St Madeleine Sophie Barat

10 March Reflection Quote

"The nature of love is to change the lover into the Beloved." Madeleine Sophie Barat, Letter 93 to Emilie Giraud, 1828.

The power of love to transform us is one of the great themes in literature. Many stories and songs remind us that love calls forth the best in us. In fact, it calls us to be the love of the Heart of God. – have you ever seen love change a person for the better? – how does being loved help you to be a better person? – in what ways does love draw you into union with the Heart of God?

5 March Reflection Quote

"You are growing older and suffering; so you can do very little, but this is a means of becoming interior and of unting yourself to Jesus in his self-emptying." Madeleine Sophie Barat, Letter 74 to Adreinne Michel, 1837

Our culture tends to value having and doing over being. It is not surprising then that we may fall into valuing ourselves according to what we do. Jesus, however, shows us another way. – does this saying from St Madeleine Sophie Barat feel like an unhelpful suggestion that you ‘offer up’ your sufferings? – how might less action help you to be closer to Jesus? – what feeling arise when you can do very little?

6 February Reflection Quote

"When I know myself and confess my nothingness, yet count on my Lord Jesus, I grow strong in his grace and love." Madeleine Sophie Barat, Letter 183 to Adele Lehan, 1856.

As people of our time and culture, we may not be very comfortable with the idea that we are nothing. It may seem like a false and unhealthy form of humility. Of course we are each of great value, but our dignity comes from being made in the image and likeness of God. Each of us can reflect the grace and love of God for others. – do you feel humiliated by your limitations? – when are you most conscious of God’s love shinning forth from you? – how comfortable are you placing your trust in God?

26 January Reflection Quote

"If I had to live my life over again, I would seek only to listen to the Holy Spirit." Madeleine Sophie Barat, Letter 8 to Adrienne Michel, 1811.

At times we have regrets. Upon reflection, we might do things differently if we were to have our time over again. While we cannot change the past, such reflection can help to shape our future. – what would you do differently if you could live your life over again? – how do you listen to the Holy Spirit? – why do you think Sophie saw listening to the Holy Spirit as the one thing needed?

22 December Reflection Quote

"God is so great in his mystery and shows himself only to the simple and those intent on him in humility and freedom from earthly entanglements." Madeleine Sophie Barat, Letter 93 to Emilie Giraud, 1828.

We don’t need to reject the good things of this world in order to encounter God. We do, however, need to be free in our relationship with them rather than enslaved by them. – can our relationships with material things stop us from being free to love and serve God? – do intelligence and knowledge sometimes get in the way of embracing Mystery? – how has God shown him/her self to you?