Tag Archives: Margaret Anna Cusack

Margaret Anna Fridays – God’s Infinite Love

Mother Francis Clare (Margaret Anna Cusack)
Mother Francis Clare (Margaret Anna Cusack)

Periodically on Fridays I will share some words of wisdom from the founder of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace. Known in religion as Mother Francis Clare, Margaret Anna Cusack was a prolific writer in her day. The following quote comes from a book she wrote on the Beatitudes which I was lucky enough to borrow from the archives during my novitiate.

Everything in our spiritual life is in one sense plain, and yet in another, full of mystery.  Of one thing, indeed, we are sure – that God loves us with an infinite love, that He desires our perfection as well as our salvation, that He is ever helping us to attain that perfection, and that we, alas! are constantly placing obstacles in our way.

~M.F. Cusack, The Book of the Blessed Ones 1874

Margaret Anna Fridays – on the gift of writing

Mother Francis Clare (Margaret Anna Cusack)
Mother Francis Clare (Margaret Anna Cusack)

Periodically on Fridays I will share some words of wisdom from the founder of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace. Known in religion as Mother Francis Clare, Margaret Anna Cusack was a prolific writer in her day. Happily, thanks to public domain and the many internet book projects, much of her writing is now available online. As someone who herself has been slowly growing into her own identity as a writer, I have a special affinity for that aspect of her story. I’m willing to bet that if she were alive today, she’d be using social media and blogs to spread the gospel of peace!

Since God has been pleased to give me a gift of writing,… I feel I would be ungrateful to God and undutiful to the Church if I did not use my poor efforts on the side of truth and peace.

Margaret Anna Fridays: Vocation Awareness Week Edition

Mother Francis Clare (Margaret Anna Cusack)
Mother Francis Clare (Margaret Anna Cusack)

Periodically on Fridays I will share some words of wisdom from the founder of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace. Known in religion as Mother Francis Clare, Margaret Anna Cusack was a prolific writer in her day. Happily, thanks to public domain and the many internet book projects, much of her writing is now available online.  She was a woman of her time and yet, ahead of her time in many ways. In this quote, for example, she writes about the type of Sisters she wanted to join her new community. She recognized that the mission to promote peace in family life, in church, and in society required a certain type of person.

We are beginning a new Order. We want brave, noble, large-minded, courageous souls…”
~Mother Francis Clare to the new community, 1887

She wrote those words in 1887, and our history tells us that this is who God called to our Congregation. At our most recent Chapter in September, we responded anew to her call in our Chapter Call:

Disturbed by the Spirit, we recommit ourselves to Jesus’ way of radical hospitality. 

We are called to a deeper and wider living of community for mission in company with poor and marginalized people. 

Our contemplative discernment pushes us, individually and as Congregation, to action; deeper mutual support enables us to take risks for justice, peace and the integrity of creation.

As disciples of Jesus, we respond anew to the call of Mother Clare to be “brave, noble, large-minded courageous souls.”

This week is National Vocation Awareness Week here in the U.S., and I happen to be attending the 25th anniversary convocation of the National Religious Vocation Conference in Chicago with three of my CSJP Sisters.

Please join me, us, in praying for women (and men) who might be hearing God’s call to be brave, noble, and large-minded, especially those who might be called to live out this call as Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace or Associates.

If this was who was needed to promote peace in Mother Francis Clare’s time, it certainly seems true today in 2014.

Margaret Anna Fridays: Our Manner of Speech

Mother Francis Clare (Margaret Anna Cusack)
Mother Francis Clare (Margaret Anna Cusack)

Periodically on Fridays I will share some words of wisdom from the founder of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace. Known in religion as Mother Francis Clare, Margaret Anna Cusack was a prolific writer in her day. Happily, thanks to public domain and the many internet book projects, much of her writing is now available online.  She was a woman of her time and yet, ahead of her time in many ways. In this quote, for example, she writes about what we would today call nonviolent communication.

We are too apt to think because speech is momentary, that it is therefore insignificant;  and there are not a few who excuse themselves for offending others causelessly and grievously on the plea that they have only said a few words, or that they did not mean all they said.  But in truth, words are exterior signs of what passes in our hearts;  and whatever our manner of speech may be, it indicates that which is within, that which is real, that which is, as a rule, under our own control, else there were no such thing as human responsibility, and, as a necessary consequence, no ground for the eternal judgment. – M.F. Cusack, Book of the Blessed Ones, 1874

Margaret Anna Fridays – Poverty

Mother Francis Clark (Margaret Anna Cusack)
Mother Francis Clare (Margaret Anna Cusack)

Periodically on Fridays I will share some words of wisdom from the founder of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace. Known in religion as Mother Francis Clare, Margaret Anna Cusack was a prolific writer in her day. Happily, thanks to public domain and the many internet book projects, much of her writing is now available online.  She was a woman of her time and yet, ahead of her time in many ways.

“We are, then, put face to face with the great fact of Poverty, we are put face to face with the certain consequences of the continuance of such a condition of things, and if we have one spark of humanity we are put face to face with the question, What can we do personally and individually to lessen poverty, if we cannot abolish it?”

~The Question of Today: Anti-Poverty & Progress (1887) by M.F. Cusack

Margaret Anna Fridays – Feast of St. Francis

MargaretAnnaCusackI am bringing a tradition from my old blog to this new one … Margaret Anna Fridays. Periodically on Fridays I will share some words of wisdom from the founder of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace. Known in religion as Mother Francis Clare, Margaret Anna Cusack was a prolific writer in her day. Happily, thanks to public domain and the many internet book projects, much of her writing is now available online.

This quotation is from a little book of hers I just discovered of Novenas, Hymns, and Litanies in honor of St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi (1863)

The love of St. Francis for his neighbour. Whoever could have penetrated into the heart of Francis of Assisi, would have found there a happy combination of charity and tenderness for his neighbour. … He could not even see a poor person without the tenderest pity. ….

And you, O great saint, whose compassionate bounty I implore, obtain for me a heart not with the prejudice of self-love, but with the sweet bond which unites me to him by the profession of Christianity, and by the life and doctrine of the Saviour.

Happy eve of the Feast of St. Francis!