 November 1659, Louise Sullivan, D.C., Spiritual Writings of Louise de Marillac, (New York: 1991), 654.

[lv]. Vincent de Paul to Bernard Codoing,CM, March 16, 1644, Correspondence 2:499.

[lvi]. L 539 Louise de Marillac to Barbe Angiboust, 22 August 22 1657, Sullivan, Spiritual Writings of Louise de Marillac, 563.

[lvii]. #198, Report on the State of the Works, CCD, 13b:431.

[lviii]. #51 On the Spirit of the Company, February 9, 1653, Conferences of Saint Vincent de Paul to the Daughters of Charity, 530.

[lix]. L.619 Louise de Marillac to Catherine Gesse, 4 May 1659, ibid., 639.

[lx]. Conferences to the Daughters of Charity, 13 February, 1646, 218.

[lxi]. #71 On the End of the Company, 18 August 1655, Conferences of Saint Vincent de Paul to the Daughters of Charity, 10:131.(English: Leonard, 4:114. Collins, 746.)

[lxii]. M.73 On the Interior Spirit Necessary for the Daughters of Charity, Sullivan, Spiritual Writings of Louise de Marillac, 826.

[lxiii]. Elizabeth Seton to Eliza Farquhar, n.d., ASJPH 1-3-3-7:97.

[lxiv]. L.1l3B (January 1645)

[lxv]. L.377 -(c.October 1652)

[lxvi]. L.11 , October 26, 1639

[lxvii]. #41. On the Love of God. Conference of September 19, 1649, Conferences of Vincent De Paul to the Daughters of Charity.

[lxviii]. #10. On How to Nurse the Sick. March 16, 1642, Conferences of Vincent De Paul to the Daughters of Charity.

[lxix]. #22. ON RECONCILIATION. Between 1634 and 1646. Conferences of Vincent De Paul to the Daughters of Charity.

[lxx]. L. 447, Louise de Marillac to Marguerite, Madeleine and Françoise (at Warsaw) , 19 August 1655, Spiritual Writings,478.

[lxxi]. Vincent de Paul, Conferences to the Missionaries, march 28, 1659, CED 12:183.

[lxxii]. #15. Explanation of the Rule, 14 June 1643, Joseph Leonard, C.M., trans., Conferences of Saint Vincent de Paul to the Daughters of Charity, 4 vols. (Westminster, MD, 1938), 1:106

[lxxiii]. #197. Vincent de Paul to Antoine Portail, 1 May 1635, CCD 1:276. This echoes St John of the Cross: That I may be so transformed in your beauty that we may be alike in your beauty, possessing now your very beauty; this, in such a way that each looking at the other may see in the other his own beauty, since both are your beauty alone, I being absorbed in Your beauty; hence, I shall see You inpour beauty, and You shall see me in Your beauty, and I shall see myself in You in Your beauty, and Your beauty, and You resemble me in Your beauty, and my beauty be Your beauty, and You will be me in Your beauty, because Your very beauty will be my beauty; and therefore we shall behold each other in Your beauty. Commentary on Stanza 36, Let us Go forth to behold ourselves in Your Beauty #5, Spiritual Canticle, Collected Works, Kavanaugh & Rodriguez (Washington, DC, 1979), 547.

[lxxiv]. InstructionsThe Sisters of Charity Meditate on the Service of God. Kelly and Melville, Elizabeth Seton Spiritual Writings, 326.

[lxxv]. On the Love of God, Conferences to the Daughters of Charity, CED 11:43

[lxxvi]. Conference of 30 August 1656 to the Daughters of Charity, 831 [Cf. 1155]

[lxxvii]. L.439 Louise de Marillac to Sister Laurence, 20 June 1656, Spiritual Writings of Louise de Marillac, 510.

[lxxviii]. Conference of 25 November 1659 to the Daughters of Charity, 1236.

[lxxix]. Vincent de Paul, Conference of 22 January 1645 to the Daughters of Charity, 190-92.

