New Insights on the Gospels

March for Life 2012

Evil triumphs when good men do nothing - Edmund Burke

Friday, May 29, 2009

Quotes: St. Madeleine Sophie Barat


Quotes: St. Madeleine Sophie Barat
 
And what is God? Supreme happiness. That is all. 
     St. Madeleine Sophie Barat

Be humble, be simple, and bring joy to others.
     St. Madeleine Sophie Barat

Aim unceasingly at becoming a soul of prayer.
    St. Madeleine Sophie Barat

Let us respect childhood; let us honor the soul of that small creature of God who can already make choices of the best if we take the time to awaken her reason and make her use her judgment. … I am overwhelmed with love in thinking that this is the mission of the Society – and I have to spend my time in administration! 
    St. Madeleine Sophie Barat

For the sake of one child, I would have founded the Society.
    St. Madeleine Sophie Barat

What is needed for winning parents and children is to be busy about them, at their service from morning to night; to forget oneself and enter into what concerns the children, body and soul; to listen to them with interest; to console and to encourage them; finally to sacrifice for them everything except one's soul; and become for their sakes gentle, patient, indulgent, in one word, a mother.
    St. Madeleine Sophie Barat

Give only good example to the children; never correct them when out of humor or impatient. We must win them by an appeal to their piety and to their hearts. Soften your reprimands with kind words; encourage and reward them. That is, in short, our way of educating.
    St. Madeleine Sophie Barat

With the pupils keep an even tone, both gentle and firm. Show them by the care with which you help them to advance along every line for which you are responsible, that you care for their interests alone, and that you want to help them to acquire a solid and pious education, enhanced by learning, and thusmake them happy.
    St. Madeleine Sophie Barat

It is all very well to lay the foundations of solid virtue, but only the union of virtue with learning will give our work its perfection.
    St. Madeleine Sophie Barat

We must not be blind to the fact that in these times of activity in which we live, demands are made upon us and obstacles rise so that certain modifications and a certain perfectioning become indispensable.... Education, is no longer what it was a few years ago; the multiplication of institutions which follow the trends of the times make us seem behind. God forbid that we should wish to compromise with duty and sacrifice our principal end to these tendencies, but we must again examine what we can accord and review our Plan of Studies to modify and complete it.
    St. Madeleine Sophie Barat

We must know how to inspire in our pupils a passion for the beautiful. Let us put history into their souls; without that, memories will fade and we shall have wasted our time. In seeing the empires that rise and fall one after the other, they will perhaps learn to rise above their own troubles. They will thus better understand the sic transit gloria mundi, and their hearts, disillusioned with what is nothing, will be more strongly drawn to Him who alone remains in the midst of so many ruins.
    St. Madeleine Sophie Barat


In this struggle concerning education the Heart of Jesus asks from us not our blood but our minds. We must strengthen our studies by intellectual work. There is no question of flight from this task. The directors of Institutions-Catholic, Roman, and apostolic-tell us, poor women who are authorized by the Church to teach, that we must hold our own, and then measure ourselves against the University.
    St. Madeleine Sophie Barat

Let your classical methods cause faith to speak to reason in future teachers of our boarding schools and free schools. It is not here a question of memory, except to lay up a good store of it; it is a question of discernment, of application of religious principles. We must be busy with these things in order to respond fitly to the mission implied in our vow.
    St. Madeleine Sophie Barat

Women and children must have some knowledge of current errors and form their own judgments in light of Christianity, in order to conform intelligently to the enlightened teaching of the Church. The hour has come when we must give reason for our faith. Let our teachers be trained to reason that our pupils may learn to do so.
    St. Madeleine Sophie Barat

Your example, even more than your words, will be an eloquent lesson to the world.
    St. Madeleine Sophie Barat

