St Genoveva Torres Morales

Foundress of the Congregation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Holy Angels (The Angélicas), (entered heaven this day in 1956)

Dear Gene,

Sometimes the best solutions elude us because they are right under our noses.  I think your situation is one of those. You are right in worrying that your Compass chapter will begin to fade unless you and the members are engaged in some serious apostolic work – Compass was never meant to be merely a Catholic social club; it was meant to be an instrument helping students to DO SOMETHING for the good of college culture and the advance of Christ’s Kingdom.  But you need not rack your brains trying to think of something. Be simple. Just make a list of the needs you see right there on campus, choose one, and set out to address it this semester. Then do the same next semester. It’s not rocket science, pal. Take a lesson from today’s saint.

The poor girl had a tough start.  She was the youngest of six children born to a family living in central Spain.  By the time she was eight-years-old, both her parents and four of her siblings had died, leaving her to serve as housemother for her older brother, who was none too gentle with her.  She was forced to learn the value of solitude, silence, and hard work; she also learned to love reading spiritual books, which taught her the motto of the rest of her life: only doing God’s will matters.  

When she was thirteen, an infection in her left leg turned gangrenous.  The leg had to be amputated; there was no anesthesia, and the operation was only partially successful.  For the rest of her life, she walked on crutches and suffered constant pain from the botched stump.

She wanted desperately to consecrate her life to God in the convent, but no religious order would accept her on account of her health.  She finally took to a quiet life with two other poor, single women who eked out a living by sewing and mending and dedicated themselves to prayer and sacrifice.  She met other women in a situation similar to hers, and soon she had the idea of forming a religious congregation that would serve the needs of poor, lonely women who had to fend for themselves in a difficult world.  Independently, her spiritual director suggested that she do the same thing. The coincidence convinced her that this was God’s will. So, much regretting the loss of quiet and solitude, she began her apostolic life and formed the Congregation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Holy Angels, also known as ‘The Angelicals.’  

Her mission, as I said, was right under her nose.  Yours could be too. So stop straining to see the distant horizon, roll up your sleeves, and get to work.

Your devoted uncle, Eddy

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