10. The human virtues

Working on a Fairground in FranceWorking on a Fairground in France

You must not set yourself apart from other people, thinking that this is how a religious must live. You will imitate Jesus, the perfect example for all human beings. Accept the hospitality of your neighbours in all simplicity, share their meals and rejoice with them. Through your respectful and kindly friendship the beauty and joy of a Christian life and a religious life will become familiar and alive.

And maybe some people will criticize you as they criticized Jesus for eating with known sinners and publicans, for becoming one with the masses, for letting yourself be bothered by children.

You may be criticized for lacking religious dignity, but do not let that worry you.

'No pupil is greater than his teacher; but every pupil when he has completed his training, will be like his teacher.' (Lk. 6:40)

'I have set an example for you so that you will do just what I have done for you.' (Jn. 13:15)

In IndiaIn India

You will not only cultivate the virtues of religious life – poverty, chastity and obedience – but will graft these onto the human virtues, which you must develop to the fullest for the honor and glory of Jesus Christ, the Son of God who became a man. Your religious virtues would be unnatural if they were not based on solid human virtues.

Try to develop the human qualities of daring, courage, and vigor, and do away with the human defects of timidity and fear.

In the same way, do your best to root out the feminine defects of being too sensitive and too imaginative. On the other hand, be careful not to destroy the feminine qualities of gentleness and dedication, of knowing how to give yourself in complete self-forgetfulness.

To be a little sister you must develop good common sense, sound judgment, prudence and fairness. Practicing these qualities will help you to avoid all false ideas concerning charity. A religious formation like this should help you to be responsible, to have a sense of duty, and to be conscientious in your work – requirements that are essential to everyday life.

Your desire to become little and to remain in the background, to be lowly and humble would be an illusion if it prevented you from being open minded and truly understanding, and thus giving glory to God.  Be careful not to be mean and petty; do not be too easily scandalized over unimportant things. Above all avoid being stiff or formal and acting like a Pharisee. Never be narrow minded for this can ruin true love.

Do not try to avoid difficulties and do not be afraid of danger or temptations They are a part of your vocation as way-maker.

On the other hand, do not be too passive, for you could deceive yourself into believing that you have surrendered yourself entirely to Providence simply because you are willing to do as someone else says without having to think for yourself.  On the contrary you must develop your will to the maximum, and you will see that by uniting your will to the divine will of Jesus, the Master of the Impossible, you can go very far, counting on his all-powerfulness to make you strong and courageous.

With the boldness of a faith capable of moving mountains you will believe that united to Jesus you can overcome the most difficult obstacles. Then words such as impossible, worry, fear or danger will no longer have meaning for you.

'One thing we owe completely to our Lord is never to be afraid of anything.' (Br. Charles of Jesus)

And you will remind yourself constantly that what is folly in the eyes of others is very often wisdom in the eyes of God.

In moments of discouragement and weariness you must again exercise patience and perseverance, telling yourself over and over again:

'When you start out to do something, do not come back until you have done it.' (Br. Charles of Jesus to his sister)