In the letters of Mother Foundress, one does not see the word “discernment.” It was not a word common of her time. Instead, again and again, we see that she would “see things before God.” In Spanish it is to “ver las cosas delante de Dios.”

In Letter 2 of the published Letters of Mother Foundress, we see her doing exactly this. The context was that the Bishop was in a hurry for some documents. Fr. Bombardo, SJ, who was the rector of the Seminary in Salamanca, wrote the parts himself, copying from the Jesuit Constitutions. He then brought them to Mother Foundress so that she could “see them before God.” In her Letter, presumably to Fr. Herranz, Mother Foundress said that she did exactly that. “I did it according to what I saw before God, taking away [some parts] and adding [others], to the greater glory of God.”

Antonio Grau says: Seeing things “before God” implies something physical, such as looking for a space and a time for this. It carries with it an attitude of being on a journey, of getting started, of searching. And when you are before God, you are not going to want to change God, but to listen to what He says.

Reflection questions:

$1·         Isn’t this a wonderful reminder that one has to give space and time for our hearts to come to a balance, to be able to quiet down and listen, and not be in a hurry?

$1·         Isn’t this a wonderful revelation of the person of Mother Foundress also…that while she had great respect and admiration for her Jesuit directors, she was centered on God and what He wanted, not what she thought brilliant minds told her to do, and so she took the time to come up with what was proper to her and her Daughters?

$1·         What have been your experiences of coming to quiet, of stilling your heart in the midst of a busy and hectic schedule so as to listen to what God wants for you?