Are we there yet?: Weekly Message for 04-18-2023

Dear Friends,

If you have ever taken a road trip with young children, you know the proverbial, “Are we there yet?” comes about the time they exhaust the car games and snacks, or maybe after the first round of Veggie Tales or The Lion King. Then, diversions are presented one after another until the destination is reached or the kids fall asleep.

Sometimes our spiritual lives resemble a road trip. We know the desired destination is sanctification in heaven, but we seldom journey on a path devoid of diversions. We can become impatient with God in prayer, lamenting that our lives seem full of diversions, often very good things, that seem to alter our expected course.

I know of one such woman whose path took many twists and turns toward her sanctification, Blessed Marie of the Incarnation.

Born 1 February 1566 at Paris and baptized as Barbe Aurillot, Blessed Marie’s father was a French government official. Educated at her aunt’s convent at Longchamps, she was attracted to religious life, but at age 16 married Pierre Acarie, an aristocrat and treasury official. She raised her six children, three of whom became Carmelites nuns, and one a priest.

Barbe’s husband supported the Catholic League against Henry IV, so when Henry became king, he seized their estates, impoverished the family, and exiled them from Paris. Barbe went to court and reclaimed part of the family fortune. She and Pierre were married 30 years. Barbe, was devoted to acts of charity, especially towards the poor, and the writings of St Teresa of Avila. Both contemplative and apostolic, Barbe was known for her many good works, including being instrumental in bringing Discalced Carmelites of Saint Teresa to France. She founded five houses between 1604 and 1609, and after her husband died, she entered a Carmelite convent, in 1613, taking the name Marie of the Incarnation. Five years later she died, on April 18, 1618.  Blessed Marie was beatified June 5, 1791.

Looking back on Marie’s life, one can see how the many twists and turns actually became the beautiful threads that, once woven together, became the tapestry of her saintly life.

When we are tempted toward impatience with the length of our journeys, may we all have the grace to step back and see those many twists and turns as opportunities to serve the Lord here and now, trusting that He is in control of our final destination.

Yours in the Heart of Jesus,


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