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Are you hearing
God's call?

The Love of Christ Urges Us

February 2006

LEADER: In our Providence tradition, the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy have been a way of living our motto: The Love of Christ urges us. Let us welcome Blessed Emilie Gamelin into our gathering as we share what it has meant and it continues to mean to us that The Love of Christ urges us. (2 Cor.5:14)

OPENING SONG: Where There Is Love by David Haas, or Where Charity and Love Prevail by Dom Paul Benoit, OSB

LEADER: The following statements collect thoughts and actions of persons who have themselves lived out and pointed to others who have lived out the love of Christ.
(Invite each person present to read one of the statements, with a short pause between, until all have been read.)

Social justice demands that one’s daily decisions take into account the value and dignity of every human being.
Teresa Lang, SP, quoted in Providence in Alaska, by Pauline Higgins, SP

Never say that such does not concern you ... whatever concerns the poor is always our affair.
Mother Joseph of the Sacred Heart, quoted in He Has Given Me a Flame, by Mary Gleason, SP

While teaching always remained the main work of St. Joseph Academy, Yakima, the convent early became a center from which the sisters went out to meet the needs of people. Many came to the convent with their joys, sorrows and problems, knowing the sisters would listen and help if they could do so. Only three sisters staffed the convent the first nine years, but their charity reached out to many people ... In May, 1876, Mister Agapit, an Indian in an advanced stage of consumption, pitched his tent near the convent, knowing that the sisters would care for him. He died a beautiful death a few weeks later.
The Way It Was In Providence Schools, by Dorothy Lentz, SP

Netta Wilson, considered by some as a fore-runner of the Providence Associates, lived and worked with the Sisters at Providence Heights when it opened in 1961 and later at the College of Great Falls. When Netta’s desire to join a religious community could not be fulfilled, she made private vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. Questions about God and the meaning of life persisted, seeker that she was. The one piece of finality in her inner search was that love of God and neighbor made sense. Her peace of soul was greatly enhanced when the priest chaplain at the College of Great Falls allowed her to change from vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience to a vow of charity, which she renewed annually to the day of her death.
by Alice St. Hilaire, SP

The folks we see are on the lowest rung of the social and economic ladder, but they are real people with real problems. Reaching out to them helps, we hope, to lift their spirits as well as assist with their medical problems. ... Receiving the Sister Peter Claver Award is the greatest honor of my life.
Arch Logan, MD, volunteer Medical Director of the Clinic at the House of Charity, Spokane, and the 2003 recipient of the Sr. Peter Claver Award.

  • How do these quotes speak to your heart?
  • Which Leaders of Providence/Bringers of Love do you remember and why?

    LEADER: invite you to reflect on the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy. As you begin your reflection, I will read aloud a quote from the Gospel of Matthew followed by the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy. Let yourself listen and note what draws you or what pushes at you. Then write on the paper heart attached to your prayer sheet the Corporal or Spiritual Work you are being called to live more deeply at this time.
    Just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me. (Matt.25:31-46)
    Corporal Works of Mercy
    Feed the hungry
    Give drink to the thirsty
    Clothe the naked
    Shelter the homeless
    Visit the sick
    Visit the imprisoned
    Bury the dead

    Spiritual Works of Mercy
    Counsel the doubtful
    Instruct the ignorant
    Admonish the sinner
    Comfort the sorrowful
    Forgive injuries
    Bear wrongs patiently
    Pray for the living and the dead

    (Pause until all have had time to write on their "heart.")

    LEADER: May you take this "heart" with you and find a creative way of letting it be a reminder.

    CLOSING PRAYER: (Together) Gracious God, may our deepest yearning meet the ardent impulse of your love and compassion. Loving God, nourish the seed of hope and compassion that is dormant within us. We eagerly await the fullness of life that only Your Spirit can give. Come, Spirit of Love. Amen.

    CLOSING SONG: Companions on the Journey, by Carey Landry


    Have copies available for participants:
    • Prayer service
    • Music

    Prepare small pieces of paper shaped like hearts. Attach one paper heart to each prayer service.

    At the time of sharing, the leader may want to have the group use the mutual invitation process. If this is being done in a group where the people do not know each other well, it is important to have name tags for everyone present. To begin the leader explains the process in words similar to this:

    During our group sharing we will be using a mutual invitation process. As the leader I will begin the sharing. When I finish sharing, I will invite another person by name to be next. That person shares or passes, then invites another person by name to share. Each person has a right to share or to pass AND each person invites the next person to share until all in the group have been invited. Now I will begin.