Steward of God’s mercy
There was also in her life what Father Luke Dempsey, op, has termed “a marvelous inter- action between doctrine and life.” Christ — in John Henry Newman’s phrase — was the stay of her soul, so that “even a life of intense activity was compatible with living in his presence.” Mother Catherine’s letters prove beyond shadow of doubt that she never lost the sense of beingthe steward of God’s goodness and mercy and that she had three burning loves: our divine Lord, her Sisters and God’s poor. She took a long, loving, contemplative look at the reality of life as she saw it in nineteenth-century Ireland and England. From this came her gospel-based spiritual response as she pointed out a new way in which women could play an important and integral role in Church and in society.

Catherine’s gifts to the sisters.

Through her dedication to a God who is Mercy, Catherine McAuley became a woman of under- standing, quiet confidence, compassion and strength and portrayed qualities which induced her companions to love her as a mother and revere her as a saint. To them she gave the gifts of her heart: love, sympathy, tolerance, understanding and forgiveness; gifts of her mind: ideals, principles, purposes; gifts of the Spirit: Prayer, peace and a strengthening of faith, hope and charity. She gave them her time, she gave them friendship, she gave them an appreciation for music, beauty and the finer things of life. Above all, she taught them the simplicity of sanctity and she was their compass, directing them at all times to lead God-centered lives and to be true clients of Mary ‘under her sweet title of Mercy’.