The strength of God

The other day I sent someone an encouraging message with one of my favourite quotes from our founder, St Madeleine Sophie Barat, whose feast we celebrate today: So you say you are weak; but have you measured the strength of God?

It is, of course, a rhetorical question, God's strength being as immeasurable as his love. But for Sophie, it was also a certainty born of the experience of that strength, poured into a timid young woman from a quiet backwater: a strength which gradually moulded and transformed this reticent, unlikeliest of founders into the Mother Barat who developed and directed the Society for more than sixty years. The recurring crises and threats to her authority, the setbacks and fluctuations in civil and ecclesial politics, the wars and revolutions have all been well documented; throughout them all, Sophie clung to the God to whom she had pledged her life and in whose loving care she placed all her trust. She knew her weakness and limitations only too well - and because of this, she truly knew, experienced and counted on God's strength.

I can imagine Sophie echoing Mary in her Magnificat, proclaiming the greatness of God, who has worked marvels in and for and through her. And that greatness of God is her message to us all today, as we celebrate her life with gratitude and love. A greatness seen not in shows of potency and fearsome domination, but in quiet fidelity, constant presence, and the unwavering, immeasurable strength and tenderness of Love. 

So you say you are weak; but have you measured the strength of God?

Happy feast, everyone! And may Sophie's prayers enable us to grow in trust, and confidence in a God of immense strength and limitless love.