Father Colin, founder of the Society of Mary, asks Marists to find in the early Church a model for the Society of Mary. He doesn’t mean that we turn the clock back and imitate the physical lives of the early Christians; but he does invite us to try to understand what took place at the [...]
“To enable church to happen” may be a useful way of describing the Marist enterprise. Or perhaps it may be clearer to say, “to be present wherever ‘church’ is happening”, because forming a communion of mind and heart is the work of the Spirit, and not something brought about by human means.
The Work of Mary – support for the Church and compassion for the world, loyalty to the mission of the Church and involvement in this world – when done in the spirit of Mary, will have a particular fruit and a characteristic feature.
The first Marists were young and inexperienced when they started. They lacked information, finance, or contacts in high places. Colin was always stressing the importance of the innter, spiritual life, but he also said, “We did not build the Society on our knees.” Champagnat recalling the grinding labour of the early days, declared, “We built [...]
His modest simplicity has never stopped him from believing that the Society of Mary was called to do great things in the Church of God. Mary, he said, protected the Church in her cradle; she will protect her in a very special way at the end of time.
To do “the work of Mary” is not to do something directed towards her, but in a sense, to do something directed by her. It is to enter into her work.
If the arena for Marists is the world as it is, how will they be able to become “useful instruments” of the mercy of God to an era which Colin described as an age of “indifference, unbelief, pride and madness” to a period of history where “faith is disappearing”, to a world whose “inhabitants are [...]
Society of Mary historian Jean Coste uses the phrase “the great NO’s” to refer to the stand Marists are to make against greed, pride and power: and he seems in this attitude one of the essential elements of the Marist way.
One of the fruits of a life whose centre of gravity is God and the real needs of others will be that the Gospel will ”take flesh” in the lives of people.
The Marist approach to Mary, graphically mirrored in Icons of Mary in the Eastern Christian Church, helps us understand what seems to be a curious aspect of Marist spirituality.