9. Before being a religious, be human and a Christian

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And I would go even farther and say:

Before being religious, be human and Christian in all the strength and beauty of these terms. Christ was true God and true man, so do not be afraid of being human; for the more you are totally human, the more you be able to give glory to the Father, who is glorified in his creatures. Then your religious life will grow and develop on a solid, well-balanced and normal basis.

And if I am so sure of what I say, in spite of the fact that such a form of religious life may seem rather daring, it is only because this life is in conformity with the Gospel and the Tradition of the Church, as St. Paul wrote in his letter to the Corinthians:

Though I am not the slave of any man, I have made myself the slave of everyone so as to win as many as I could.  I made myself a Jew, to win the Jews. I made myself a subject to the Law, to win those who are subjects to the Law.  To those who have no Law, I was free of the Law myself, to win those who have no Law For the weak I made myself weak. I made myself all things to all men in order to save all. I still do this, for the sake of the Gospel, to have a share in its blessings.  (1 Cor 9:19-24).

The reason why I insist on this so much is that Jesus, our one and only Model, God Incarnate, made himself one of us, making it his delight to dwell among the children of men.  Jesus, although he was divine, exalted our human nature by taking on our humanity.

And yet, what an abyss between God and man. And if God took on a human form in spite of this abyss, did he not mean his humanity to serve as an example for us?  Do we think that we could do better than out divine model, Jesus: Jesus, Son of Mary and foster son of the carpenter Joseph, Jesus at Bethlehem, Jesus the workman at Nazareth, Jesus going about Palestine, Jesus during his Passion, accepting out of love to die on a cross before a crowd that mocked him with jeers and insults?

You will have to know how to defend this high ideal. And above all, help those you live among to understand it, for you will sometimes be a sign of contradiction.

Help others to understand that we are all united in the love of the Lord as members of one body, and that this love can be expressed in many different ways and can allow for many different forms of religious life.

As a Little sister of Jesus, you must always subordinatethe external rules of your religious life to living the Gospel. Your vocation will tell you to put charity above all rules, for it is the fundamental rule, the greatest commandment of Jesus.

The reason for keeping a minimum of enclosure and for observing silence is for you to keep closely united to Jesus. It is to make you grow in his love, and not to set you apart from his brothers and sisters, who are your brothers and sisters too. Often you will have to be ready to break the silence you have grown to love so as to receive someone who comes to knock at your door, no matter how inconvenient or unrewarding his visit may seem to you. In every person you welcome, you welcome Jesus.