[lxxx]. Vincent de Paul to Marc Coglec, C.M., December 4, 1650, CED 4:115

[lxxxi]. Conferences to the Daughters of Charity, 14 June 1643, 104.

[lxxxii]. #51 On the Spirit of the Company, 9 February 1653, Conferences of Saint Vincent de Paul to the Daughters of Charity, 3:204. This echoes Saint John of the Cross: Let us rejoice, Beloved. That is: Let us rejoiced in the communication of the sweetness of love, not only in that sweetness we already possess in our habitual union, but in that which overflows into the effective and actual practice of love, either interiorly with the will in the affective act ,or exteriorly in works directed to the service of the Beloved. As we mentioned, when love takes root it has this characteristic: It makes one always desire to taste its joys an sweet nesses, which are the inward and outward exercise of love. All this the lover does in order to resemble the Beloved more. , Commentary on Stanza 36, Let us Rejoice, Beloved #4, Spiritual Canticle, Collected Works, Kavanaugh & Rodriguez (Washington, DC, 1979), 547.

[lxxxiii]. #102, Exhortation to a Dying Brother (1645), CED 11:146.

[lxxxiv]. CED 11:40.

[lxxxv]. L.426 – (August 1640)

[lxxxvi]. Vincent de Paul, Conference, #207, 30 May 1659.

[lxxxvii]. English Translation, Leonard, trans., Conferences of Vincent de Paul, 581. Coste, XII, #207, On Charity, (30 May 1659): 262, line 24 ff

[lxxxviii]. CED 12:192.

[lxxxix]. Conferences to the Daughters of Charity, 19 August 1646, 239.

[xc]. CED 12:87-88 quoted in Thomas McKenna, C.M., Praying with Vincent de Paul (Winona, MN: Saint Mary’s Press, 1994), 63-64.

[xci]. #320 On the Observance of Rule, 22 January 1645, Conferences of Vincent de Paul to the Daughters of Charity, 184.

[xcii]. #119 On the Virtues of Louise de Marillac, Conferences to the Daughters of Charity, 1276.

[xciii]. Vincent de Paul to Nicolas Etienne, 30 January 1656, CED 5:533.

[xciv]. #137, Vincent de Paul to Louise de Marillac, May 1 [1633], CCD, 1:199.

[xcv]. Elizabeth Seton to Julianna Scott, 14 March 1814, ibid., 234. Same to same, 1 December 1814, ibid, 240.

[xcvi]. L.174 Louise de Marillac to Our very Dear Sisters, the Daughters of Charity at Nantes, ibid., 196.

[xcvii]. #198 Entretien Aux Dames, Rapport Sur Létat des Oeuvres, 11 July 1637, Coste, Saint Vincent de Paul Correspondance, Entretiens et Documents, 13: 809-811.

[xcviii]. Pierre Coste, C.M., ed., Number 198, Entretien Aux Dames, Rapport Sur LEtat des Oeuvres, 11 July 1657, Saint Vincent de Paul. Correspondence, Entretiens, Documents [CED], 14 volumes (Paris, 1920-1925), 13:809-811.

[xcix]. CED 11:216; Leonard, Conferences to CM, 217.

[c]. #2591 Vincent de Paul to Antoine Durand, Around May 1658, CCD 7:171.

[ci]. #36 On the Good Use of Instructions, Conferences of Vincent de Paul to the Daughters of Charity, Collins ed., 358. (CED 9:402).

[cii]. Conferences to the Daughters of Charity, 31 May 1648, 378.

[ciii]. AMSV N/P 110:M,II, 12 Elizabeth Seton to Rebecca Seton, 19 November 1803, entry of November 25.

[civ]. #37 Conference on Prayer, 31 May 1648, Conferences of Vincent de Paul to the Daughters of Charity, Collins ed., 377-78. (CED 9:416).

[cv]. Conferences to the Daughters of Charity, 31 May 1648, 370.

