Gifts of life

Last night I added a new item to the rolling news on our Province website's homepage, wishing our founder, St Madeleine Sophie Barat, a very happy 237th birthday today. I wrote that we give thanks for the gift her life has been to the worldwide family of the Sacred Heart. And indeed we do: a huge, collective thanksgiving for eight and a half decades of struggle and survival; of deep prayer, tireless work, wisdom, generous loving and plumbing the depths of the Open Heart of Jesus.

And then this morning I heard Sophie whispering that the gratitude is mutual: she gives thanks for the gift of every one of our lives, given in love, to God and to the Society. She gives thanks for our new Superior General and her Team, who begin their service of leadership today, and for each and every one of us around the world, who bear her DNA and continue, in today's wounded world, her mission and vision born and forged in the pain and turmoil of post-revolutionary France.

And being a woman of great generosity she even gave me a birthday gift! The planters attached to the railings outside our doors are changed twice-yearly, so we get geraniums in the summer and hellebores flowering all through winter. This year the geraniums arrived on May 25th, feast of Sophie's birth into eternal life... and the hellebores...? yes; they arrived - already sporting three jaunty pink flowers - today, anniversary of Sophie's birth into life itself...