Happy Feast Day!
Today we celebrate the feast of our beloved foundress, Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat. Sophie was committed to a deep life of prayer and reflection, and she continually invited the members of the Society to see this as the basis for their inner lives and for whatever tasks they undertook. We invite you to pray and reflect today on the words of some of our RSCJs.
Feast of St. Madeleine Sophie
Helen Rosenthal, RSCJ
Today is the feast of our Mother Foundress, St. Madeleine Sophie. She seems so close to all of us as I know she watches over us from heaven. She wants each of us to live in union and conformity with the Heart of Jesus. She loves fidelity to the Holy Spirit and is concerned with the interior life of each of us. She always wants us to be humble, prayerful, and to seek only to be faithful to whatever God is asking of us. I find her presence in my life so consoling and encouraging. She often tells me to slow down and discern what the Lord is asking of me. I suspect she does this for all her daughters.
How Does Sophie’s Vision Speak To Sacred Heart Educators Today?
Suzanne Cooke, RSCJ
This Friday, we will join our sister schools across the globe as we all celebrate the Feast of St. Madeleine Sophie Barat. It is rather extraordinary to consider that a French woman living in a quiet town in France in the later 1700’s could inspire educators in Africa, Europe, the Americas, Asia and Oceania more than 200 years after the first Sacred Heart School began in Amiens, France. How is it that Sophie’s vision still informs the mission of Sacred Heart education? As we have continued our celebration of Philippine, we know part of the answer lies in Philippine’s fidelity to Sophie’s vision, but we all can see that the mission of Sacred Heart education remains vibrant today because so many before us remained faithful to Sophie’s desire to reveal the love of God in the heart of the world through education.
Silvana Dallanegra, RSCJ
Go to the Heart of Jesus and draw from it, and when you need more, go back to the Source and draw again.
~ St Madeleine Sophie, in an 1807 letter to Philippine Duchesne
Time and again, as I read things written by Sophie, I come across these words - go... draw - in relation to the Heart of Jesus. In the 1815 Constitutions, for example, the novices were to go to the Heart of Jesus to draw from it a love of charity or poverty. Elsewhere, whether in conferences or personal letters, the same advice; the same words - go, draw, source, mainspring.
Sophie, of course, grew up knowing what it meant to go to a well and draw water. We who are now accustomed to simply turning on an indoor tap can easily forget the labour involved, and the need to "go" to fetch water. With our water pipes and plumbing we can easily forget that there are millions of underground springs, and groundwater deep within the earth; an inexhaustible source of something so essential for life and growth. And we anglophones can easily overlook that for Sophie, writing in her native French, the word for a spring is source: thus the Source which is Jesus' Heart is both the origin and its abundant, life-giving stream…
May these reflections be a source of peace and perspective as we continue to journey forward, and as a Society may we always remember our roots in Sophie.