Two great saints on one day, not that is not true on so many days but today are two of the great ones. A mystic who excelled in the theological arts, Gertrude seems to have had a tragic early life, having to be raised in a Benedictine monastery from an early age, eventually joining the order when she became of age. She spent her life in intellectual pursuits, developing a deep love of philosophy until a vision told her to back down from her own pursuits and concentrate on Scripture and the Fathers. Her visions are brilliant, even though bounded. Rather than regret her boundaries she flourished within them.
Margaret too had a rough childhood, exiled, forced to be a refugee, and shipwrecked. But her charity and her compassion brought her forward into a blessed marriage which produced even more saints. As with Gertrude, after a rough start, once she found her place she flourished.
Keeping in mind where we come from and what is our foundation, we can overcome many obstacles. Whatever our "limitations" may seem to be, they are merely the distractions that pull us away from God. If we learn to "grow where we are planted", to take our "true selves", the self that we are created to be, then we will know the forgiveness, the mercy, and the love that will guide our actions. Whatever our beginnings, we know where our end will be.
May my soul bless you, O Lord God my Creator, may my soul bless you. From the very core of my being may all your merciful gifts sing your praise. Your generous care for your daughter has been rich in mercy; indeed it has been immeasurable, and as far as I am able I give you thanks. I praise and glorify your great patience which bore with me even though, from my infancy and childhood, adolescence and early womanhood, until I was nearly 26, I was always so blindly irresponsible. Looking back I see that but for your protecting hand I would haven been quite without conscience in thought, word or deed. But you came to my aid by giving me a natural dislike of evil and a natural delight in what is good, and provided me with necessary correction from those among whom I lived. To make amends for the way I previously lived, I offer you, most loving Father, all the sufferings of your beloved Son, from that first infant cry as he lay on the hay in the manger, until that final movement when, bowing his head, with a mighty voice, Christ gave up his spirit. I think, as I make this offering, of all that he underwent, his needs as a baby, his dependence as a young child, the hardships of youth, and the trials of early manhood. To atone for all my neglect I offer, most loving Father, all that your only-begotten Son did during his life, whether in thought, word or deed. And now, as an act of thanksgiving, I praise and worship you, Father, in deepest humility for your most loving kindness and mercy. Though I was hurrying to my eternal loss, your thoughts of me were thoughts of peace and not of affliction, and you lifted me up with so many great favors. Finally, you drew me to yourself by your faithful promises of the good things you would give me from the hour of my death. So great are these promises that for their sake alone, even if you had given me nothing besides, my heart would sigh for you always and be filled with a lively hope.
-- from Revelations by Saint Gertrude