Pleas for Poverty, Second plea

1946-1947  First Worker Little Sisters Aix en Provence1946-1947 First Worker Little Sisters Aix en Provence

Submitted to Pius XII in Rome on June 1947.

All our desires:

They are the same as in 1944

1. The poverty of Jesus at Nazareth

I implore you Most Holy Father, that the Consultors of the Propaganda Fidei do not oblige us in our Constitutions to provide for the future, to assure ourselves of resources in case of sickness or old age. That they leave us the joy of surrendering ourselves and the joy of privation and suffering. That in the midst of working people and the poor who are in such straits at present and constantly insecure for the future, we need not be ‘well set-up’.

I implore you, Most Holy Father, let it not be at Rome that we were refused the joy of imitating the poverty of Jesus. All of us without exception desire this poverty and prefer it to all the goods of the earth.

Little Sisters of Father de Foucauld cannot have investments. They have no organised function to support, which might be an excuse for it. If they had dowries or investments it would be solely for themselves, when they must be fundamentally Christ’s poor.

They desire to earn their daily bread by hard work, as did Jesus, workman at Nazareth. Each community in the missions will be supported by a community at work. As in every family of workers, the stronger members will work for the younger, the older, the sick ones.

2. The leaven in the dough

The Little Sisters of Jesus ask to be allowed to live at the heart of the world, mingled in with everyone else, like everyone else. They will keep there an ideal of contemplative life as intense and as deep as possible, as Jesus did in His workshop at Nazareth, like Jesus on the journeys of His public life.

They want to make themselves part of the working class. Their field of action will be where they live and from there they want to try to be a bridge among all classes, among all races, all religions. Around them may bosses and workers, Muslims and Christians find the way to live side by side, loving one another with deep love instead of reviling and hating one another.

May they be in their community homes a living witness of mutual charity: ‘Jesus – Caritas’. In their homes, whose doors will be open wide and enclosure not strict, may lay people and religious meet as friends in great understanding and great love.

They want to live mingled in with working people, to work in factories and workshops, ‘workers among workers’ just as they are ‘Arabs among Arabs’ and ‘nomads among nomads’. They want to make Jesus'

presence shine out, humbly, silently. Through them people may perhaps catch a close-up glimpse of the true face of religious life and of the Church, the true Face of Christ.