Saturday, June 22, 2024

Most Hidden

March 7, 2010 by  
Filed under 3. Life force, A Certain Way

Among the things that Mayet noted when Jean-Claude Colin spoke of his years at Cerdon was Colin’s reference to those years as years of great grace. “Over a period of six years, I experienced extraordinary serenity when thinking of the Society, with a clear feeling that it was the work of God.” One special grace seemed to be connected with this period of time, and later Colin spoke of it publicly. It was the only one to which he has made significant reference.

He said, When God speaks to a soul, He says a lot in a few words.” That phrase for example, “hidden and unknown in the world”.

For Colin, and for generations of Marists, this phrase “hidden and unknown in the world” has been a type of watch-word.

In countless ways, Colin returned to the practical application of this approach as a way of being able to do an extraordinary amount of good in a world which was more and more allergic to the Church and the way it was perceived. Whether he was giving advice about a style of preaching, or an approach to sinners in confession, or a way of relating to diocesan priests and bishops, Colin could see that this was a sign of the extent to which Marists were seeking the interests of Jesus rather than their own interests, and it was at the same time, as he said, “the only way to do good”.

Many Marists seemed to understand this from the start.

In a rather beautiful sentence in one of his letters, one of the early Marists wrote “work in depth, even when nothing or very little is to be seen, for it is thee that the essential if often to be found”.

Once when Arturo Toscanini was preparing his orchestra to play one of Beethoven’s symphonies, he said “Gentlemen, I am nothing: you are nothing; Beethoven is everything”. He knew that his main task was to sink himself, and his orchestra, and let the music of Beethoven flow through.

A similar idea was expressed by Archbishop Romero in a speech he made at Louvain: “I am a shepherd who, with his people, has begun to learn a beautiful truth: our Christian faith requires that we submerge ourselves in this world. “Mary’s way of living the Gospel encourages us to ask, “What are the needs of this person? How can I help this woman to meet God? How can I help this young man to find his path to God, because he will find his path to God before I find his path to God?”

This is the meaning of the hidden way of life. Mary’s transparency is such that we see through her – to Christ. She is the signpost, pointing away from herself to Christ, whose mission on earth is her only concern.

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