Humility: the way of God
You should now enter on the ways of God. . . . You should then endeavor to know what are His ways. It is supposed that not all the distractions at prayer or neglect of duty would cause God to withhold His graces from a religious so much as a departure from His ways. A religious who would be considered the most active of the community, who would get through a great deal of business with what is called fuss would be departing from the ways of God, which are all peace and tranquility. The humble, quiet religious who does not do half so much but does all in a manner becoming the character of a religious attracts the eye of God far more and draws down greater graces on her soul.

Attracting the Love of God
If you keep your heart thus fervently united to Him, He will pour on your soul fervor and consolation such as is unknown to the tepid and surpasses all the delights of the world. He will do so because you do all in your power to attract His friendship. You should remember that not to advance is to go back, and you should reflect each day that you can do more to attract God’s love and friendship than you did the day before. The best means to obtain His favor is to make frequent acts of the love of God. At first you may not feel fervor but it will increase, provided you are faithful in the practice of acts of love, for love begets love. Those who arrive at perfect love of God will feel such peace of soul as nothing will be able to disturb.

Gratitude to God
As the most acceptable return a benefactor can receive from those on whom He bestows favors is a countenance testifying the gratitude of the heart, how acceptable must it be to God when we make Him this return, showing to all by our happy, cheerful countenance the gratitude with which our hearts overflow towards Him for His many favors in this life and His many promises for the one to come. To whom did He make these great promises? To poor fishermen who had nothing to leave but a boat and nets, proof that He does not regard so much what we leave as the will wherewith we leave it.

Charity begins at home
Our exercises of charity performed abroad will have no value before God if there be not established at home a solid foundation of this virtue, for the Scriptures tell us, “Love one another”; surely then, a well-regulated charity begins at home. On this condition will our exterior duties be acceptable to Him. If there be anything difficult in this virtue, the example of Christ will make it not only easy but delightful. If a sister appears to receive your attention with coldness and not with that affection you would wish, you should show her by every means in your power that you feel nothing toward her but the most cordial and affectionate charity. A sister who acts otherwise undermines as much as she can the institute to which she belongs and is far from obeying the command of Christ, “Love one another as I have loved you.”

The spirit of union
It is therefore by being united to Jesus Christ that we will be united with each other. This spirit of union is the greatest blessing Almighty God can bestow on a community, since God looks upon the convent where perfect charity reigns as a delightful garden, a paradise where He loves to dwell. Endeavor to contribute as far as in you lies to make that in which you reside such in His sight.

Practicing cordiality
Though a sister’s state of health may prevent her from performing any of the active duties of the house or her incapacity to fill them may cause her to think she is of little or no value to the community, yet if she practices cordiality towards all her sisters she is doing a great deal both for God and for the community. She is then taking an active part in all the duties of the order. . . . The prosperity or advancement of the order neither depends on nor should be attributed to the good reader, writer, or tran- scriber, although such are very desirable, but to the humble, cordial, affectionate, obliging, complying and charitable sister.

The life and maxims of Jesus
A religious should have recourse to her divine Savior in all her troubles and difficulties with a lively faith which consists not merely in believing that He knows her wants and can relieve them but in an enlivening and animating faith which should console and comfort her in the deepest affliction. We should be delighted to make known all our wants and weaknesses to Him who is willing and able to relieve them, and we should persevere in representing them until we obtain what we want or whatever is His will to grant us. The life and maxims of Jesus Christ should be for a religious a book continually open before her mind and she should take His virtues separately, endeavoring to imitate them. This should be her constant care and study.
Prayer is a plant
Fervent prayer should be the life and soul of a religious. She is the daughter of prayer and should implore her heavenly Father to bestow this spirit upon her. . . . Prayer is a plant, the seed of which is sown in the heart of every Christian. If it is well-cultivated and nourished, it will produce abundant fruit, but if it is neglected it will wither and die.

A reflection on Catherine’s death
Martinmastide is a bright little season set almost midway in November’s deepening somberness. Literally it extends from the death day of St. Martin of Tours, November 8, to his burial day, November 11, observed by the Church as his feast day. In passing, Martin the Bishop has left a bit of color on the faded year, a thin gold line of demarcation: Martinmas summer on the land, Martinmas tenure on the calendar.

[Henri] Gheon says: “It is an autumnal feast of hope. On St. Martin’s day we taste the wine of the last gathering; we build fires of leaves on the hills; outstanding claims are settled, leases renewed . . . so that the past is closed, the future opened up.” Sometime during the first week of November Mother Catherine became bedridden. She was anointed on Monday, November 8, and died during the evening of November 11. In the interim she preserved her calm, her tender consideration for the sisters, her graciousness, her great reserve on her interior life. The Mass of the feast was celebrated in the infirmary the day of her death. With what fervor she followed it can be imagined from her counsel to the novices.

“If thy whole body be lightsome . . . the whole shall be lightsome,” the Gospel ran, “and as a bright lamp shall enlighten thee” . . . “My truth and my mercy shall be with him” . . . “Blessed is that servant whom, when the Lord shall come, he shall find watching: amen I say to you, he shall set him over all his goods.” The hours of the day brought her brother, his wife, and their daughters. Of her sister’s children she supposed all dead, but one on the other side of the world would have consoled her, could she have seen the future.

She summoned her lawyer and confirmed her will, securing to the community her “real freehold and personal property” through the hands of Archbishop Murray. The rule had been confirmed in Rome the previous summer.

A novena of years, and her work was done! To the sisters she gave her personal blessing and a parting injunction, no new message but the “union and charity” she had spent herself to teach and exemplify. The words were repeated so often during her last hours that they stand out as she hoped they would. Finally, as if to make them imperishable, she gave her dying pledge, a promise that was prophecy. If the sisters would preserve union and charity among themselves, they would know such happiness as would cause them wonder.

With her death Martinmas evening the past was closed, the future opened up; and Sisters of Mercy claim that lightsome feast of hope for their own