Fr. Jean-Pierre Medaille, SJ discovered the six women of Le Puy in the seventeenth century France ripped apart by violence, war, sickness and abuse of women and orphaned children. He referred to this intentional community as “a new way of life” because it grew in a “climate of secrecy.” Up until this time, if women felt called to vowed religious life, they had only one choice. That choice was to live behind cloistered walls away from the Dear Neighbor and the struggles they endured. Medaille christened these six women as the “Little Design.” I suggest, in part, that this name creatively mirrored the women lacemakers of Le Puy who economically supported themselves through this art form of lace. These six women created a new way of life in the climate of secrecy for those who lived and ministered outside the walls of cloister. What an appropriate beginning for all who identify with the CSJ charism. The charism is bigger than one lifestyle. Those of us who call the CSJ charism ours resemble many Dear Neighbors. We are vowed members, associates, partners in ministry, men and women who are committed to the gospel mandate that “All Are One.” We who claim this charism need to daily rely on the Divine Love for energy, renewal, refocusing on what really matters and what the Divine Love hopes for all of creation. If you identify with this charism, you look at the world differently and, as a result, behave differently in your daily actions. It is not business as usual when this “Little Design” invites you into relationship. Today, join me in being and acting differently, allowing the power of Love to work in and through you to do all that you are capable of doing at this particular point in time.
I share a video on the art of lacemaking. It is not from Le Puy (those videos were very short in length). I am struck by the beauty of this woman’s hands working the bobbins. The many bobbins moving to make a LITTLE DESIGN. So it is with the family of Joseph, creating the Divine Love’s design with our many gifts. This video is a prayer experience in itself. ALL ARE ONE.