Reflections On The Marianite Constitutions by Sr. Ann Louise Arno

By Sr. Ann Louise Arno, MSC

Do you remember the conversation between Alice and the Cheshire Cat in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland? Alice begs the Cat to tell her which way she would go.

“That depends on where you want to get to,” says the Cat.

“I don’t much care where,” she answers.

“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go!” replies the Cat.

“So long as I get somewhere,” Alice adds by way of explanation.

“Oh, you’re sure to do that if only you walk long enough!” says the Cat.

Unlike Alice, we know where we want to go!

Article 1 of our Constitutions on Vocation in the Church gives each Marianite her goal along with directions on how to achieve that goal: We endeavor to incarnate Christ by living according to the Constitutions based on the teachings and counsels of the Gospel.

Our goal as Marianitesof Holy Cross – indeed the goal of all Christians – is to let Christ be formed in us. We give our lives to Jesus on a daily basis, and Jesus shapes us to become more like Him. We labor so that He may be formed in all the Church. With our goal always clearly in mind it matters very much then which way we go. In prayer and study, worship and service, we make choices about what is the priority in our lives. We make choices each day guided by our Constitutions and the teachings and counsels of the Gospel about what god we will worship and serve. This our lifelong endeavor to be like Christ, to make decisions in the way He made them, to be fully dedicated to serving the true God, to choose Life.

I feel sorry for Alice having to rely on directions from a cat! We, from our God who loves us and has sent his son, Jesus, who tells us emphatically, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” There is no other path to heaven, no other way to the Father!

My prayer for you is a beautiful, hope-filled one by Blessed Isaac of Stella, a Benedictine monk of the 12th century…

“May the Son of God who is already formed in you, grow in you so that for you, He will become immeasurable, that in you He will become laughter, exultation, the fullness of joy which no one can take from you.”

Sr. Ann Louise, a former teacher and elementary school principal, currently serves as Coordinator of C’est la Vie in Opelousas, Louisiana.