Our founder Sr. Mary Elizabeth was inspired by Br. Charles de Foucauld, who wrote:
Let us preach the Gospel in silence and with words….
It is the responsibility of all to preach in silence.
As for preaching with words, some should do it more than others,
but there are very few who should not do it at all.
This is according to each one’s vocation.
Sr. Mary Elizabeth Gintling made preaching the Gospel her life’s work.
What made it natural for her was that she let the Gospel shape every aspect of her life. She could not not preach the Gospel by the way she lived. Anything she might possibly call her own she gave back to God. He had access to everything.
Sister exemplified the observation of St. Vincent de Paul: “If God is the center of your life, no words are necessary. Your mere presence will touch hearts.”
She had a few big moments in her life, but like everyone else her days were filled with little ones. She did the same things, with the same people, day in and day out. She “preached” a lot in those moments, giving witness to the love and mercy of God by being loving and merciful herself. Br. Charles said his goal was to have people look at him and say, “If that is the servant, imagine what the Master must be like!” Sister took that approach, too.
For personal reflection: What am I preaching by the way I live my life? I might be the only sermon someone else hears today.