Counsels for Sister Mary Ceslaus Trzcinska

The text is found in a little book which belonged to Sister Mary Ceslaus Trzcinska on pp. 357-359, wherein we also find the Life of Blessed Ceslaus.

Sister Mary Ceslaus, Theodora Trzcinska (1841-1908) entered the Congregation in Warsaw in 1861. She performed the following functions in the Congregation: teacher, treasurer, infirmarian and Superior in Bochnia. In the Mortuology the is mentioned as being always exact and industrious … pleasant and gentle towards everyone; she was also well-liked by everyone.

Counsels given to Sister Mary Bogdana Mazaraki

Mother Mary Angela wrote those counsels in a small notebook of 32 pages. On the inner cover of this notebook there is pasted a colored picture of Our Lady of Czestochowa. On page 1 there is a picture of the Crucified Christ and beneath it is the following statement: Behold the book of the Chosen, behold the school of perfection, behold the collection of all knowledge. On the left side are found the following words: Read this book often and study it and you will hate sin; you will be overcome with the fear of the judgment of God; you will learn about humility, obedience, patience, love of God and neighbour; you will hold all earthly things in contempt; and you will imitate Jesus Christ. On the bottom we find: Who know him, knows all and will possess all.

Sister Mary Bogdana, Alexandra Mazaraki (1838-1908) entered the Congregation at Warsaw in 1859. She worked for several years at different local missions of the Congregation. Towards the end of her life, because of illness, she remained for about 20 years in the convent infirmary. The Mortuology carries this information about her: She was a quiet soul, united with God throughout her convent life.

MEDITATIONS – Preface and Introduction

Meditations - Preface

Among the many different writings and notes which Mary Angela Truszkowska has left us (1825-1899) are also her Meditations. They came about as a certain form of prayer in 1861. Mary Angela was 36 years old at that time, and the Congregation, which she had founded and was directing, was going through a period of intense spiritual formation. The manuscript contains an introduction and twelve length meditations.

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Meditation I

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GOD SHOULD BE THE ONLY SUBJECT OF OUR THOUGHTS, FEELINGS, DESIRES AND ACTIONS

I know, O my Lord, that all my thoughts, feelings and actions ought to center on you because you have given me life. You alone have power over me. I should belong to you completely.

Meditation II

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THE GRACE OF A VOCATION

Religious life was a dream of my youngest years. It is true, there were moments when I had abandoned this desire, perhaps only seemingly, because in my heart it must have been constant. This life style appeared to me to be so holy, so perfect! I desired it only because I wanted to love God all the more perfectly, serve him more zealously and save my soul more easily.  God granted me my wishes sooner than I expected, and today I am already his servant.

Meditation III

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LIVING OUT THE VOCATION

O Lord, why did you draw me out of the world? Why did you bring me into your house? Why did you shower me with so many grace? Is it so that I will use all of this in order to hurt you all the more; that I should inflict more pain on your Sacred Heart? In fact, every one of my present sins is a greater insult to you than the sins of my past life. After all, I committed them then because there were more opportunities and I had less understanding of sin. However, I cannot make excuses. What can justify me in your eyes?

Meditation IV

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THE GREATEST OBSTACLE TO HOLINESS IS NONCOOPERATION WITH THE GRACE OF GOD

O Lord, I ought not complain on the lack of graces but on their excess. I will have to give an account of each one of them and I know that to whom much was given, much will be demanded. And how do I, O Lord, make use of them? What kind of progress have I made in holiness? Do I love you more than others? Am I at least grateful to you?

Meditation V

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THE PRACTICE OF VIRTUES

A religious should not only try to be perfect in a general way but she should concentrate on a specific virtue which God demands of her, go out of her way to acquire it, and practice it.

Meditation VI

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THE NEED FOR A PERFECT RETURN TO GOD

I feel the need for a complete conversion but it seems to me as impossible unless a miracle takes place. I have fallen into such a moral inertia. I feel so helpless towards everything that is good and so inclined towards everything that is evil, that it is difficult for me to even start this work on my soul, and what about persevering in it. Maybe God will do with me as he did with Saint Augustine whom he drew to himself despite his unwillingness. He will also convert me, perhaps, without my cooperation, but this is blasphemy. After all, God himself said: Without you, I created you, but without you, I cannot save you; While I do not feel any desire or any courage to really discipline myself.

Meditation VII

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THE MODEL RELIGIOUS OUGHT TO LIVE ACCORDING TO THE SPIRIT AND NOT ACCORDING TO THE FLESH

The best sign that I am quite imperfect is this, that I could not understand this meditation at all. Neither could I apply it to myself, even though, as in previous meditations, I asked Jesus to help me recognize the evil which is in me. However, he completely withheld the grace of the Holy Spirit from me and I could not hear his voice at all.