A Life that went beyond all Borders

Existential Limits

With the death of her sister, Magdeleine experienced this last border in life which surpasses all understanding. Seeing her sister, a young religious, at the moment of her death changed her life completely.

'I was 20 years old and of the most timid temperament, as closed in on myself as can be; that was my true nature. In a minute, at her death bed, as with a bolt of lightning, a second nature was juxtaposed on the first without replacing it, and I came out of that death chamber different from what I had been when I entered.'
This experience marked her profoundly.

Very early on, illness became a limit preventing her from achieving her future plans. Because of a tuberculin pleurisy no religious congregation wanted to accept the young woman. As well as family reasons, illness prevented her departure for Africa for many long years. The time of illness was a painful but fruitful experience. She understood that this was precisely her way of offering her life to God, even if she would have preferred giving it with all her strength in the footsteps of Charles de Foucauld. Without abandoning her desire, she awaited in prayer before the limits imposed by illness. Her hope was stronger than bodily limits and her fidelity in hope made of her God's instrument.

The limits of her body caused that fatigue against which she struggled throughout her life as a Little Sister. During the first years of the foundation when she went around the world at an excessive pace, she often had nothing left but the prayer:

'I cannot go on, have mercy on me!'

God reduced her to this state of human powerlessness so that all might come from his strength. God's strength is made manifest in her weakness and exhaustion.