And His Mercy Is From Generation To Generation On Those Who Fear Him
Our God, Lord and Redeemer, Almighty and Holy, is LOVE. He is merciful and faithful. Blessed Alphonse Marie understood this fully. In the Introduction of the First Rule she says: “And actually, where do we find a heart more filled with mercy toward the sick and the miserable than the Heart of Jesus? All we need do is open the Gospels. There we shall find every step of the Son of God characterized by beneficent goodness toward the poor and the oppressed. A single word from the afflicted one or from his relatives was sufficient to touch the sympathetic Heart of Jesus: “If you will, you can make me clean!” said the leper to him. And Jesus immediately answered: “I will. Be clean!” [Mt 8:2-3] “Lord, my servant lies at home, sick with palsy and suffers great pains,” said the Centurion of Capernaum. And Jesus answered, “I will come myself and cure him.” [Mt 8:6-7] And there were thousands of others that he helped, without even waiting for them to ask.
The Sacred Heart of Jesus is to be the model according to which his disciples are to form their hearts. He is the merciful Samaritan to whom He points, saying: “Go and do likewise.” [Lk 10:37]
He Has Shown Might With His Arm, He Has Scattered The Proud In The Conceit Of Their Hearts
The History of Salvation shows us that God’s mercy is still working and exceeds all human boundaries. Blessed Alphonse Marie often experienced “the might of God’s arm”.
In the book of Sister M. Denise Hérissard, Inflame the Gift of God Which Is in You, we read about Blessed Alphonse Marie: “At night, when she was sick and had a high fever due to exhaustion from speaking, she groaned and sighed to the Lord that for already a year she had to carry the heavy burden of receiving many people every day. The Lord said to her: “Stop complaining! Look, I am preparing you for my work. I am showing you the different states of souls and teaching you how you can help them.” ... After that, she felt as if she rested in God, and she was lifted up to Him with inner joy. She tried to do everything that was involved in the establishment of the new religious order according to the Most Holy Will of God and to please the Sacred Heart of Jesus. So great was her desire to do this that she suffered greatly. Because her confessor shared in this work she prayed much for him. With confidence, she trusted in God, in His mercy and love, and abandoned herself to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.”
He Has Put Down The Mighty From Their Thrones, And Has Exalted The Lowly
Blessed Alphonse Marie believed—as Mary did—that God’s power saves the meek. She knew that God’s power is different than the power of man; therefore, she completely trusted in God’s Providence.
As is mentioned above, during her third period of sickness, in the years 1846 – 1848, many visitors came to Elizabeth. Because of them, she learned the deep abyss of going astray, which the human heart is capable of when it turns away from the Love Who is here for everyone. She suffered much pain in seeing others suffer from loneliness and weakness, oppressed by malice, turned away from Love, and no longer loving.
How to deal with this misery? While she spent hours listening to visitors, she was united with Jesus on the cross. With Him she felt the ingratitude of those who rejected Him, the despair of those who had given up on life.
This simple parish woman from Niederbronn, who had no religious education except listening to catechism and the sermons of her Pastor, conveyed in her room, the great wisdom of faith that speaks to the heart. Visitors of all classes and living conditions, listened to her words, benefiting from her contemplation of the mystery of the Redemption. She speaks convincingly about the goodness and love of God, the hope and peace that God wants to grant again if we are willing to accept it. To the poor as well as the powerful, she conveys the meaning of forgiveness, boundless love and mercy, which does not exclude anyone.
He Has Filled The Hungry With Good Things, And The Rich He Has Sent Away Empty
In this verse Mary sang that the hungry will be gifted and nourished, both materially and spiritually. Blessed Alphonse Marie always felt a hunger for closeness with God and wanted to find favor only with Him. This is what she looked for, longed for, worked for, even suffered for—expecting only the love of God and to be "nourished" by Him. She could say with St. Paul: “Yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me” (Gal 2:20).
To desire this kind of life requires a free heart. In the First Rule, Blessed Alphonse Marie says: “The Daughters of the Divine Redeemer, therefore, in their service of love, shall have no other intention but to gain the good pleasure of God, to imitate the Divine Heart of Jesus and the most Holy and Immaculate Heart of Mary; to serve, in the person of the sick poor, the person of Jesus Christ Himself...”
He Has Given Help To Israel, His Servant, Mindful Of His Mercy Even As He Spoke To Our Fathers, To Abraham And To His Posterity Forever
Blessed Alphonse Marie knew that God’s promise to her would be fulfilled, as did the Blessed Mother. With faith she was always concerned about the salvation of others. She responded to the needs of her time. Through various services, she wanted to relieve suffering and give hope; she was always concerned about the salvation of the whole person (cf. C 5). Her whole life was a canticle to God – Magnificat.
Blessed Alphonse Marie sang the Magnificat to God for the 53 years of her earthly life. Her life passed through darkness and light. The Magnificat of her life still continues in us, her followers. The message of her life is valid for all times. We desire to sing the Magnificat to God, as Blessed Alphonse Marie did, to the extent that He expects from us.