Thought for the Day – 27 January – The Memorial of St Angela Merici (1474-1540)
“I ask you, Lord, to receive all my self-will
that by the infection of sin is unable to distinguish
good from evil.
Receive, O Lord, all my thoughts, words and deeds,
interior and exterior,
that I lay at the feet of your Divine Majesty.
Although I am utterly unworthy,
I beseech you to accept all my being.”
At Angela Merici’s death in 1540 she had started 24 groups. St Charles Borromeo organised the Ursulines into a formal religious congregation and it was given papal approval in 1544. Over the years the Ursulines have flourished as the oldest and one of the most respected of the church’s teaching orders.
To the long list of authorities Ursulines were to obey—Ten Commandments, Church, parents, civil laws—St Angela added “divine inspirations that you may recognise as coming from the Holy Spirit.” A refreshing and liberating rule. Also a dangerous one, for when it’s obeyed, the Holy Spirit may act in unexpected ways.
Innovation has always been a part of genuine sanctity. New wineskins are often needed for the eternally new wine of the Gospel and the saints are not only holy but they are often creative geniuses as well – always, listening to the creative genius, the Holy Spirit!
St Angela Merici, pray for us!