12th August – St Jane Frances de Chantel

St Jane (+1641) was the foundress of the Visitation Order after becoming a widow.. In today’s Office st jane de chantelof Readings we have one of her letters where she describes a life of love as a ‘martyrdom’.

‘I think there is such a thing as a martyrdom of love…’ [This lasts] ‘from the moment we give ourselves up wholeheartedly to God until the moment we die. But this goes for generous hearts and people who keep faith with love and don’t take back their offering; our Lord doesn’t take the trouble to make martyrs of feeble hearts and people who have little love and not much constancy; he just lets them jog along in their own little way in case they give up and slip from his hands altogether; he never forces our free will.’

If we want to be one of those generous people, we can take to heart what St Paul says about love in today’s Midmorning Reading (1 Cor 13:4-7)

Love is always patient and kind; it is never jealous; love is never boastful or conceited; it is never rude or selfish; it does not take offence, and is not resentful. Love takes no pleasure in other people’s sins but delights in the truth; it is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes.