A good example from Venerable Pierre Toussaint:
Venerable Pierre Toussaint’s infant niece Euphemia, whom he and his wife Juliette adopted and cared for as their own daughter, flouished in the Toussaint home. As she grew, it is said that “her religious and moral cultivation was the first object with her uncle; his tenderness and judgment were constantly blending their efforts for the improvement of her heart and mind.”
Toussaint had a heart for serving others and a heart for the formation of his little Euphemia. Naturally these two loves would intersect:
“On Euphemia’s saint’s day, I always took her with me to the cake shop, and we filled a large basket with buns, jumbles, and gingerbread, which we carried to the Orphan Asylum…I tell her, ask one of the sisters if she will give them to the children. When they were sent for, Euphemia stood on one side with me to see them come in, and when they received the cake they were so glad, and my Euphemia was so happy!”[Quotes from Memoir of Venerable Pierre Toussaint.]How will I apply this? (The Challenge):
Step 1: I will look on a Catholic calendar and notice when the next saint’s feast day for one of my children is occurring (or perhaps the next birthday, baptismal day, etc.).
Step 2: As the day approaches, I will consider where and how I can help the child to give anonymously to others and still be able to see the reaction on the faces of those whom he or she serves.
Step 3: We will take the anonymous action together.
Some possible results:
- I may become more aware of all the important dates in the lives of my children throughout the year – allowing me to better utilize the opportunity of each special occasion for the good formation of my children.
- I may find a new way of serving others that I had never considered before – seeing the lives and needs of others in a deeper way.
- I may provide a hands-on experience for my child to gain new and important insights – resulting in an education that goes far beyond the traditional classroom.
Venerable Pierre Toussaint, pray for us!