11. Love and Friendship

In AustriaIn Austria

You will never be asked to keep your eyes lowered in the name of religious reserve, but instead keep them wide open so as to see very clearly the suffering and misery of the world, as well as the beauty of life and of the entire universe.  Do not go around looking serious and austere, and likewise do not be too easily offended or put off by little things. Instead, try to be loving and friendly, with a sense of humor and a spirit of cheerfulness, so that your joy may bear witness to the one who is the Author of all joys, the Source of all goodness. For the love of him you will manage to keep smiling in spite of difficulties and weariness which are a part of everyday life.

You will not be asked to give up your love for your family and friends. Rather you will be reminded that the fourth commandment is natural law as well as divine law, and no rule in religious life could replace or abolish it. Only your love for Jesus can be greater than the love you owe your parents.

You will also be told that pure and upright friendship is too beautiful to be diminished or destroyed. Rather your friendship with others must grow, by being constantly transformed and purified in the love of Christ, who by becoming man has shown us the perfect ideal of friendship. In his name you will be told to have a great desire for universal friendship. A friendship that goes out to every person in the world, simply so that you may show your love, and not because you expect something in return, even in the way of apostolic satisfaction.

Under the pretext of humility, you will not be asked to stop thinking and acting for yourself, to stifle your personality, or to deny or hide your talents. Humility is truth, and a talent is above all a gift from God that he has entrusted to you so that you can make it grow and bear fruit. You are not the author of your talents so why be boastful? Do not dishonor the Lord by slighting the gift he has given you or by burying your talents, Instead, do your best to make them bear fruit to the fullest, for the glory of the Lord Jesus who gave you these talents.  Develop your sense of responsibility, then submit it totally but intelligently to religious obedience. Develop your personality to the fullest, but only for the service of Christ. God does not give the same vocation, the same grace or enlightenment to everyone. You are not asked to be like anyone else.So try to discern your personal orientation in order to make it grow within the framework of the vocation common to all the Little Sisters of Jesus.