Greetings from Pittsburgh! Summer is well underway in our part of the world and thus, Joe and I are enjoying much more time outdoors. Over the years, many new friendships have formed with Elisabeth supporters from around the world. About 18 months ago, we received an email from a woman, France Roseau, who lives very close to Elisabeth’s grave. We exchanged a few emails and would end up meeting in person at Elisabeth’s grave site in October of 2017. At that initial meeting, Joe and I quickly learned how little French we knew and we were blessed that two of France’s adult children (who speak very good English) could join us for lunch. This lunch was the start of a wonderful friendship and was followed by many emails and phone calls. We asked France if she would write a reflection that we might share for the summer season.
Joe and I are going to enjoy some summer holidays with both our families in the USA and Canada and will take a break from our monthly reflections in August and September. We will still answer emails, work on prayer requests, but we wanted to give ourselves and our wonderful translators (Isabelle, Giulia, Jose, Denisse, and Anna) a well deserved rest. We believe Elisabeth and Felix highly valued time set aside from the busy world. We will be back with a reflection to celebrate the anniversary of Elisabeth’s birthday on Thursday, October 3rd.
July 2019 Reflection
As summer begins, along comes vacation, well-deserved rest, and also opportunities for new encounters or family gatherings. Among those people we meet, some may seem very close to us through faith, ideas, charity… Others, on the contrary, may seem far removed from us and from the Church. From this latter perspective, these thoughts of Elisabeth Leseur hold my attention:
“So let us be kind to those who show the […] incredible superficiality of so many around us […]. Let us try to speak a language they can understand […]. Has not God done the same with us […]?”
“Those who seem to be spiritually dead are not always those least accessible to the divine word; when wood is dead, it needs only a spark to set it afire.”
Let’s try to be in the hands of God this little flame for others during these summer months. The best way? This last thought tells us that under all circumstances we must step aside by means of prayer to make room for God:
“Having God within us, we will surely do the work of God, or rather, he will do it himself through us and better than us.”
This is what I wish for each and every one of us for these summer months… Great encounters and good rest to all!
All quotes are from the book “Elisabeth Leseur – Selected writings” by Sister Janet K. Ruffing.
France Roseau (nee de GOUVELLO) was born in Berlin, Germany, in a family of eight children. Her father was a military officer. Following several moves between France and Germany, the family settled in the Paris area. After 20 years working as an engineer, France now teaches physics and chemistry as a contractor in Catholic schools around Paris. She has been married to Jean-Luc ROSEAU for more than 27 years. They have five children. Their spiritual home is the Benedictine abbey of Our Lady of Randol. A monk from that abbey helped France discover the life of Elisabeth Leseur through the book of Bernadette Chovelon. France lives near Elizabeth’s current burial site; she installed a plaque on the grave to make it more visible and she visits it regularly.
With our prayers,
Jennifer and Joe MacNeil