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From the Archives

(The following is from the book of Circular Letters of Reverend Mother De Lescure, pages 64-66. These are letters from the superior general to the whole Society. Submitted by Margaret Phelan, RSCJ, Archivist.)

July 16, 1949

MATER ADMIRABILIS – the jewel of the Society – has been given to us as the virginal guardian keeping watch at the threshold of this sanctuary; Mater Admirabilis, treasure of calm and serenity, in activity which should spring from the only fruitful source without ever exhausting or troubling it. We love her for the light of her lowered eyes, for the peace radiating from her countenance, for her very attitude revealing her inner fullness of grace. To have spent a few moments in her presence is a grace that leaves a lasting trace in our lives, and the welcome that this dear picture gives us everywhere we go throughout the Society is one of the signs that we are indeed at home. And yet we religious have much to learn from her. It is by long contemplation of her with the eyes of the spirit, and by prayer to her, Reverend Mothers and dear Sisters, that we shall best discover the solution of the difficult problem of which I spoke to you in my circular letter of January, 1948. Under the pressure of over-activity which at times consumes us, disturbs us, or scatters our energies here below in doing what is visible and accidental, let us come to our "Mater." She is the Virgin of the Invisible and the Virgin of the Essential. I love to pray for you thus to her, to beg her to detach us, to free us from all that is of the senses, to lead us on, and to fix our gaze upon the Invisible which her own eyes look upon: the Invisible Presence, the Invisible Life, the Invisible Action, the Invisible Love, all those things which are the eternal values in us and the great realities of Faith. May she keep us throughout our busy and over-crowded days in the radiance of the things that are not seen and according to the words of St. Paul, "firm as if we beheld the Invisible" (Heb.11:27)·

In the midst of non-essentials which invite and often beguile us, we run the risk of encumbering our souls and confusing our values. May she give us a right understanding of the Essential and a hunger for it! One thing alone is necessary-the will of God and the work of His love to which His holy will consecrates us. Whatever is not part of God's will is either accessory, contingent, indifferent, or of little importance. All would be danger, illusion or error as soon as God's will cannot rest in it. But whatever God's will marks with its seal, no matter what may be its importance, its size, or its worth in the eyes of men, there is the essential, there, in full activity, are the strength and fruitfulness, security and deep happiness, because there is God's action and, consequently, His life and His love. "Mater" will tell you these things better than I, Reverend Mothers and dear Sisters. But now you know what my prayer for you will always be when I kneel before her.