In her childhood and youth, Madeleine Sophie was imbued with a sensitive and intense devotion to Mary, as it was lived in the Church. Over the course of her life, she discovered certain traits of Mary's Heart, traits that attracted her. Moreover, she identified essential traits of her own vocation, which she wanted her daughters to make their own. These dimensions can be seen in her letters and conferences. I present here some fragments of her thoughts, taken from the 1846 Conference on the Heart of Mary.
The Gospel speaks very little about Mary, but how many things are contained in the few words we read about her, and in what is not said we can understand even more about the hidden and admirable life of Mary, called in God's design to be the Mother of His Son. Her faithfulness and devotion were perfect; but how did she reach this perfection? It was through humility and her constant practice of spiritual life. Dear daughters, what an example! For these two virtues are the foundation of perfection.
When we turn our gaze to Mary, we discover in her two virtues that characterized her and that are the most needed in our spirituality. Mary knew the gifts that God had given her... Being the Mother of God, He communicated His nature to her and consequently united Himself to her being in the most intimate way... This Virgin, so elevated in glory, was the most humble of creatures... She never withdrew into herself; she married an artisan and consented to live ignored and poor with him; understanding the designs of God, she accepted this life of poverty and humility.
Everything will come to you with the inner spirit, for we can say here what Scripture says about Wisdom, since it is the inner spirit that grants it: "all good things came to me with it" (Wisdom 7:11), and it is this spirit that gives us the grace to keep it and to acquire all the virtues that we lack.
Happy is the soul that dedicates itself to acquiring this interior spirit. It is truly "the tree that bears fruit in its season" (S. 1:3) Let us carefully note that it does not bear fruit immediately,... but if it perseveres in its work, it will not take long to produce its fruit.
- Excerpts from a Conference of St. Madeleine Sophie on the Heart of Mary. 1846 (Roehampton 1900)
Mª Luz Galván, rscj