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As women religious, we took vows to reflect the light, love, and life of Jesus Christ.

But what does it mean to reflect Jesus in this way?

The word reflection has a multitude of definitions.

For Catholic Sisters Week

We invite you to contemplate one definition of reflection per day in terms of Jesus and his life.

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March 8

To reflect means: To cause a change of direction.

The spirit of our founder, Father Jean-Pierre Médaille, SJ in the 17th century, invites us to “wait to be led by grace and follow it when it comes." (Maxim 84) Each day, we pay attention to how we are being transformed. We seek to always respond faithfully to “the more,” the zeal that drives us to never settle or be satisfied in how we lovingly serve the "dear neighbour." We open ourselves freely to being led in a new direction.

When we watch for and seize opportunities to help and serve, we turn our path towards Jesus.

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March 9

To reflect means: To give back or exhibit as an image, likeness, or outline.

Father Médaille, in his spiritual legacy to the Sisters of St. Joseph, urged us “to grow in likeness to Jesus in his zeal for the Father’s glory.” (Maxim 6) This Maxim reflected Father Médaille's own Ignatian spirituality of doing all things for the greater glory of God. We bring this glory when we proclaim Christ’s message to the world through our words and actions to the "dear neighbour."

We present the likeness of Jesus when we share his message of humility, peace and mercy.

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March 10

To reflect means: To think quietly and calmly.

Jesus lived in constant awareness of the Father’s love for Him and all of creation. Father Médaille, along with St. Paul, invited us as Sisters to take on the mind of Jesus and “to live in peace and in tranquility with all your passions." (Maxim 60) The security of living in the awareness of the Father’s love as Jesus did allows us to be open, affirming and magnanimous in all our relations with others.

When we think in terms of how we can help and serve others with love and appreciation, we are thinking like Jesus.

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March 11

To reflect means: To speak a thought or opinion resulting from quiet and calm thought.

Father Médaille urged that we Sisters become like Jesus who in the incarnation emptied himself to live with all-inclusive love and in humble service. In doing so, we recognize God’s presence in each person and all of creation.

We speak like Jesus when we follow Father Médaille's teaching us “To treat everyone with the same care as if you were meeting God.” (Maxim 49)

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March 12

To reflect means: To cause a change of direction.

Father Médaille urged us always to be inclusive, aware of the needs of those around us and to respond to others generously without judgement or criticism. In this way, we share the core Gospel values of love, forgiveness, service and justice with each other and in the world.

We make Jesus’ value system manifest itself in our world when our relationships with others are “to serve unselfishly with no thought of reward." (Maxim 39)

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March 13

To reflect means: To bend or fold back.

The oneness with God and neighbour that Father Médaille urged our first Sisters in the 17th century is timeless and can be lived each day in any circumstances. He said to us, "Let your life be a continuous act of love." (Maxim 4). This invitation asks us to constantly make small choices to bring love into our world each day.

We share the love of Jesus by asking the question, “What is the most loving thing to do in this situation?”

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March 14

To reflect means: To have a bearing or influence.

Father Médaille encouraged us as Sisters “to have only one desire throughout your lifetime to be and become the person God wills you to be in nature, in grace, in glory, for time and eternity.” (Maxim 73) If we live in this way, the example of our lives and own inner freedom will lead others to accept themselves as beloved children of God.

We reflect Jesus by sharing with others with the radical knowledge and unceasing love that is created by God's presence in their lives.

Out of deep respect for those who have cared for these lands since time immemorial, we are committed to tread lightly on the land, protect water as sacred, and affirm our desire for right relations with all Indigenous Peoples. - From our CSJ Land Acknowledgement

Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto © 2022