While searching in our library recently I came across a copy of a book entitled, “The Mystical Heart of Catherine McAuley “, presented by the author, to a member of the Community at St Mary’s Convent, Handsworth, a coincidence at this time, don’t you think? The piece below is one of the reflections she shares.
One of Catherine’s most endearing qualities was her sense of humour and her irrepressible spirit of fun .It seemed to be a saving grace for everyone, especially when hardship was at its worst. In fact it was at times of intense hardship that her great gifts of cheerfulness and laughter were at their best. She constantly encouraged her companions to develop a similar attitude so that they could radiate the kind of energy that is life-giving and hopeful to those around them. She believed that this was a sure sign of grace flowing and God’s Spirit reaching into hearts and lives to strengthen and carry them in whatever they were bearing.
As we sit with the needs and desires of our own hearts and times, let us hear Catherine’s simple words reverberating within. And let those words fall like welcome dew onto the hard and difficult places of our lives, refreshing and enlivening them again.
The gift of Joy and Happiness that Catherine’s cheerfulness brought to all whose lives she touched, is an echo of the words of Pope Francis,
“The joyful heart always grows in freedom. The fundamental aspect of joy is that deep peace of the Spirit, who is present in the most painful moments of the Cross.”