Barbe Avrillot was born in Paris in 1566. At the age of sixteen she married Pierre Acarie, by whom she had six children. In spite of her household duties and many hardships, she attained the heights of the mystical life. Under the influence of St Teresas writings, and after mystical contact with the Saint herself, she spared no effort in introducing the Discalced Carmelite nuns into France. After her husbands death, she asked to be admitted among them as a lay sister, taking the name of Mary of the Incarnation; she was professed at the Carmel of Amiens in 1615. She was esteemed by some of the greatest men of her time, including St Francis de Sales: and she was distinguished by her spirit of prayer and her zeal for the propagation of the Catholic faith. She died at Pontoise on 18th April, 1618. MORE: madameacarie.org
Lord Jesus “conform my spirit to your blessed humanity, filling my mind with knowledge and my memory with a continual recollection of You, my will with an ardent affection for your Majesty, [conform] my soul to your very holy soul... Enlighten me inwardly with the light of your Divinity, all the more so as I believe, by it, that you are totally within me. By this means, I very humbly beg you to look from now on through my eyes, speak by my tongue, and accomplish by all my members and senses the things which are agreeable to you. : V.E. f°19.
The apostolic aim of the Teresian Carmel
"When I began to take the first steps toward founding this monastery, it was not my intention that there be so much external austerity. At that time news reached me of the harm being done in France and of the havoc the Lutherans had caused and how much this miserable sect was growing. The news distressed me greatly, and, as though I could do something or were something, I cried to the Lord and begged him that I might remedy so much evil. It seemed to me that I would have given a thousand lives to save one soul out of the many that were being lost there.
I realized I was a woman and wretched and incapable of doing any of the useful things I desired to do in the service of the Lord. All my longing was and still is that since he has so many enemies and so few friends that these few friends be good ones. As a result I resolved to do the little that was in my power; that is, to follow the evangelical counsels as perfectly as I could and strive that these few persons who live here do the same. I did this trusting in the great goodness of God, who never fails to help anone who is determined to give up everything for him. My trust was that if these sisters matched the ideal my desires had set for them, my faults would not have much strength in the midst of so many virtues; and I could thereby please the Lord in some way. Since we would all be occupied in prayer for those who are the defenders of the Church and for preachers and for learned men who protect her from attack, we could help as much as possible this Lord of mine who is roughly treated by those for whom he has done so much good; it seems these traitors would want him to be crucified again and that he have no place to lay his head. Still, my heart breaks to see how many souls are lost. Though I can’t grieve so much over the evil already done—that is irreparable—I would not want to see more of them lost each day.
O my Sisters in Christ, help me beg these things of the Lord. This is why he has gathered you together here. This is your vocation. These must be the things you desire, the things you weep about; these must be the objects of your petitions. The world is all in flames, they want to sentence Christ again, so to speak, since they raise a thousand false witnesses against him; they want to ravage his Church.
So, then, I beg you for the love of the Lord to ask His Majesty to hear us in this matter. Miserable though I am, I ask His Majesty this, since it is for his glory and the good of the Church; this glory and good is the object of my desires."