Learning from St. Frances Cabrini
St. Frances Cabrini is widely known for her energy, her generosity, and her vibrant love for those most in need. It’s easy to admire her but (powerhouse that she was) sometimes a bit hard to imitate her! One way to grow to be like Mother Cabrini is to focus less on her accomplishments and more on three key aspects of faith she can teach us.
1. Mother Cabrini can teach us how to pray better. Mother Cabrini was a woman of action, but every ounce of her energy came from her rich prayer life. If we ask her, she will deepen our understanding of how to pray.
St. Frances Cabrini’s deepest desire was to align her heart with God’s will. This ferocious desire to do whatever Jesus asked outstripped every other concern in her life. Whatever it took, whatever the cost, she put Jesus first in her life.
“I trust in you, my Jesus. I place my poor soul in your hands – mold me according to your divine will,” she wrote in 1877. Adopting Mother Cabrini’s words as our own can change the focus of our prayers… and the course of our lives.
2. Mother Cabrini can teach us how to accept difficulty. St. Frances Cabrini was quick to accept every situation as the backdrop against which her love of Christ was to be expressed. “Live abandoned to God and let Him treat you according to His pleasure,” she wrote, “What does it matter if it be Golgotha, Tabor, or Gethsemane? It is enough to know that we are with Him.”
When we face crises and difficulty we wish would go away, Mother Cabrini’s intercession can help us accept our situation and focus on serving Christ in it. Acceptance makes every cross lighter for, as she said, “If you carry the Cross willingly, the Cross will carry you.”
3. Mother Cabrini can show us how to grow in humility.
Humility is seen as a bad word in today’s culture, but it’s an essential quality for every Christian. Mother Cabrini’s letters to the Missionary Sisters are packed with exhortations on growing in humility. She knew we can’t be Christ’s hands on earth if we are not humble of heart.
“A single act of humility is worth more than the proud exhibition of any virtue” she advised one Sister. To another she wrote, “The proud always do damage because the grace of heaven cannot fall on them.”
St. Frances Cabrini’s life is evidence that true humility can lead to bold action and courage. Let us ask her to show us how to follow in her footsteps of faith.