Charity – Twenty-Fourth Day of November
“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart. This is the greatest and the first commandment,
and the second is like to this: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” — St. Matt. 22:38
Among those whom we understand by our neighbor, there is none who deserve this title more than our servants. They are nearer to us, living under the same roof, eating the same bread; they should be the principal objects of our love. Let us practice towards them all the acts of true charity. This should not be founded on the claims of flesh and blood, nor personal qualities, but should be all for God. — St. Francis of Sales.
It is to be desired that every Christian woman would copy the admirable manner in which a certain woman conducted herself towards her husband, children and servants. Solidly virtuous, there was nothing austere in her piety, nothing repelling, nothing but what was gracious. The end she proposed in all she did and said was to make virtue loved and practiced for the love of Our Saviour, Who was the God of her heart. She never ceased to offer family to God through the Blessed Virgin, to whom she had great devotion. To her husband she would say: “We have a great responsibility. It is in laboring for the salvation of those confided to us that we are securing our own salvation. We must give them good example and pray much for them.” At the hour fixed for rising, she went herself to awaken them. “Let us bless God, my children; give your heart to God, Who is your Father; arise with modesty, pronounce the holy names of Jesus, Mary, Joseph, take holy water religiously, kneel down and adore your Creator.” She then said morning prayers with them and all the domestics. After the prayers, she read for them a short meditation, to teach them to reflect upon the great truths of salvation. They offered their work for the day to God, desiring to walk in His presence always. She frequently said to her children that though she loved them much, she would rather hear of their death than to know they had committed a mortal sin. There was a time in the day for catechism, another for the beads, and another for spiritual reading — an excellent practice to feed our souls with heavenly nourishment, with thoughts of God, in place of vain, empty, and useless reading. Would that God was as well served by all Christian mothers!
My God, fill me with a holy zeal for the sanctification of those committed to my care. I will teach them their duty if Thou wilt help me. Grant that I may set them a good example and cease not to pray for them.