FRIENDS OF MOTHER MARIE-LEONIE April 2018


Parable of the prodigal son

Lk 15: 11-32
“A man had two sons. The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the estate that is coming to me.’ So the father divided up the property. Some days later this younger son collected all his belongings and went off to a distant land, where he squandered his money on dissolute living. After he had spent everything, a great famine broke out in that country and he was in dire need. So he attached himself to one of the propertied class of the place, who sent him to his farm to take care of the pigs. He longed to fill his belly with the husks that were fodder for the pigs, but no one made a move to give him anything. Coming to his senses at last, he said: ‘How many hired hands at my father’s place have more than enough to eat, while here I am starving! I will break away and return to my father, and say to him, Father, I have sinned against God and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son. Treat me like one of your hired hands.’ With that he set off for his father’s house. While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him and was deeply moved. He ran out to meet him, threw his arms around his neck, and kissed him. The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against God and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son.’ The father said to his servants: ‘Quick! Bring out the finest robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and shoes on his feet. Take the fatted calf and kill it. Let us eat and celebrate because this son of mine was dead and has come back to life. He was lost and is found.’ Then the celebration began. Meanwhile the elder son was out on the land. As he neared the house on his way home, he heard the sound of music and dancing. He called one of the servants and asked him the reason for the dancing and the music. The servant answered, ‘Your brother is home, and your father has killed the fatted calf because he has him back in good health.’ The son grew angry at this and would not go in; but his father came out and began to plead with him. He said to his father in reply: ‘For years now I have slaved for you, I never disobeyed one of your orders, yet you never gave me so much as a kid goat to celebrate with my friends. Then, when this son of yours returns after having gone through your property with loose women, you kill the fatted calf for him.’ ‘My son,’ replied the father, ‘you are with me always, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and rejoice! This brother of yours was dead, and has come back to life. He was lost, and is found.’ ”

Reflection:
This parable makes us discover God’s unconditional love. We are his children forever and continually his father's heart wants our happiness. Our sins and our limitations do not reduce his love. Can we have enough confidence in his love to throw ourselves in our father's arms, he who is full of tenderness and mercy? Am I ready to let myself be loved by God such as I am?

A Mother who was “All Heart”: Pages 284-285-286

Sister Leonie went again to New York and met her ex-Superior for the second time. To her, this was a matter of charity. She saw a soul in grave danger of being lost and felt called to do everything in her power to save her. This time she succeeded. Sister Leonie was surely not going to be satisfied with this initial success! Knowing her former companion as she did and with the conviction that she had a religious vocation, she undertook to have her readmitted to a convent. But to this end, she had to open doors and persuade Superiors who were strongly prejudiced against the rebellious woman… The faithful friendship of Sister Leonie with her former Superior finally won the war.
Pauline Rajot became once again, in 1876, a religious among the Sisters of Holy Cross of Indiana, and even went to spend her dying days in Memramcook with Sister Leonie, her most faithful and intimate friend.

Things were not always easy with her in Memramcook. Being accustomed to always “play first fiddle” and with the lively and unyielding character that was hers, there is no surprise in the fact that on two occasions, in 1880 and 1881, she wanted to take Mother Leonie’s place, deeming her unfit for the task entrusted to her. Mother Leonie took pity on Sister Marie-de-la-Rédemption and accepted to give up her charge for her. She wrote Father Sorin: “You know Mother Rédemption as well as I do; to force her to leave after spending a month in Memramcook will kill her… she will be unhappy if she doesn’t get an assignment suited to her longings… For my part, far from objecting to her becoming directress, I would be very happy about it… She wants me as her Assistant.” Father Sorin never acted on this request.

Have I experienced this unconditional love of God? In what circumstances?
Having experienced this love of God, have I also experienced it towards persons who have hurt me?


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