Mother Cabrini traveled the globe establishing her missions and on occasion returning to Rome to meet with ecclesiastical authorities. Her seafaring voyages across oceans was often the only time Mother Cabrini had respite from her zealous work— a forced respite, undoubtedly, but a respite nonetheless. Though while aboard she often ministered to the poor who shared her humble space in steerage, and while she still wrote business correspondence to be mailed as soon as she disembarked, Mother Cabrini nonetheless had more time aboard these ships to reflect more deeply than her daily life on land allowed. From her writing we know that one meditative muse was the sea.
From “Words of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini,” collected by Sr. Fede Nemia, MSC.
Meditation on the Sea
(Excerpt; ordering of the passages are my own)
How many beautiful thoughts the calmness of the sea suggests! We see in it the happiness of a soul that lives in the tranquility of the grace of God. In such a fortunate soul all is calm, for it has the capacity of raising itself to the sublimity of the Divine mysteries.
The sea and its calmness give us a vision of the immensity of the power of God. He commands this endless sea, which could rise in whirling billows, but at His will remains calm and tranquil.
The sea is beautiful and majestic in its immensity. It is as serene as a soul at peace with God and neighbor. Such a soul enjoys interior peace, though it works hard all day and seems consumed by an ardent fire which spurs it on in its holy endeavors.
The stormy sea looks like a soul agitated by remorse and pride—a soul never at peace with God or man.
The calm sea seems to reflect peace and joy of a soul adorned with sanctifying grace.
By Christopher Grosso, Senior Writer, Cabrini College