Written by: Barb Spies, OFS, Director of Mission Services

Blessed Mary Angela, the foundress of the Felician Sisters, offered a lot of written guidance for her Sisters in their service to those in need around them. As we create our own plans we can consider how what we do meets our own personal mission and goals. This segment from Blessed Angela’s Meditation on the Practice of Virtues offers some recommendations and wisdom: “The Saints tried to practice all the virtues; however, they had one predominant one for which they distinguished themselves. And so: Saint John the Baptist was known for his severe penances; Saint Francis, for his poverty; Saint Augustine, for his love of God; Saint Vincent de Paul for his love of neighbor; and Saint Francis de Sales for his gentleness.

As I meditated on what virtue God demands of me, I thought of one for which God always admonishes me, and that is, the love of neighbor, meekness, gentleness, understanding of others, forgetfulness of self, equanimity of disposition and a precise performance of my duties. If Jesus would allow me to carry out that to which he is drawing me, it will make me very happy. I have a special liking for that inconspicuously virtuous life, because, after all, that is the imitation of Jesus and Mary in Nazareth.”

Take a moment to consider the virtue that you believe God is calling you to  do. What are the things that you do well that would allow you to accomplish that virtue? o What do you need to do live out that virtue better? o How can you take advantage of aspects of your life that would help you attain that virtue? o What keeps you from being able to be described as someone with that virtue? If making that list was hard, you’re not alone!

Blessed Angela said: “I am supposed to practice love of neighbor and gentleness but I cannot even manage to make a resolution because what is the use of making the most beautiful promises when I know that I will not keep them.” Let’s keep in mind the virtues we want for ourselves and the virtues we want others to see in us. Blessed Angela said: “Desire more and more to grow in the love of God; holy desires are like wings which transport the soul to heaven.”

Some content requires Adobe Acrobat Reader to view.