Lenten meditation on virtues

Intro

In our path towards Easter with this celebration we would like to focus on St Vincent’s words. He reminds, in the Conference July 14, 1658 to the first Daughters of Charity the four virtues that should characterize a true Daughter of Charity:

HUMILITY, CHARITY, OBEDIENCE, AND PATIENCE

St. Vincent represents these four virtues with the four ends of the Cross of Christ

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Although their vocation requires them to strive their entire life to practice all sorts of virtues in imitation of Jesus Christ their Patron, they will, however, give more particular attention to those represented by the four extremities of the Cross, namely, humility, charity, obedience, and patience. That is why they will make sure that all their actions are animated by them, and will reflect that it is useless for them always to have a material cross on their person …. (Coste X, 521)

Refrain: (sing refrain from a Lenten song)

1st Moment:

The place of humility is on the bottom of the cross:

« Humility makes us love lowly places, although, in truth, it’s a virtue that never allows those who have it to remain in a lowly place. On the contrary, it raises them very high in perfection…

Let’s love humility, Sisters; let’s strive to practice this virtue so loved by the Son of God that, in order to practice it, He died on a Cross in the sight of everyone; let’s strive to make both interior and exterior acts of humility, and for that purpose let’s say to Our Lord, ”My Savior, grant me the grace to love my own abjection and not to seek to be esteemed but rather to love the most lowly tasks and the last place».

Refrain: (sing refrain from a Lenten song)

2nd Moment:

The place of charity is on the top of the cross:

«The second virtue recommended to Daughters of Charity is charity itself. When encouraging us to practice this virtue, the Rule states that you must be such as the name you bear. Now, if you ask what this charity is, dear Sisters, it’s to love God above all things and, in the second place, to love your neighbor for the love of God.

Beginning with your Sisters, love of the neighbor demands that you strive to love one another and to bear with one another in your little weaknesses, after having begun with yourselves. Charity must extend to poor persons in order to serve them with love».

Refrain: (sing refrain from a Lenten song)

3rd Moment:

The place of obedience is the right arm of the cross:

You know what obedience, represented by the right arm, is; and God grant that you know it in practice! What’s the meaning of obedience? It means that the obedient person wills nothing but the Will of God in all things and conformity with the will of Superiors, Officers, and Sister Servants in everything. What happiness! People sometimes have difficulty knowing what they have to do in order to do the Will of God; as for you, all you have to do is to obey your Rules and you=re doing the Will of God. Refrain (sing refrain from a Lenten song)

4th Moment:

The place of patience is the left arm of the cross:

« The fourth virtue you have especially to practice, and which is represented by the left arm, is patience. Now, there’s scarcely a moment when we don’t need patience … What, then, is the virtue of patience? It’s what enables you to bear patiently all the annoying happenings to be encountered in life without growing angry; or, if you do forget yourself, you recollect yourself immediately in order to calm the turmoil. So, you must have a good fund of patience, dear Sisters; for, even if we didn’t have anything to put up with from other persons, alas! We’re so weak that we’ll find enough in ourselves; and we’re so fickle that we have plenty of things that have to be borne with, and this can’t be done without patience.»

Refrain” (sing refrain from a Lenten song)

Final prayer

Extract from the message of Lent 2017 – Pope Francis

Lent is a new beginning, a path leading to the certain goal of Easter, Christ’s victory over death. This season urgently calls us to conversion. Christians are asked to return to God “with all their hearts” (Joel 2:12), to refuse to settle for mediocrity and to grow in friendship with the Lord. Jesus is the faithful friend who never abandons us. Even when we sin, he patiently awaits our return; by that patient expectation, he shows us his readiness to forgive…

The Lord, who overcame the deceptions of the Tempter during the forty days in the desert, shows us the path we must take. May the Holy Spirit lead us on a true journey of conversion, so that we can rediscover the gift of God’s word, be purified of the sin that blinds us, and serve Christ present in our brothers and sisters in need.

Final song