215th Anniversary of the Society of the Sacred Heart: A message from Sophie

Photo by Clara Malo rscj (MEX)

How beautiful, how noble and sublime is the vocation to which we have been called!  Who among us has understood so far, and even more, who has fulfilled the obligations to their fullest!  I am unable, my good Daughters, to make you understand all of its beauty!  To describe its excellence to you would require more than a human tongue, according to the words of the Apostle.
In speaking to you of this vocation, I will develop three points:  its excellence, its utility, and its joy.  Unlike other Orders, we unite the active life with the contemplative life, a mixed life, which is in fact perfection, so that one depends on the other.  Above all, we seek to become holy, so that we can work for the good of souls.  This will also be the means of obtaining our own sanctification, for there is not one among us, in entering here, who does not have as her first end to secure her own salvation.
Theologians say that everything God has produced outwardly, creation and Redemption, has had as its end the salvation of souls.  So everything in us ought to contribute to this end, for we are associated with the divine mission of Jesus Christ and we want to continue what he pursued on earth. 
It was necessary that the Son of God came to the world to make known and to glorify the Most Holy Trinity.  For the continuation of this divine mission he chose twelve Apostles.  He has called us to this divine apostolate, he made us his representatives, his imitators.  Before beginning this apostolate, Jesus spent thirty years in retreat, and through our active and contemplative life we reunite the whole life of Jesus Christ.  What glory and honor for us!  How have we been chosen, full of such poverty, me the first, my good Daughters!  How many others have been called like us and have not persevered in this grace, and yet they were less at fault than us in the eyes of God!
What then are the means for us to take, my good Daughters, to put us in a state that matches our holy vocation?  Following the example of our divine Savior, we must apply ourselves to a profound humility, to a full and generous devotion, to establish ourselves in a perfect union, a great charity, we must support one another.
St. Madeleine Sophie Barat
Conference 72, on our Holy Rule

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