One of the delightful items in the Shrine’s museum is a pair of Mother Cabrini’s well-worn shoes. They are identical; there is not a left shoe and a right, because cobblers charged more for that kind of customization. Eventually, with enough wearing, the shoe would conform to the proper foot.
Mother Cabrini was a woman of action, and she surely went through more pairs of shoes than most of us. In a letter from 1894 she wrote
The other day I traveled three hours in the snow, yesterday two hours in pouring rain, and with broken shoes my feet were swimming in water – and this after I had been ill all night…
But as the letter continues we see the unique perspective that makes her physical endurance possible:
…but I enjoyed it, thinking how the saints traveled for the welfare of their institute and for the salvation of souls. This joy made it impossible to suffer and now I am well.
Everything St. Frances Cabrini did – regardless of the country, the weather, the circumstances – she viewed from the perspective of saving souls. She was powered by a burning intensity to draw people to Christ.
To walk a mile in her shoes is to walk toward Jesus, regardless of how hard that seems.
St. Frances Cabrini, pray that we may learn to walk through difficulty and find joy in serving Christ.