Friday, May 1, 2009
Sophie's Journal -3
The picture above is of the Sacred Heart convent in Poitiers where Sophie wrote her journal. I spent several days there when doing research and there is a special spirit in the old convent even today.
Devotion to the Sacred Heart is implicit in the entire Journal. There is a certain caution evident due to the disturbed political situation in France, but the essence of the devotion is at the heart of Mother Madeleine Sophie Barat's teaching. She speaks often of total surrender to Jesus, of the desire to belong wholly to him, to love and adore him in the Blessed Sacrament, to imitate his virtues, especially his obedience and humility. Zeal for the salvation of souls manifested itself in the work of education. The young superior's instructions stressed both interior life and zeal for souls.
Ignatian influence is evident in the conferences given in preparation for the celebration of feasts of Jesuit saints; it is even more evident in the formation given to make the novices wholly contemplative and wholly apostolic. This was a new conception of religious life for women. Ignatian spirituality called for contemplatives in action. Mother Barat directed her novices to study the Heart of Jesus and to do all in union with him. She wanted them to discover that union and conformity with Jesus would so integrate their lives that they would be "wholly apostolic and wholly contemplative."
How do we integrate our lives? Am I living an integrated life?