Our spiritual life as Canossian Daughters of Charity, like that of St. Magdalene of Canossa, is an ongoing journey of love. It invites us to become more and more like the “Greatest Love” shown in Christ Crucified. By looking contemplatively at Jesus on the cross and meditating on his life, we learn how to give ourselves totally to God and to our brothers and sisters, especially those who are “most in need”.
“ Look and do according to the model shown to you on the mountain”.
This saying of St. Magdalene summarizes what can be called the bedrock of Canossian Spirituality. In looking at Jesus on the Cross, through “mental prayer of the heart”, she felt the need to do likewise, that is to give her life in loving service to others, for how can this loving gaze of the Beloved not lead to action and imitation of his love?
Magdalene was fascinated by the “the model shown on the mountain” and she was taken up with Mary who stood close to Jesus at the foot of the Cross and who “pondered all these things in her heart”. Magdalene asks us to stay close to Mary near the cross so that, with her, we may point to the “Greatest love of God’, and that light of Jesus Crucified who transforms the life of men and women in every age.
“ I have trodden the winepress alone and of my people, there were none”.
This is another verse from the scripture, which points to the Cristo-centric vocation of Magdalene and her Work. The prophet Isaiah expresses, for her, a fundamental attitude of how to remain “with the Crucified One” and to live one’s life doing everything with eyes and heart fixed on Him.
On the one hand, as Magdalene writes to her sisters,
“ it means imitating the Crucified Lord by living the virtues which shone out singularly on the cross: obedience, humility, poverty, charity which become gift for all”.
On the other hand, it means having perseverance and courage not to leave Christ when difficulties occur, but to remain at His feet in the midst of suffering, not thinking of making future plans or doing daily tasks without Him.