Obligations Towards God and Our Neighbor

The Servant of God in a heroic way made an effort to bring glory to God. By a special grace, she understood very early the right of the Creator over His creatures and that everything has to be related to God. From then on, during her whole life all her thoughts, all her words and all her actions were focused towards this single aim.

Her understanding of the worship of God can be seen clearly in her way of praying, in her collectedness, in her humble attitude, in the mortification she imposed on herself in all circumstances in order to make this attitude more worthy of the presence God, an attitude which impressed everybody who approached her and which led them to God.

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Prudence – Wisdom

The Servant of God heroically practiced prudence, because in all her life one cannot find any action having a purely human aim. Everything in her was orientated towards God, eternal salvation, sanctification, giving glory to God, and the salvation of souls. Her constant efforts tended towards the realization of this only goal.

Not trusting herself, from her earliest youth on, she turned to her wise and prudent spiritual guide, Father Reichard, searching for the light of truth and practical advice on how to behave. She had the great wisdom to keep him as her guide all her life, deeply convinced that God wanted it that way. In her inner pains, at the age of 17, having tried to find consolation from a different confessor, she very soon recognized her error and returned to Father Reichard. She followed in everything and always the directives of Bishop Raess. She recommended this prudence to her Daughters: “Oh, my children, if you could only understand how useful it is for you in temptations to immediately ask the advice of your Director or your Superiors and to obediently follow their advice.” Continue reading

Concern for the Poor

Concern for the Poor, Especially for Poor Children

The Servant of God dedicated herself to the instruction of the ignorant and above all poor and abandoned (neglected) children. She assembled them herself in order to talk to them about God and to lead them gently to pray. This was one of the aims of her Congregation: teach these children until their First Communion.

From the beginning of the Congregation, the Servant of God organized a service for poor children of the villages belonging to the parish of Niederbronn. These children received daily breakfast and lunch. Soon their number increased: After a month, there were 25, a few months later 42. Most of the children were also provided with clothes.
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Practicing Love for the Neighbor

The Spirit in which Love of Neighbor is to be practiced

In the Original Rule, there is a passage which reveals the profound thought of Mother Alphonse Maria about the real basis of love for our neighbor:
“In order to accomplish a good work with zeal and to make it meritorious in the eyes of God, it must be accomplished out of love for God. Without that intention, everything is empty and cold, because every natural motive which drives you to do something good is weak and cannot reach supernatural merits.” “Though I command languages both human and angelic – if I speak without love”, says St. Paul, “I am no more than a gong booming or a cymbal clashing” (1 Cor. 13,1), and St. John says: “Anyone who does not love remains in death” (1 John 3,14).
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Expression of the Love for Neighbor

Expression of the Love for Neighbor

Before the foundation of the Congregation, the Servant of God was a member of the Third-Order of St. Francis and a member of the Sacred-Heart Association. Father Reichard had organized groups to visit the sick. Elizabeth Eppinger participated it actively during the time when her health permitted it.

From her early days, she was concerned about the sanctification of her neighbor, all those in her surroundings: her parents, brothers and sisters, domestics, her schoolmates, and her friends. Her constant concern is to make them avoid sin and love God, to be virtuous and this in spite of all mockery and insults.
The love for our neighbor in the Servant of God first of all wanted the salvation of her neighbor. She untiringly prayed for sinners and worked for their conversion. She said: “I feel an intense tenderness for the sinners. I see in them God’s creatures and the objects of His love.”
Father Reichard said: “She constantly feels irresistibly attracted towards God, her Savior; always and with just as much strength she wishes to be able to lead all sinners to Him.” Continue reading