"What we will do will follow what we are ... humility is the truth about ourselves. Empty yourself of yourself and you will find God." - Mother Evangelista Gaffney

These words have been with me since I first read them this weekend. Mother Evangelista was the first to enter the new order of Sisters of Peace of the Immaculate Conception of St Joseph founded by Mother Frances Clare (Margaret Anna Cusack). She then took the helm several years later when Mother Clare left the community guiding the congregation to a steady future of service as the Sisters of St Joseph of Newark. (It was only after Vatican II that the community reclaimed their history and name as Sisters of St Joseph of Peace).

A wise and strong woman to be sure. And her wise words have as I said been with me. Empty yourself of yourself ... and you will find God. That is such an interesting and rich definition of humility. Empty yourself of yourself. I've been thinking of it as empty yourself of your pretensions, your petty concerns, your self absorbstion. Your knowing you are right. Your knowing what is right. Get down to what really matters, what God wants and what God knows is right.

Food for thought this Thursday morning anyway as I head to work. The migraine I've had for the past few days seems to have gone away, thanks be to God. For a while there was no emptying myself of myself anyway as all there was was a migraine!

I love this picture of Mother Evangelista . She knows something ... you can just tell!



Sheils said...

Hi Susan - copy-editor that I am, I've always wondered about the groovy sisters' congregation's name. Are they: The Sisters of [St. Joseph of Peace], or The Sisters [of St. Joseph] of Peace? My ear defaults to the former, but then I thought, hmm, I've never heard of "St. Joseph of Peace." And today's post made me think it's the latter -- it's the sisters who are "of peace" -- since as far as I know there was never a "St. Joseph of Newark."

Either way, St. Joseph and peace are both involved, so I guess it's not a super-important question, but I figured I'd ask...

Susan Rose, CSJP said...

What an interesting question sheils!

If Susan D. pops in for a visit (or any other groovy sister) maybe they can give their two cents.

While I did receive an icon of "St Joseph of Peace" at my welcome ceremony, it was essentially an icon of St Joseph with the infant Jesus and some doves to symbolize the peace aspect.

I think of it both ways. Sisters of Peace. But also Sisters of St Joseph, patron of Peace.

Language is very interesting, eh?

Susan D said...

That IS a good question! Originally we were the St. Joseph's Sisters of Peace of the Immaculate Conception (complete with apostrophe)...a bit more name than any community should have to bear. It's pretty clear, though, that the central concept was "Sisters of Peace." It was a few decades after Mother Clare left before the name was changed (by the Vatican) to Sisters of St. Joseph of Newark (about 1928). When we reclaimed "peace" - in 1970 - the simplest approach, I suppose (wasn't a CSJP at the time) was to replace Newark with Peace, and turn from CSJs to CSJPs.