Nurturing the Mind and Spirit

Give some time in every day…

“…Give some time in every day if it is only half an hour to devotional reading—which is as necessary to the well ordering of the mind as the hand of the gardener to prevent the weeds destroying your favorite flower.” St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (1.171, To Anna Maria Seton, 1803, Collected Writings, p. 219.)

Like people trying to crowd onto the “L” during rush hour, sometimes our lives seem too busy to accommodate another demand placed upon them. Elizabeth Ann Seton—wife, mother, widow, nun—knew something of life’s harried pace. She also believed the most effective response to this was preserving time each day for nurturing the mind and spirit. For Mother Seton, this hallowed time was spent in devotional reading, a practice she encouraged her daughter Anna to cultivate. Like a well-tended garden that produces a beautiful flower, so too will a well-tended mind and spirit produce a similarly rich reward.

What do you do each day to care for your mind and spirit?  How have you experienced rewards from this special time? 

Reflection written by:           

Tom Judge, Chaplain for Faculty/Staff Engagement, Mission and Ministry

The Heart of Jesus In the Spirituality of Vincent de Paul and Louise de Marillac


Former superior general Robert Maloney examines what the heart of Jesus meant to Vincent de Paul and Louise de Marillac. Vincent prayed that the Congregation would have the heart of Jesus, or the zeal, to bring God’s love to the poor. The missionaries were also to exercise gentleness and humility, the qualities Jesus attributed to his heart in Matthew 11:29. For Louise, this heart meant “charity that was both affective and effective.” She created many paintings of Jesus’s heart, some of which are described in the article with accompanying images. The historical development of devotion to the heart of Jesus, in which Francis de Sales played a role, is explained. Maloney explores five meanings Jesus’s heart has for us. It “heightens our awareness of the limitless love of God.” It calls us to be gentle and humble, makes us aware of our limitations, and helps us find wisdom and practice discernment. Finally, it encourages us to imitate Jesus’s love, which is “expansive” and “affective and effective.”

“The Heart of Jesus in the Spirituality of Vincent de Paul and Louise de Marillac” is an article published in the Vincentian Heritage Journal, Volume 32, Issue 1, Article 8 available at: