A letter to Angela Merici

By Sister Martha Buser OSU

st ursula gardenDear Mother, sister and friend, Angela Merici,

Your feast day was January 27 and I failed to write then. But here I am now, a tardy daughter, to thank you and to wish you a happy feast day

First, I am grateful to you for giving us a way of life. Slowly we realize you never founded an order of nuns nor wanted us to be teachers in a classroom. We did this latter for a long time very well. But actually, what you left us was much more; you taught us how to love in the world as followers, disciples of Jesus Christ.

Your time of the high Renaissance, was so like ours: scandals in the Church, terrible political strife, broken families, people fleeing terror from tyrants, finding no refuge.

You told us to be present where we were needed as you did. Would you go to the border where so many migrants and refugees are suffering? I can just see you there.

And probably at soup kitchens or under the bridges with the homeless. You and your Lover would be there as well.

And you probably weep with sexual abuse victims, especially those abused by priests. The Church in your days was in shambles, worse than now.

Through it all you remained faithful to your conviction that God was your Lover, the Lover of us all. So, you were hopeful, simple, composed, peaceful, happy. You knew who you were and who God is.

I’m certain you were present to those who mourned the loss of loved ones. You knew their grief first-hand since you lost your parents and your beloved sister. Later, she seemed to be part of your religious experience that planted the first seeds of your later gifts to the Church, a profound love for others.

As a result, you loved your daughters and loved them, each one engraved on your heart. True love acts that way, as you told us.

So, it’s clear that the legacy you left your daughters was about love and service. Louisville Ursulines, Sisters and Associates—your daughters, express your gift to all ages as a contemplative love for others and a resulting openness to serve the needs of others.

Dear sister and mother, happy feast day a little late. Help us to remember that you are always in our midst, joining us in prayer.

With love,
Your tardy daughter,
Martha

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