Last evening, the charisms of 3 great saints–Francis of Assisi, Angela Merici and Vincent de Paul– connected in lively ways. Sr. Jean and I, together with Franciscan Sr. Pam, dined with members of the Vincentian Mission Corps in St. Louis. As part of a project of local Vocation Directors, we brought a meal to share and learn from young women who have committed this year to service. Great conversation, prayer together, and lots of laughter were woven into a delightful experience. The chili, salad and dessert we brought were quite good, too!
A charism is a personal gift of the Spirit given for the good of all the Church. It’s always amazing to see the incarnation of charisms in those who live so many centuries after the saints to whom they were first given. I observed, last night, the gentle, contemplative spirit of Angela and her care for women; Francis’ love for the Gospel and all creation; and Vincent’s humble service of others, especially the poor. These charisms continue to touch our church and world through persons, young and old, who live them with fervor and passion.
I wondered what our three saints might say about our time together. In fact, their own words already say it:
- Lord, make us instruments of your Peace. (Francis)
- You have greater need to serve than others have of being served by you. (Angela)
- The good which God desires is accomplished almost by itself, without our even thinking of it. (Vincent)