...watch over the children. One of them wrote recently that she was bored,because discipline and piety were on the wane. How is this happening? You know children need to be held kindly and with courtesy no doubt, but this does not mean relaxing order, silence, obedience, respect for the mistresses. When these go, so does piety, for duty and fear are its foundation. To succeed, you must be sure that you and the Mistress General and the other mistresses, understand each other perfectly so that you all work along the same lines as far as possible.
    St. Madeleine Sophie Barat

What is the good of teaching various subjects, of wasting time in learning them, if at the same time we cannot teach children the words of life and touch their hearts and their consciences?
    St. Madeleine Sophie Barat

Your little Blessed Virgin isn't half-bad. When I go the tribune I often turn aside to look at her. She is of the same age as our children and speaks to me of the youth to whom I have vowed my life.
    St. Madeleine Sophie Barat to Pauline Perdrau, RSCJ

It is not merely for our own sakes that we should try to become interior souls; we should have constantly before our eyes the children who will come to claim spiritual help from us, help that without prayer we shall never be able to give them.
    St. Madeleine Sophie Barat

You know that the greatest treasure is the cross. A large portion of it is reserved for you....You will have those crosses which come from yourself; but you will sometimes have others no less painful. These are, you will say, gloomy predictions; Yes, for nature, but precious in the order of grace.
    St. Madeleine Sophie Barat

Make yourself familiar with these teaching methods, then see with them whether we should adopt them at any rate for the slower children. One of the ecclesiastical dignitaries of the town told me the other day that he had found a method of teaching a young man to write in 20 lessons, to read in half that number and to get hold of the elements of Arithmetic; and this was a young man so devoid of intelligence that until now he has been unable to learn the alphabet or to write a word. Perhaps we could adapt this method to our plan of studies especially for spelling in which in general we show up very badly. I must own that our children seem to do less well in this than many others from small schools or day-schools. This reputation has done us no good but has lost us many pupils. I have said this consistently at our councils but without success as people are afraid of what they call "innovations". This is a shortsighted point of view and I hope that people will have second thoughts on the matter.
    St. Madeleine Sophie Barat

I can see from your letter that you have begun to understand and appreciate virtue: not just in your imagination but in your heart. You realize now that holiness does not consist in doing extraordinary things nor in feeling love or any emotion, but in becoming simple, unnoticed, docile like a child. Be zealous for the good of souls but without great effort of mind. Believe that others can achieve results and that we must be happy to help and take second place. It has cost you so much to reach this stage! You kept crying out: "Peace, peace!" But peace is only found in a simple and humble heart and yours was so full of yourself! Our hearts are only happy in utter simplicity; yours will only be content, if your throw out all these conflicting desires which are destroying its peace. Be wise and good henceforth and learn from your experience.
    St. Madeleine Sophie Barat


Let us fix our eyes on the crucifix in every difficult moment and that gaze will renew our courage.
    St. Madeleine Sophie Barat

Let us pray to the Holy Spirit to guide us, then we will act on the Spirit’s gentle inspiration. Let us accustom ourselves to walking in these divine paths, following grace and not nature. When we go too fast it is easy to be influenced by the second. Ah! It is a great art to act only by the Spirit of Jesus
    St. Madeleine Sophie Barat

Mother Barat had stipulated that newcomers were not to be served sensible food like carrots but given what they wanted at no matter what trouble to the kitchen. This child demanded "potatoes that open with butter inside." While the potatoes disappeared Mother Perdrau let her talk about home, then led her to the best dormitory and tucked her into bed. The child hugged her pillow happily, then suddenly threw her arms around Mother Perdrau. "Why do you love me so much? You’ve never seen be before!
    Saint Madeleine Sophie: Her Life and Letters,
    Margaret Williams, RSCJ Pg. 520

I assure you that I have taken a firm resolution and I hope to engrave it profoundly on my soul during the retreat which I am just beginning: I want to refuse God nothing. But that’s not enough; I want to go before God’s will and embrace it no matter what it is. May God help my weakness. (Nov. 1810)
    Mother Barat wrote to Mother Duchesne

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this.