[cvi]. #37 Conference on Prayer, 31 May 1648, Conferences of Vincent de Paul to the Daughters of Charity, Collins ed., 378. (CED 9:417).

[cvii].Marie Poole, ed., Correspondence, Conferences, and Documents, #2027 To Canon de Saint-Martin [n.d., 1656]; #2792, To Monsieur Dupont-Fournier, 5 March 1659.

[cviii]. L. 284b Louise de Marillac to Sister Cécile Agnès, 4 May 1650,Spiritual Writings of Louise de Marillac, 320.

[cix]. #2511 Vincent de Paul to the Sister Servant in Saint-FArgeau, [January 1658], Marie Poole, D.C., ed., trans., Vincent de Paul Conferences, Correspondence, and Documents (CCD), 14 vols. (New York: New City Press, 2003),7:64.

[cx]. #111, 24 August 1659, CDC, 1210-11; 1213

[cxi]. #111, 24 August 1659, CDC, 1210-11; 1213

[cxii]. L.292 to Sister Jeanne Delacroix, 4 November (1633), Spiritual Writings , 431.

[cxiii]. L.58B August 7 (1641)

[cxiv]. #85 Conference on Serving the Sick and the Care of Ones Health, 11 November 1657, Leonard, Conferences of Saint Vincent de Paul to the Daughters of Charity, 923-24.

[cxv]. Elizabeth Seton to Antonio Filicchi, 22 May 1810, Kelly and Melville, Elizabeth Seton Spiritual Writings, 280.

[cxvi]. InstructionsThe Sisters of Charity Meditate on the Service of God. Kelly and Melville, Elizabeth Seton Spiritual Writings, 326.

[cxvii]. InstructionsThe Sisters of Charity Meditate on the Service of God. Kelly and Melville, Elizabeth Seton Spiritual Writings, 326.

[cxviii]. #195 Conference to the Congregation of the Mission, 6 December 1658, CED 12:87 quoted in Thomas McKenna, C.M., Praying with Vincent de Paul (Winona, MN: Saint Mary’s Press, 1994), 63-64.

[cxix]. L 252 Louise de Marillac to Anne Hardemont, 23 July 1649, Sullivan, Spiritual Writings of Louise de Marillac, 295.

[cxx]. 1. Explanation of the Rule, 31 July 1634, Poole, CCD, 9:5.

[cxxi]. #85. 11 November 1657, On Serving the Sick and Care of One’s Health, Joseph Leonard, C.M., trans., Conferences of Saint Vincent de Paul to the Daughters of Charity, 4 vols. (Westminster, MD, 1938), 3:291.

[cxxii]. A23 Thoughts on Baptism, Sullivan, Spiritual Writings Louise de Marillac, 786.

[cxxiii]. Pierre Coste, C.M., ed., Joseph Leonard, trans., Conferences of Saint Vincent de Paul (Eastern Province, Philadelphia USAPrinted Privately, 1963), 607-08.

[cxxiv]. L.581 Louise de Marillac to the Sisters of the Hôtel-Dieu of Nantes, 13 July 1658, ibid., 600.

[cxxv]. #85. 11 November 1657, On Serving the Sick and Care of One’s Health, Joseph Leonard, C.M., trans., Conferences of Saint Vincent de Paul to the Daughters of Charity, 4 vols. (Westminster, MD, 1938), 3:291.

[cxxvi]. Ibid., 262.

[cxxvii]. L.581 Louise de Marillac to the Sisters of the Hôtel-Dieu of Nantes, 13 July 1658, ibid., 600.

[cxxviii]. L.171 -(November 1647)

[cxxix]. #188 Vincent de Paul to François Du Coudray, 6 November 1634, Correspondence, 265.

[cxxx]. Frédéric Ozanam to Louis Janmon, 13, November 1836.

[cxxxi]. Vincent de Paul, Abelly, 224. Cf. #1054, CCD III:344-45.

