This article written by Sr. Patricia Spillane, MSC, past General Superior, was recently discovered by Sr. Christine Marie Baltas, MSC. The original copy may have been tucked in the late Sr. Victoria Dority’s Bible which resides in the Gatehouse on the campus of Cabrini University.
In observance of the Feast Day, Sr. Patricia’s article is excerpted here.
This message of love seems particularly relevant in this time.
The spirituality of Mother Cabrini grew into an ardent devotion to the Sacred Heart because she had been first seized by the loving person of Jesus. This Jesus who was present to her in the pages of the Gospel, also revealed Himself to her in her everyday life at all its stages. Through these experiences, she was impelled to return love for Love…in a life of ever-increasing prayer, service of others, and imitation of Him. Specifically, the love of God made manifest in Jesus Christ drew her into that explicit mode of discipleship in the Church known as religious life. Since God Himself is the teacher of deeply interior souls, Cabrini grew in intuitive appreciation of love as the central reality of the spiritual life – that love which is “poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit”. Hence came her innate attraction for the Holy Spirit and for the Eucharist – principal gifts of the Heart of Christ.
In the same manner, Mother Cabrini was intuitively drawn to those interior attitudes which correspond to the chief attributes of the devotion to the Divine Heart: adoration, reparation and missionary fervor.
This attitude of participation in Christ’s redemptive activity naturally impelled her to missionary activity as the consequence of God’s love for her – a boundless zeal to bring all to the Father as she herself had been brought. It was this redemptive love for those whom Christ loved that she sought to express in the possibilities of a vow of charity and in dedicating her religious family to the “greater glory of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.”
Sr. Patricia wrote to her Missionary Sisters, “As missionaries of the Sacred Heart and inheritors of Cabrini’s insight into the ‘love of God made visible in Christ Jesus,’ both the foundation and the goal of our life must be love. We must always seek to grow in profound and fruitful appreciation of all the aspects of God’s love. We must be signs of God’s love in the world – a love which is redemptive, zealous, universal, fruitful and faithful.”