This great Counter-Reformation saint, co-Founder with St Jane de Chantal of the Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary, had a real appreciation of life as it is. He once wrote: ‘The everlasting God has in His wisdom foreseen from eternity the cross that He now presents to you as a gift from His inmost heart. This cross He now sends you He has considered with His all-knowing eyes, understood with His Divine mind, tested with His wise justice, warmed with loving arms and weighed with His own hands to see that it be not one inch too large and not one ounce too heavy for you. He has blessed it with His holy Name, anointed it with His consolation, taken one last glance at you and your courage, and then sent it to you from heaven, a special greeting from God to you, an alms of the all-merciful love of God’.

May we heed these words, welcoming the cross that the Lord gives us, knowing that He will give the grace to bear it. May God’s abundant blessing be upon you this day.