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       Commemoration !

In the month of November, we commemorate the saints in heaven who bring our dear departed into their circle of dance. We also celebrate a feast that is very dear to us : the anniversary of the death of Angélique le Sourd, who died on November 16, 1835.

This a wonderful opportunity for us to remember one of the principal trademarks of Angélique’s spiritual experience, left to us as part of her legacy : humility. But what is humility ? We know about false humility which is pride in disguise. Then there is pseudo-humility which works well to cover up our timidity, our reluctance to commit ourselves to something, or our lack of courage when it comes to participating day to day.
True humility is the acknowledgement that what we have and who we are come from an Other, and that these gifts are meant for the good of all. Discovering that we are not the source, and that the horizon is beyond ourselves, gives us unbelievable energy.
Recently, Father John, the chaplain of the Mother House, reflected on Saint John Chrysostom’s beautiful image of two teams of horses. Imagine two chariots in a race in the middle of the arena. Harness the first chariot with virtue and pride. Harness the second with sin and humility. Watch them as they run the race. You will see sin’s team get ahead of virtue’s team, not because of sin’s power, but due to the strength of humility that accompanies it. Virtue, weighed down by pride, is left well behind.
Humility gives wings. It doesn’t worry about itself but runs to be at the service of others, gently, without imposing itself. It knows how to communicate its momentum enthusiastically, and steps lightly in order to comfort those who carry the burden of the day. Then it takes off again, without dwelling upon the past, nor leaving behind unnecessary tracks, like Angélique.
There are some saints before whom we feel immediately the distance that separates us from them. Others, right away, inspire in us a sense of nearness. Angélique falls into this second category. She hardly needs to be included in the Calendar of Saints for her to be really close to us while at the same time being our model and sure guide to the Heart of Jesus. Humility gave wings to Angélique. May Angélique give us the grace of humility that comes from Christ, so that we can race directly to his Open Heart !

Sr. Anne Chapell - Angelica n°29 - November 2016

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