Arise, Go ! Sell all you possess

On my birthday in July I received a book which was about Catherine De Hueck Doherty and her life.  Catherine was born in Russia but came to live in Canada, she founded the Madonna House in Canada but not without much difficulties and crosses along the path.  Her life is intriguing as she was a woman who wanted to give all to Christ, it was all or nothing for her...

The core of Catherine Doherty's spirituality is summarized in a "distillation" of the Gospel which she called "The Little Mandate" — words which she believed she received from Jesus Christ and which guided her life.[4] It reads:

Arise — go! Sell all you possess. Give it directly, personally to the poor. Take up My cross (their cross) and follow Me, going to the poor, being poor, being one with them, one with Me. Little — be always little! Be simple, poor, childlike. Preach the Gospel with your life — without compromise! Listen to the Spirit. He will lead you. Do little things exceedingly well for love of Me. Love... love... love, never counting the cost. Go into the marketplace and stay with Me. Pray, fast. Pray always, fast. Be hidden. Be a light to your neighbour's feet. Go without fear into the depth of men's hearts. I shall be with you. Pray always. I will be your rest.

The Madonna House Apostolate is a family of Christian lay men, women, and priests, striving to incarnate the teachings of Jesus Christ by forming a community of love.  They are a “Public Association of the Christian Faithful” within the Roman Catholic Church, under the bishop of the Diocese of Pembroke.

Staff members of Madonna House come from all walks of life, from various countries and cultures, and have a wide variety of personalities and talents. They have in common a desire to serve God in a very humble way of life, as summarized in their Little Mandate. Their spirit is that of a family — modeled on the holy family of Nazareth, which was a community of perfect charity and love.  Their main house, or Training Centre, is located in Combermere, Ontario, Canada. Madonna House also serves many areas throughout the world through their missionary field houses; they serve families through a summer program called Cana Colony, and they serve the general public through their newspaper, their publications, and their volunteer programs.

Founded in 1947 by Catherine Doherty and her husband, Eddie Doherty, today the community has more than 200 lay men, women, and priests, dedicated to loving and serving Christ through promises of poverty, chastity, and obedience. (And, in addition to their staff priests, there are more than 125 associate priests, bishops and permanent deacons who strive to live the spirit of Madonna House in their home dioceses or wherever they are serving.)

Catherine Doherty's cause for canonization as a saint was opened by Pope John Paul II in 2000, and she has been given the official title Servant of God.

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