a painting of a train at night

A Bullet on a Train

“Didn’t I write and tell you that I am alive miraculously?” begins a 1904 letter from Mother Cabrini.

She’d been traveling by train from the orphanage in Denver to the orphanage in New Orleans. Just after passing Dallas “the enemies of the railroad” attacked. Bullets peppered the train. Mother Cabrini reported that one bullet “aimed at my head fell to my side, while it should have pierced my cranium.”

Mother Cabrini Remains Calm

Mother Cabrini was not concerned. Her traveling companion, however, was terrified. The train crew couldn’t believe Mother Cabrini was unharmed. They rushed in to check, then double checked that she was safe. They wondered aloud who was watching over her. But when Mother Cabrini told them “it was the Sacred Heart to whom I had entrusted the journey… they did not understand.”

Mother Cabrini’s Confidence in the Sacred Heart

The list of jaw-dropping situations Mother Cabrini faced in her lifetime includes bank failures, fires, robberies, riots, military coups, and unscrupulous businessmen determined to cheat her. Yet she remained serene, confident of Jesus’ love in every circumstance.  In her journal Mother Cabrini wrote, “Supported by my Beloved, none of these adversities can shake me. But if I trust in myself, I will fall.”

Mother Cabrini’s Advice

How can we grow into this kind of deep certainty and confidence in God? Perhaps by listening to and following Mother Cabrini’s advice:

“Cast yourselves into the arms of God, enclose yourselves in the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Ask Him to work freely in your souls and promise Him never to complain or say ‘no’ to anything he asks of you.”

“The Heart of Jesus will never allow himself to be outdone. Run towards him and don’t allow any difficulty to come between you but always approach him with great simplicity.”

“Trust him especially when you are in difficulty and realize that those disturbances which we term difficulties are nothing but children’s toys for our dear Jesus.”

Mother Cabrini turned to Jesus not in desperation, but because she desired to be united with Him at all times. Or, as she put it. “In whatever difficulty I may encounter I want to trust in the goodness of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, who will never abandon me.”

St. Frances Cabrini, pray that I may learn to unite myself with Jesus in all circumstances, trusting in His goodness and love.

© 2015 St. Frances Cabrini Shrine.