Pray for the gift of Aubert’s ‘common sense’

Cardinal John Dew has asked people to pray that we might have the gift of common sense, which Venerable Suzanne Aubert had. 

     Venerable Suzanne Aubert

The cardinal said this during his homily at a Mass celebrated at Our Lady’s Home of Compassion in Island Bay, Wellington, on October 3, a Day of Celebration for Venerable Suzanne Aubert in New Zealand. 

The Mass was celebrated under alert-level 2 conditions. It was broadcast on Shine TV. 

“Our Mother Suzanne was a very practical woman,” Cardinal Dew said in his homily. “[She was] a woman of wisdom and common sense.” 

“She once wrote – ‘Common sense is a spiritual gift, and the rarest gift that people possess – simply because they do not value it as highly as it deserves’. 

“On this day, as we remember her, we pray that she will continue to be learnt from, that we will ponder her words, her example, and particularly that we might have that gift of common sense. 

“She spoke about the importance of a balance in our lives,” Cardinal Dew added. “We know that, even in this time of Covid, and in the various levels of lockdown, our lives can be lived at a very fast and frenetic pace. And we can learn from her common sense, to take time now to nourish our bodily and our spiritual lives, in order to look beyond ourselves . . .” 

Cardinal Dew spoke about reflecting on the life of Suzanne Aubert,” on the example she has given us in serving the poor and reaching out with compassion to the needy, and living a life of prayer and reflection”. 

Even though Suzanne was in Rome when the 1918 flu epidemic struck New Zealand, that did not stop her Compassion Sisters from helping people. 

“Covid-19 and the delta variant has not stopped us from celebrating today and, for all of you watching Shine TV, to join us in this prayer,” the cardinal said. 

Referring to the Gospel reading for the day (Mark 10:2-16), Cardinal Dew said that Jesus responded to the Pharisees trying to trap him with a question about divorce under the Mosaic law by speaking with divine authority and going beyond the question put, and getting “people to think even more”. 

“Suzanne did not claim to have any particular authority, but through her prayer and action she knew what was the right thing to do,” Cardinal Dew said. 

He referred to Suzanne putting “something different out there that made people stop and think, that helped people grow and be aware of others. She went beyond the present moment and beyond people’s sometimes trivial concerns. She helped them to see more, to see with the eyes of God”. 

At the start of the Mass, Cardinal Dew said that people from throughout the country had sent in petition prayers seeking the intervention of Suzanne Aubert. These were laid on the altar, and after the Mass were put on Suzanne’s final resting place.   



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Michael Otto

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