Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Instruments of God

The Spirit of God wants to use you; you are His instruments. You are tools with which He is going to chisel out salvation for many souls. You are to work upon the lives of others. Fr. Thomas A. Judge, CM

Two instruments of God who had/have a profound effect on my life died this past month. One I've known since I entered the Missionary Servants of the Most Blessed Trinity on September 17, 1978. The other I never met in person and I'm sure he had no awareness of my existence, yet his work as a Biblical scholar has influenced my thoughts and actions for the good.
Sr. Francis Michael Proulx died August 12.  Each of her mission responsibilities included cooking, housekeeping and maintenance responsibilities. Whatever she did she did with love. In one of her evaluations of her ministry she wrote: “I am happy...being here for my Sisters, my way of thinking is,  a well fed Sister is a better Missionary. Please God, I will be able to cook and serve God in this way.”
In so many ways Sr. Francis Michael paid attention to others. She noticed if you were happy or sad. Her caring included everyone she met in the providence of her daily life, our staff in the Motherhouse, doctors, nurses, people she knew from her contacts in local stores and her family. Till her last day she was helping people whether they needed a listening ear, referrals to counseling or a cheerful smile of encouragement.

Carlo Maria Martini died August 31st. Several years ago I became aware of Cardinal Martini because his book, "The Joy of the Gospel" was mentioned in a workshop that I was attending. Thanks to the speaker, a professor of Biblical Studies at the Seminary in Philly at the time, I gained access to a writer who combined his deep understanding of scripture with great knowledge of the everyday needs of Christians.
From the news reports Cardinal Martini was considered liberal or progressive. He gave an interview to an Italian daily Corriere della Sera. shortly before his death calling for the Church leadership to reform, "The Church must admit its mistakes and begin a radical change, starting from the pope and the bishops. The paedophilia scandals oblige us to take a journey of transformation," he said.
I must admit I do agree that the wounds left from the pedophilia scandals continue to fester. The response from Church leadership in many diocese has been lacking, leaving many of the wounds to victims and their families and others unhealed.
These two people, so very different in many ways were so very alike in that their lives were centered in Jesus.
He authored many such books and devoted much of his time to the youth and young adults of his Archdiocese, Milan, Italy. Another big favorite of mine is his book, "The Gifts of the Holy Spirit"

For the instruments they were in my life and the lives of many others I give thanks and praise to God.

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