[cxxxii]. Vincent de Paul, #1054, CCD III:344-45.

[cxxxiii]. #51. On the Spirit of the Company,9 February 1653, Joseph Leonard, C.M., trans., Conferences of Saint Vincent de Paul to the Daughters of Charity, 4 vols. (Westminster, MD, 1938), 2:206.

[cxxxiv]. #490 Vincent de Paul to Etienne Blatiron, 0ct 9, 1640, CCD, 2:146.

[cxxxv]. The Italian Journal, Kelly and Melville, Elizabeth Seton Selected Writings, 105, 109.

[cxxxvi]. Abelly, 2:216 (English, computer text)

[cxxxvii]. CED VIII:156-60. (French ed.)

[cxxxviii]. CED XI:200-05 (French ed.)

[cxxxix]. Conferences to the Daughters of Charity, 7 December 1643.

[cxl]. CED 9:606

[cxli]. Frederic Ozanam, Pisa, 23 April 1853

[cxlii]. Vincent de Paul to Missionaries, April 18, 1659, CED 12:211.

[cxliii]. Elizabeth Seton to Julianna Scott, 20 September 1809, Code, Letters of Mother Seton to Mrs. JuliannaScott, 188.

[cxliv]. Conferences to the Daughters of Charity, 11 July 1646-1651, 325.

[cxlv].Conferences to the Daughters of Charity, #13,ON Virtues of Good Village Girls, 25 January 1643

[cxlvi]. Conference to the Daughters of Charity, December 2, 1657

[cxlvii]. Vincent de Paul to Missionaries, April 18, 1659, 12:210.

[cxlviii]. #195 On the end of the Congregation of the Mission, 6 December 1658, CED, 12: 90.

[cxlix]. #93. 4 March 1658, On Mutual Charity and the Duty of Reconciliation, Joseph Leonard, C.M., trans., Conferences of Saint Vincent de Paul to the Daughters of Charity, 4 vols. (Westminster, MD, 1938), 4: 97.

[cl]. Vincent de Paul, X, 507 as quoted in Pierre Coste, The Life and Works of Saint Vincent de Paul, tr. by Joseph Leonard (Westminster, 1952) II, 438.

[cli]. Vincent de Paul to Louise de Marillac, c. March 1634, Correspondence 1:233

[clii]. Vincent de Paul to Louise de Marillac, February 9, 1628, Correspondence 1:36.

[cliii]. Cf. Abelly, 3:85 and #50 to Louise de Marillac, CED, 1:82; Per Dodin, cf. Abelly 2: chapter 5, [252-53].

[cliv]. Vincent de Paul to Missionaries, October 17, 1655, CED 11:317.

[clv]. #L448. Louise de Marillac to a Sister leaving for Poland, 20 August (1655), Sullivan, Spiritual Writings, 481.

[clvi]. #2 On the Vocation of a Daughter of Charity, July 5, 1640, Conferences of Vincent de Paul to the Daughters of Charity, 1:12.

[clvii]. #197. Report on the Work of the Foundlings, [1647] Marie Poole, D.C., ed., trans., Vincent de Paul Conferences, Correspondence, and Documents (CCD), 14 vols. (New York: New City Press, 2003),13b:426.

[clviii]. Vincent de Paul to Edme Jolly, C.M., December 17, 1655, CED 5:484.

[clix]. Vincent de Paul to Louis Rivet, C.M., December 19, 1655, CED, 5:488.

[clx]. Vincent de Paul to Marc Coglec, C.M., December 4, 1650, CED 4:115

[clxi]. Frédéric Ozanam, Letter #90, 23 February 1835.

[clxii]. English Translation, Leonard, trans., Conferences of Vincent de Paul, 581. Coste, XII, #207, On Charity, (30 May 1659): 262, line 24 ff

[clxiii]. #211 On the Five Fundamental Virtues, 22 August 1659, Conferences of Saint Vincent de Paul to the Daughters of Charity, 12:307-08.

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