Our dearest desires and pleas for Poverty

1944 Rome1944 Rome

Little Sister Magdeleine of Jesus gave this note to Plus XII after reading it at the first audience she had with him in Rome, on the 19 December 1944.

1. That we may remain always Little Sisters "of no importance at all",whom no one would think of calling "Reverend Mother". That, without shocking anyone or drawing reproaches for our lack of dignity, we may live, be housed and travel the way the lowliest do, like Jesus who lost nothing of His divine dignity when He took on the humanity of a poor workman.

2. That we may have the right to be, like Jesus, really and truly poor people, living from the humble work of our hands and from alms, with no dowries or investments. That lay people not be the only ones with the privilege of following Christ in His poverty, and that the vow of poverty we make not serve to oblige us to plan for the future and be sure of lacking nothing.

I humbly implore the Holy Father to grant us the privilege of being able to follow the poor Christ, who was born in a manger and lived from one day to the next laboriously earning His daily bread.

3. That we may, in union with Jesus be able to offer our lives for our brothers and sisters of Islam.

Like the Christians of the first centuries, that we may desire martyrdom.

4. That we may, like Jesus, not be set apart but live intimately mingled in with the mass of humankind like leaven in the dough. That we may make ourselves all things to all people, Arabs in the midst of Arabs, nomads in the midst of nomads. That we may take on their language, their customs, and even their way f thinking.

5. That we may keep formulas like these:

"Always put charity above all rules as the highest rule: the great Commandment of the Lord".

"Be human and Christian before all else. Make no rigid barriers, no rules for the petty outward details, but be formed for a deep interior life."