in the tender and humble heart of jesus...

When I was in Montreal after Easter I fell in love with the Chapel of Notre-Dame de Bon Secours. It is one of the oldest Christian worship centers in the city as well as being part of Leonard Cohen's inspiration for the song, "Suzanne." A huge statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary sits atop the chapel facing the port as a sign of blessing for sailors and those who traverse the seas. Inside, besides the quiet and candle light, are small devotional pamphlets with words from the writing of Marguerite Bourgeoys.  She was the founder of an order for non-cloistered women religious in New France (1658.) One prayer particularly speaks to me:

Loving Heart of God - in this sacred place of prayer, I lift my heart in union with all peoples of the earth who call out to you in faith, praise and gratitude. Be with me on this journey. Expand my heart to hold as sacred all those you h ave given me to love. Amen.

That gets it just about right for me at this moment in my journey: let me be connected to all people of whatever faith who live into praise and gratitude. Today felt like that is exactly what I was called to do. I listened and shared, I laughed and wept, I prayed and received blessings.  It was a day given over to both accepting and sharing the simple gifts of life. Jean Vanier of L'Arche speaks of this as humility.

Humility means accepting our place in the body of a community and respecting the place of others. It means obeying others and serving them. Humility means recognizing the importance of doing small things for the community.  Humility also means having the courage of one's convictions and being fully responsible so that the community can become more loving and true. By being in communion with Jesus, who is gentle and humble of heart, we can be freed of our tendencies to judge and condemn others. We can live humbly with the humble and build with them places of peace and love, places of hope in a wounded world. (The Heart of L'Arche: A Spirituality for Every Day, p. 63)

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