Saint Angela’s Call
Opening prayer: O God, who through Saint Angela promised us that We, as Ursulines, along with our Associates, could live in harmony and peace. Grant that by her intercession we may be grace-filled and full of charity, faith and hope in God. Let all that we do and become be rooted in Christ and motivated by service to His people.
Leader: Our ongoing formation in 2020-21 will relate the words of Saint Angela through her Counsels focusing on how each of us can listen more intently and speak without judgment, embrace adversity, and not lose hope. These foci are a continuation from the second session that dealt with giving good example, spreading peace, charity and patience.
Reader 1: The Call: My dearest Daughters – God says, I am covenanted, committed forever to love you; to do whatever is best for you … Let us be attentive and listen, paying heed to the instructions given to you out of love.
Reader 2: Perhaps it is a simple story from a child. Maybe it is a decision about abortion versus adoption or a person asking for help on the roadside or a lonely elderly person abandoned by family. No matter, when was the last time you really listened without speaking or judging what was said? Did you value the person who was sharing? Did the words shared penetrate your heart, bring enlightenment to your soul or were they just empty words? Saint Angela urges us to “give good example – teaching more by what you do than what you say.” (5th Counsel)
Leader: The questions below relate to a good listener. Take a few moments to share.
- When have you practiced good listening for the sake of the other? What words did you use to encourage and support the person? How did it make a difference in the person’s life? Share the encounter.
- What words and/or examples of Saint Angela gave you the strength to reach out with kindness and solely for the good of a soul?
Reader 3: “If you all stand united in heart, you will be strong in adversities.” (9th Counsel)
Reader 4: We read the newspapers and watch the news. We see and hear pandemic, pandemic! Death tolls climbing, schools closing, curfews for restaurants and bars, wear masks, social distancing a must, and travel not advised. Election drama is widespread. Violence and killings are numerous. Black Lives Matter is urgent. How do we get through this? Where do we turn?
Reader 5: Reflective Thoughts: Scripture (S) and Saint Angela (A)
S-1. “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.” (1Corinthians 11:1)
A-1. “Carry on steadfastly and faithfully the work you have undertaken.” (Introduction to the Counsels)
S–2. “I will be with you.” (Matthew 28: 20)
A-2. “I shall always be in your midst, lending aid to your prayers.” (9th Counsel)
S-3. “He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them His way.” Psalm 25-9
A-3. “For if it is Jesus who directs and teaches you, you will be well taught.” (7th Counsel)
S–4. “Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrong.” (1 Corinthians 13: 5-6)
A-4. “For in these troubled times you will find no other refuge than at the feet of Jesus Christ.” (7th Counsel)
Leader: Consider these questions about anxiety and trouble.
- Give some small examples of strength during adversity. How were you successful?
- What steps do you take to embrace diversity head on?
- How does your faith assist you when you are anxious, fearful or troubled?
Reader 6: “We are the hands of Christ reaching out to those in need, the face of God for all to see. We are the spirit of hope; we are the voice of peace. Go make a difference in the world.” Angela knew to build community meant to follow the works of mercy and to direct all things to God who is love. Therefore Go, Make a Difference!
Reader 7: “Have faith and keep up your courage.” (5th Counsel)
Reader 8: We need to be people of hope. God will never abandon us. Let our mantra be faith and courage. “Continue to cling together in the bond of charity, esteeming one another, helping one another, supporting one another in Christ Jesus.” (9th Counsel) Angela was a woman filled with hope. She believed the most direct path to God was undoubtedly that of the works of mercy, which she practiced throughout her life. She found her refuge at the feet of Jesus during troubled times.
Leader: Consider these questions concerning hope and building community.
- Where can we build community?
- What blinds us to those who need hope?
- In what ways do we follow the works of mercy, especially during these uncertain times?
Therefore, my Daughters, be watchful, stand firm in faith, be courageous, and be strong. Let all that you do be done with love. Encourage your daughters to continue resolutely with the tasks they have begun, and be happy together, for what I have told you will come about without fail. But first, I embrace you, and to you all I give the kiss of peace, begging God to bless you. In Nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen. (1 Corinthians 16: 13-14); (Counsels Address to the Leaders); (Last Legacy: Final Farewell)