Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Sopie's Journal continued -11
Let us return to the Journal of St. Madeleine Sophie that she kept in Poitiers in 1806. Mother Barat felt that recreation was an important part of the novices' life. It was a bit different from what we would call "recreation" today. They had formal times of recreation together every day and Sophie wanted them to be both joyful and spiritually stimulating. She encouraged the novices to share the stories of their vocations. The action of God was evident in many of the adventures suffered during the Revolution; the stories grew longer until time had to be measure for each by sticking a pin in a lighted candle.
Outside the hours of recreation, silence was to be kept. Therese Maillucheau's "notes" on the early days at Poitiers emphasize how strict Mother Barat was about silence. Stillness was to reign in the house; silence was conducive to interior life. Mother Barat taught by example.
Today, we need to build silence into our lives. We can still practice "silence of action" and many do. It was said of Reverend Mother Stuart that she studied each door knob so that she could go in and out without ever disturbing anyone by the slightest noise.
We do not stick a pin in a candle, but sometimes when RSCJs get together to share we have used egg timers!! Having a limit for sharing enables all to have time to be heard. It is good to be able to share our lives with others. With whom do you share?