NOVENA DAY 4
JULIE, WOMAN OF LIGHT
Take a moment to centre yourself and go into the sacred space deep within
"Be still for the presence of the Lord, the Holy One is here"
JULIE’S VOICE ON LIGHT
"We must have hearts as wide as the world."
As you read and pray the psalm below
remember your Light will shine forever.
As I watch the sparrows and martins building their nests in the spring,
I think, Lord, of the home you have prepared for me
where I shall go one day to live with you forever.
Your house must indeed be beautiful
for where you dwell there is love and peace.
I long with all my heart
to be with You when my life here is over.
Then I shall rejoice and be glad
and praise your goodness
with those I knew and loved on earth.
Suffering and sorrow will be turned to joy and
you will bestow eternal blessings
on all who follow you in love.
Adapted from Psalm 84
On the feast of Candlemas 1804, in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, Julie, Françoise and a young woman called Catherine Duchatel made or renewed their vows of chastity and promised, under the patronage of Our Lady, to devote their lives to the Christian instruction of girls. They also undertook to train teachers of religion who would go wherever they were needed. With the words of Simeon’s prophecy echoing in their hearts, the three women promised to dedicate their lives so that others would come to know Christ, the light of the world. It was an appropriate feast for the Birthday of the Congregation.
The feast of Candlemas was once more significant in Julie’s life. Two years after the birth of the Congregation, Julie and her Sisters were reflecting on the prayer of Simeon when Julie was seen to rise in ecstasy, her face radiant. Tradition believes that God showed her that one day her Sisters would go throughout the world carrying the light of Christ to those still in darkness.
February 2nd, feast of Candlemas, feast of light is the birth-day of the Congregation of the Sisters of Notre Dame. The poet, Mary Oliver, suggests in one of her poems that “you too have come into this world to...be filled with light, and to shine.” St Julie shone with God’s goodness and saw that goodness all around her. Take some time now to consider the gifts God has given you – life, sight, hearing, appreciation of beauty, friendship etc. Ponder how these gifts fill you with Light and be amazed at how you shine.