How blessed we Visitation Sisters are to have St. Jane de Chantal as the Foundress of our Order and as our spiritual Mother! On Sunday, August 12th, as Visitation Sisters throughout the world will be celebrating her feast we shall hold in prayer our faithful and blog friends.
I have always loved and admired our Saint because of her straightforward, down to earth, simple yet challenging spirituality. During her life, Jane de Chantal had endured the fiery furnace of suffering and emerged as a woman of strong faith, spiritual wisdom and a gentle heart. She had learned how to “Live Jesus.”
Fostered by her Spiritual Director, St. Francis de Sales, she built her sanctity upon the sturdy rock of discerning God’s will in all the circumstances of her life, a life marked by extraordinary losses of those near and dear to her.
Her mentor led her to embrace all that life presented her, so she could open herself radically to the presence of God in all her life’s events. Her task was to learn how to be present to the moment, as she found it, and to embrace it lovingly as a sign of God’s good pleasure.
She often encouraged those in authority to “lead those in your care with a kind and understanding heart; give them a holy liberty of spirit and remove from your mind and theirs any unhealthy spirit of constraint.” She had learned gentleness through adversity.
As Jane de Chantal found sanctity as a young woman, a devoted wife, a loving mother, a heavy-hearted widow, and a holy religious, she offers us all a pattern for reaching toward holiness: seeking God’s will and embracing it as the events of our lives unfold.
We will share with you each day this week a thought from our Saint so that together we may learn from her example and her words a faithful way of living in God’s presence and accepting his holy will.