The Mayet Memoirs
Father Colin said: “We must hold fast to the spirit which presided over the birth of the Society. Enquire further and further into it every day: you will only be good Marists in so far as you really put it into practice.
And what is his spirit?
It is the spirit of the Blessed Virgin, a spirit of modesty, of humility, of prudence, of simplicity, of discretion…. In all things let us look to Mary, let us imitate her life at Nazareth. She did more than the apostles for the new-born Church: she is the Queen of Apostles, but she did it without any stir, she did it above all by her prayers…. Let us therefore unite silence and prayer with action. The Society of Mary desires that we, her children, should be missionaries of action, and missionaries of prayer. ”
Prayer in the city
I have a friend in Japan who is afamily man with a tough job that demands a lot of overtime. He has to spend three hours daily travelling to and from work in crowded trains. He has learned to pray part of this time even though he is hanging on to an overhead strap. He usually finds the door to his “private room” in the train by opening his New Testament.
Since he began doing this he has found he can “centre” his day and find meaning in the drudgery.
He had tuberculosis very badly after the war, and was always down with colds every winter. Now, he says, this condition has improved remarkably. Many doctors wouldn’t find that remarkable, probably, because they keep telling us that over 50% of sickness comes from our inner dispositions.
If you think it’s impossible to concentrate peacefully in a crowded, lurching train, watch a young mother in one with her new baby. And how few young mothers get sick despite their shocking hours!
– Paul Glynn, sm
When Karl Rahner sj wrote the following he was writing especially for priests who were caught up in a life of action and were trying to ensure that the flame of prayer was not extinguished. But within the appropriate adaptation, his words speak to any Christian:
“In Mary, act and spirituality are one. In her, interior life has not eneed to fear that it will be profaned and die when it issues forth in the external work of conceiving an oppressive political sitaution, walking the way of the Cross to its end. The Spirit that was iparted to her penetrates into this work She obtains it by losing herself in sheer, self-giving service of this work. Mary is so give over to God that she can find him in everything: experience, prayer, action, suffering. She is active in contemplation, and contemplative in action. She can be both in one, because of her willingness to be always entirely at her master’s service, because she never seeks herself….
“When we look at Mary, we have no need to fear that we shall lose our souls, if we allow ourselves to be consumed by our work. Of course we shall defer to Christian prudence and apportion our energies rationally. Of course only that which has been undergone by us, won in prayer and personally believed can even really be preached. But if a man is unselfish in service, humble in perseverance, compassionate, never disillusioned by all the disillusionments of his work, never bitter and skeptical, always ready to be used to the utmost, silently and continuously consuming himself in the work of his office, not seeking himself, but truly seeking other for their own sake, then he need not fear that he is interiorly inadequate; the action of is apostolate creates an infinite space within him, a heart in which God establishes himself. Such a man will indeed have to keep rekindling in himself, by prayer and silence, that inner fire which alone can give rise to such work.
“But he will also find that in a heart grown empty in the selfless service of others, the interior life comes as it were of itself. He will find, with Mary, that the Child is nearest when he is no longer carried under one’s heart, but has been born into the world and has seemingly gone far off into the darkness of the Cross, leaving one with nothing but emptiness, night, and a sense of failure.”
– Karl Rahner sj
Marist Sisters’ Constitutions
Mary, submitting to God’s word, consecrated herself fully to Him, in order to serve her Son, and further his mission. By her consent she gave Christ to the world and became the perfect model of all spiritual fruitfulness.
– Constitution 17