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Today I’m reminded by the feast of St. John Eudes of a popular catch phrase of long ago that advised us to “Bloom where you’re planted.” The brief biography of this saint whose life spanned much of the 17th century began with the following summary paragraph.

How little we know where God’s grace will lead. Born on a farm in northern France, John died at 79 in the next “county” or department. In that time, he was a religious, a parish missionary, founder of two religious communities, and a great promoter of the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. (http://www.franciscanmedia.org)

All his life, John Eudes was attentive to what was right in front of him. He didn’t travel far from his birthplace. He cared for the sick of his diocese during two severe plagues. In his concern for the spiritual improvement of the clergy, he was frustrated when the general superior disapproved and, therefore, left his religious community and founded a new one, devoted to the formation of the clergy in diocesan seminaries. In addition, with the encouragement of a woman named Madeleine Lamy, he founded a community for prostitutes called Sisters of Charity of the Refuge.

In the end, the commentary concludes that “Holiness is the wholehearted openness to the love of God. It is visibly expressed in many ways, but the variety of expression has one common quality: concern for the needs of others.”

How do you/might you express, in a concrete way, your concern for the needs of others? Remember it’s all about how God is placing opportunities in our life and how willing we are to open our hearts to the need we see. You might be surprised at what is presented to you…God tends to be like that sometimes.