Thank You Sophie!
Uchenna Oluoha, NSCJ
I was in the mind of God at the time of St Madeleine Sophie Barat, but as one from continent of Africa, I feel called to be a part of her dream and vision for our world in the Society of the Sacred Heart. One of the sayings that inspired my love for her is; “to draw a single heart to Jesus Christ, l would shrink from no sacrifice were it even necessary for me to go to the ends of the earth.” Sophie’s dream two hundred and sixteen years ago provided an opportunity for me to formally respond to the call of the Father. On this her feast day, I reiterate my words of thanks.
In the last three years, I have been studying and living the unique charism and mission of the Society of the Sacred Heart founded by Sophie as is expressed in our Constitution. Her wisdom, lectures and writings have sown deep roots in my heart, so l am fired up to the same mission that Sophie dedicated her whole life to accomplish through relationships and networking.
I look forward to finishing the novitiate program and taking on an active role in the mission of the Society. The wisdom of Madeleine Sophie energizes and empowers, some of her sayings that speak volumes are: “Be humble, be simple and bring joy to others. When Jesus is the reason for your actions, He will act by His Spirit in you.” The above mandate from Sophie has been the mantra for my time with Jesus these last months. She reassures me not to be afraid or anxious about the future, for if God wants the work, He will show the way. I hear Sophie say to me quietly, be yourself, dear, and dance as usual, for the God who began the good work in you will bring it to a good end. So l ask myself, what more do l need? “Stay focused” is the answer from within. Another saying of hers that anchors me is: “And what is God? Supreme happiness. And what more? There is no more. That is all. Our feeble minds cannot take it in, but we may learn to taste its truth. And that is everything.”
Sophie has opened the door into the heart of Christ for many of us. As l continue in formation, l am determined to make Sophie my spiritual director and with her guidance, the sky is the limit into the immense happiness that will be mine.
On her feast day Sophie reminds us to, “Keep trust in God, and your courage. He will supply when yours gives out, especially if I pray with real faith and perseverance.”
The journey with Sophie has just begun. I am grateful to God for the opportunity to encounter the “little Society” mentored by Sophie Barat.