Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Happy Feast of Saint Madeleine Sophie!



Today is the feast of St Madeleine Sophie Barat, foundress of the Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus!  She was born in 1779 in France, and she founded this "little Society" in 1800.  I keep learning more and more about her, but I'm sure there are better biographies online than what I could provide.  

What I love about Sophie is her generous heart and her recognition of the Christ in each individual.  Her letters show how she knew the needs and hearts of each individual to whom she wrote--and she addressed them with loving care, seeking to comfort those who needed comfort and gently challenge those who were too comfortable.

The readings for her feast day include Colossians 3:12-17, which seems to sum up her ideals very well:

Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do. And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection. And let the peace of Christ control your hearts, the peace into which you were also called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Happy Feast!  Pray for us, Saint Madeleine Sophie!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Truth

From today's Gospel (John 17:11b-19):  "Consecrate them in the truth."

Jesus is speaking to the Father about his followers.  I've been thinking about that phrase this morning, and I don't really know what it means to be consecrated in the truth.  Yet, "truth" has been on my mind a lot lately--finding my truth, my true self, and really speaking my truth.  

The last year or so, at least since entering the Society of the Sacred Heart, has been a time for me to discover who I am and what I value.  I don't think my values have really changed, though my eyes have been opened to new things in new ways--things like human trafficking and the concerns about the environment.  At the same time, I've been trying to really speak up for what I think, feel, believe.  That's not so easy for me, but the encouragement and respect of my sisters has helped me with that.

And I still have questions about truth, too.  There are some truths that are better kept in my heart than spoken out loud, sometimes because those things are private, and at other times because they would be hurtful to someone else.  How do you balance being truthful and caring for the feelings of the ones you love?  It seems to me like that's sometimes a very fine line.

The Gospel reading continues:

Your word is truth.
As you sent me into the world,
so I sent them into the world.
And I consecrate myself for them,
so that they also may be consecrated in truth.

So, being consecrated in truth means being consecrated in the word of God, which means being set aside for God's special purpose, in and for Jesus. Isn't that a powerful way to think about living as a Christian?