by Marie-Joëlle Bec, FMI
Translated by Arthur Cherrier, SM
Introduced by an excerpt from one of Adèle’s letters and closed with a prayer summarizing Adèle’s thoughts on a subject, each chapter in this little book invites the reader to see the subject with Adèle’s heart and spirit. Each chapter offers, in flowing narrative, excerpts from Adèle’s letters encouraging a deepening in the chosen virtue, devotion or attitude deemed important to her.
See with the Eyes of Faith
All her life, Adèle was animated by a deep faith, a faith that had its roots in her Baptism and her Confirmation. It was the faith of a child, simple, without deviation, which went straight to the end; she was careful to nourish this faith with prayer, Communion, and meditation on the teachings of the Church and the writings of the saints. She particularly loved Francis de Sales, Teresa of Avila, and Ignatius. Throughout the course of the liturgical year, she associated herself with the mysteries of Christ, which she contemplated with the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Adèle seeks to communicate this faith through her letters. In this way, she hopes to give rise to faith, to keep it alive, and to stimulate it in others.
Faith Allows Us To See as God Sees
In Croire, Father Bernard Sesboüé writes: “The living God is always infinitely beyond what we can think of him. This is why he surprises and disconcerts us. To believe can only be a gift from God, because only God can speak to us of God.” Adèle understands this, she who unceasingly invites us to enter into the way in which God sees things. “Oh, if only we could all rise to a new life of faith and grace. If we could only live less according to our poor nature which makes us lose so much time. Let us be daughters of faith and see things with the eyes of faith.” God has certain designs; it is up to us to penetrate them, and there we will find “a great means of advancement.” To be sure, sometimes in retrospect we have been able to chose the way of faith, against our way of seeing things—but we must have time to discover with Adèle that the difficulties themselves, considered in the light of faith, are “precious treasures.” . . .
Act by Faith
Adèle, who likes to contemplate the faith of Mary at the Annunciation and on Calvary, asks us to make the will of God our own: “What peace would be ours if we possessed that beautiful virtue of conformity to the will of God! With confidence in God, our most bitter anguish can become our sweetest consolation.” Faith, however, is never a light that blinds us. . . .
Jesus, you know living by faith
Is not natural for us.
Come to the help of our lack of faith.
We insist so much on being in charge;
Come take the reins of our lives
So that, walking in faith
With our eyes fixed on you,
After the example of Mary,
Your Mother and ours,
Our lives may sing your love.
Life of Adèle de Batz de Trenquelléon
Sources: Letters of Adèle de Batz de Trenquelléon
1 Celebrate Our Baptism
2 See with the Eyes of Faith
3 God Comes to Us in the Eucharist
4 What Kind of Ground Are We?
5 May Jesus Be Born in Us
6 Choose God This Lent
7 Jesus Takes the First Step
8 Await the Holy Spirit
9 We Must Be “Little Apostles”
10 Draw from the Source of Prayer
11 Love Mary, Our Mother
12 Let Us Be All to All
13 Time Is a Gift of God
14 Sanctity Is a Path
15 Remain Firm in Hope