Nano [Nagle] had become aware , and not only aware, but had tested the very depths of human suffering in her own life and in the lives of others, and like them too, had experienced the healing power of love – and so she could say from her deepest being:
“If I could be of service in nay part of the globe saving souls, I would willingly do all in my power”.
[Nano’s] vison was the outcome of her deep faith, her spirit of prayer and self discipline, her dedication to her vocation, her courage, her hope – and permeating all her love – love of God and love of people. This expressed itself in her selfless service of the poor of Cork.
Only a woman of deep faith and of personal communion with God, could face the challenge of life in 18th century Ireland. Nano faced that challenge with undaunted trust and courage, with unwavering confidence in God’s love – particularly his care for the poor. That challenge brought her close to human misery and suffering, it drew her to her knees before the Tabernacle. It revealed to her Christ dressed in the rags of little children, and the tattered dignity of the old and lonely. It drew across her once carefree, youthful face strange lines and gentleness and compassionate love – it took from her once pleasure-seeking soul all trace of self-seeking – it refined her, purified her, and finally fashioned her into “something beautiful for God”.
(Extract by Sr. Claude Meagher, pbvm – ‘Nano Nagle: An Historical Perspective’, (1984))
On this anniversary of Nano Nagle’s death (26th April, 1784) let us continue like Nano to share her yearning to ‘cast fire on the Earth’.
drawn deep into the heart of Christ,
your own heart kindled, burned
till love became your daily bread,
and daily life your bread of love,
our hearts may bear the self-same fire
and cast it on our Earth.
~ Sr. Raphael Consedine, pbvm – ‘Fire on the Earth’.