As for our part in it, my dear daughter that amounts to nothing but a hindrance to his work.

It will always be challenging to hold our human desires and urges in some kind of peacefulness until God’s grace prompts us to take action. Sometimes this ‘my doing nothing’ is the passivity that is pure wisdom! ‘Never go ahead of grace through imprudent eagerness but await its moment in peace, and when it comes to you, follow it with great gentleness and courage.’ (M.P 6:9)


This maxim is so central to the interiority and receptivity that is required of all Little Designers as we strive to abide in this way of being and doing for a lifetime. ‘As for our part in it … THAT… amounts to nothing but a hindrance.’ At first glance, this might sound very unflattering and demeaning to intelligent men and women, especially those filled with enthusiasm and eagerness for the advancement of holiness for self and others. And there are pressing social needs to be met in the neighborhoods around us, so how could we not get busy and do something! There can be a variety of expressions of Love amongst the members according to their ages and personalities and the spiritual gifts each one has received. But wait…


As a wise spiritual director, we are confident that Father Medaille was profoundly aware of the impulsivity that drives certain human beings - especially in times of uncertainty and insecurity- to spread themselves in many directions. We can waste considerable time and energy in frantic activity and busyness. These are often our own feeble attempts to control projects and movements or to devise and invent and create some kind of visible ‘sign’ of our own good works. It will be critical to examine our ‘works’ from time to time. If left unexamined, there can be all kinds of unnecessary toil and the results of our activities come to mean ‘nothing’ in the big scheme of things. There is a huge difference between codependent actions and charitable actions! Spiritual things, spiritual happenings, flow from God. Follow these inspirations of grace when they come.


This is Fr. Medaille’s guiding instruction and it is critical to the whole success of the vision of the Little Design Communities. He just wants us to get it right! There is no ambivalence or flattery or appeal to any special distinction. Everything in the Eucharistic Letter points to littleness, hiddenness and self-emptying.

Anyone who knows how to let God act in and through him/her
without too much interference on his/her part,
does many things in a short time and never loses peace of heart. 
M.P. 7:3


Do you sense the Spirit guiding you in a particular direction?



#7 virginia 2013-01-14 18:41
thank you so much, Rosemary, for sharing these 7 signs for Spiritual Direction. I copied them in my notebook just now and they will prove helpful, I am sure. I believe it was in the Holy Land that you were at this House of Prayer but I am not sure. These signs undoubtedly helped you in discerning what you are now doing ---carrying on the charism of the Sisters of St. Joseph in a new way, evangelizing in our culture of death bringing about the shafts of Light and Love needed for our own day and time: 2013---the likes we have not yet seen!!!
#6 stmarys 2012-12-03 14:53
How many time I've felt I should go somewhere, call someone and then "accidentally" meet someone. I'm at the right place at the right time! Coincidence? I think now! Thank you, God, for gently guiding me in my daily life.
#5 slees 2012-10-27 20:14
Dear Friends,
This is my first time to offer a comment to the ongoing study of the Eucharistic Letter. First, I have been very much encouraged by the discussion and explanation of the Little Design Communities. As a 62 year-old, single person who has spent a career working as a counselor and psychologist in remote, poor communities of Spanish-speakin g farm working families, it has been so clear to me how necessary community becomes; both for the individual serving, as well as for the ministry, whatever that may be.
I am going to take a chance and express that it has been difficult, and became more and more challenging as I grew older, to maintain my sense of vocation, commitment, and spirit, as a single, consecrated woman, who was unattached to a particular community. Although I have been an Associate of a CSJ community for several years, distance, expense, and the responsibilitie s of care for an elderly family member living with me, did not allow for me to interact with members of this CSJ community in person, and in continuing relationship. In my experience, the Little Design Communities would offer that small community that I believe many persons seek in our time. I love the Maxims, and perhaps what I appreciate most of all is how counterintuitiv e they are; but much more like the 'kingdom of God' that Jesus talked about. Thank you for the Discernment signs! Blessings from the desert. Susan
#4 arletteh 2012-10-23 14:08
It is so beautiful,once having learned,after much silent listening and pondering, to recognize the moment of grace. It comes gently,and yes, repeatedly. And I also love the insight to follow the guidance gently. Yes, there will be no flattering or special attention in doing what the Spirit calls to do. It is just that beautiful, gentle relationship with the Spirit of the risen Jesus, the divine Goodness that is the only thing that matters. And so, yes,our part, in the world's way of looking at it, is insignificant, but we know,God's leading and God's work is not.
#3 amala 2012-10-21 18:30
Hi Sr.Rosemary,
Im happy to see again after a year long absence,and the wonderful work you guys are doing.Its very true some times what we think is good may not be good at all, and that is the very hindrance to nature and grace.May The Spirit lead me in the right direction Amen...
#2 rosemaryo 2012-10-20 17:04
These are the discernment 'signs' I have used in my spiritual direction ministry for the past 30 years. I learned them at Lebh Shomea House of Prayer and they follow a more contemplative approach (rather than the Ignatian style of discernment which uses more mental cognitve criteria.)

These are the 7 signs of confirmation indicating that a spiritual direction has emerged:
1. Consistent Recurrence - there is a consistent drawing towards a certain direction... eventually you experience an inability not to pursue it.
2. Continuity and Discontinuity - you recognize that the new direction is a prolongation of your spiritual journey, yet at the same time, this is something new, a rupture, a leaving something behind.
3. Confirmation by Others - when your spouse, pastor or congregational leader agrees with the new direction - then, this is a strong indication that the direction is coming from God. If not, continue the discernment and 'give it more time' before acting upon it. Both may need more time or more information to discern wisely.
4. The Fruits of the Spirit - if you experience peace, joy, gentleness, self-discipline - these fruits confirm a direction is from God. If you experience instead- anger, strife, rivalries- your will is probably manifesting more than God's will.
5. Peace - there will be a deep peace accompanied by an undeniable conviction that to be true to God and to yourself, you must follow the direction indicated. It is quite natural to also experience considerable hesitancy and fear along with the deep peace.
6. Continued Questioning - While there is this deep conviction, there is also a continued questioning. You must proceed with humble faith and an openness to receive further direction, knowing that you do not have all the answers. 'How can this be?"
7.Perseverance in Living One's Spiritual Direction. The new direction is ultimately proved by your living it out.
#1 rosemaryo 2012-10-20 16:54
This 'our part in it, is nothing but a hindrance'is a real wake-up call! Medaille, the wise director, knows how human/egoic interference can be an obstacle that blocks genuine 'spiritual direction.' His maxims on receptivity to grace and docility to grace indicate his understanding and experience of how 'movement' just happens - it comes- it arrives - it propels- it causes to appear - it makes the new be really new! ONLY THE SPIRIT can create and re-create and make all things NEW.

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