The Mayet Memoirs
The retreat of 1844 was conducted at Lyon in the usual devout and exemplary fashion. The elder Father Epalle gave the conferences and his brother, Bishop Epalle, took part. At the end of the retreat, Father Colin spoke a few words in the Chapel, among which I noted the following: “We are now in the age of Mary. … What gratitude should we show to Mary for having chosen us to spread her Society, this Society comprising the three branches, because Mary intends to cover the whole earth with her mantle.”
A mother’s love
‘A mother’s love does not depend upon any particular quality in the son, or on any similarity in thinking, or on any type of behaviour, but simply on the fact that this person is her son. Nothing can hide this reality. For a mother, an unbelieving son is not an unbeliever, but a son. That is what we must be if we have a mother’s heart like Mary had. To react as a Marist before an unbeliever, is to accept him and not to see in him the unbeliever but to see James, or Paul, or Andrew, a person whose heart and desires can be understood by God alone.
– Jean Coste, sm
A place in the heart
Her love for her children is not the possessive type of love that can stifle rather than quicken. Yet, her love remains a mother’s love: it never gives up on her children; it favours especially those children who have lost their way and who seem least deserving. And so, Mary is the Mother of Mercy: she has found a place in her heart for all; she has a special concern for sinners who have lost their way, and her favourite place is to be hidden in the midst of the family of humankind, to be able to identify with them all in their needs, to be able to speak to all as from heart to heart without pretence.
– Edwin Keel, sm
I think the values and qualities of a true Marist are those which will be very effective in meeting the needs of the future Church. The idea that most capturesfor me what a Marist is, is that of a mother. We a recalled to be like Mary in showing forth the qualities and concerns of a mother, dedicated to her family and their welfare. This means that our first concern is for the needs of others, no matter how great or trivial. To a mother, no task is unimportant, from preparing Iunchestodressingscraped knees; not because she may enjoy these sorts of things, but because her family depend on her and need her and she has a responsibility towards them. A mother would think nothing of leaving a sink of dishes to nurse a child with an illness or visit one in hospital. It also amazes me how wives are preparedto leave friends to follow their husbands to a different part of the country, or even a different country, because of his job. I think we should look on our bishop like this, and be prepared to go and do whatever he wishes.
An image that springs to mind…
It is the hand outstretchedthat cools the fevered brow; it is the voice that says, not: “I see your problem”, but rather: “I am with you in yourtrial and I understandwhat you are experiencing.”
I like to think that my mother exhibits this virtue.
It is the hand that prepares the lunch each day, that soothes a troubled spirit. In fact compassion is there when you arrive home from work or school each day, just as compassion was a carpenter’s wife and the mother of Jesus.
For me compassion is avirtue of sharing. It is the ability to see another’s need and to respond to it. Compassion allows us to enter into something of the experience that another person is having.
Marist Fathers’ Constitutions
Attentive solely to the Lord, and aided by the prayer and example of Mary, they strive to become, in their Founder’s words, ever more effective “instruments of divine mercy”.
– Constitution 11