They Mayet Memoirs
In Rome, a religious spoke to Father Colin at length against new Orders, saying that people should join the older ones.When he fad said his piece, Father Colin said, Forgive me, Monsieur, if I do not share your opinion. Each age has seen new Orders come to birth. God has brought hem to birth to meet current needs. Each Order has its vocation, its mission, its time. When we read the history of the Church we see that some have appeared in every age. Strictly speaking there is only one body vhich must always continue in existence: the Church, which has Jesus Christ as its head. The others acknowledge men as their founders, and do not have to endure, but fall when the need for which God created them has been met. If they do endure afterwards, they no longer thrive with the dash and prosperity which blessed their early days. They fall back into the common run when their mission is ended.”
Hitherto, with all the good will in the world, each of our congregations – all branches of the general project of the Society of Mary – tended, with honourable exceptions, to withdraw within itself and to draw from its own resources. This led to ignorance or limited knowledge of the common charismatic trunk, and even of the founders and the spiritual riches of the Sisters’ branches.
– Basilio Ruedo Guzman, fms
The Marist heritage has not been given to us for our own individual betterment only. It has an importance for the Church. Religious orders especially, as our Founder was well aware, have a special contribution to make to the Church of their time. “Each Order has its vocation, its mission, its time.” And so, the spiritual heritage we have received is at the same time a trust. It is something entrusted to us for the good of the Church. And for that reason we are responsible for it…. What have we done with the five talents that our Marist Founders passed on to us? Shall we be like the faithful servant who produced five more talents from the ones entrusted to him? Or shall we be like the wicked and lazy servant who returned the talent entrusted to him, saying;”I hid your talent in the ground” (Matt 25:14-30)?
The question to ask is therefore not, Will the Society of Mary survive?
The question is rather, “Have we indeed fulfilled our mission? We do not have to worry about our communal survival. We do have to worry about the talents entrusted to us. We shall be asked to give account of our stewardship, not of our survival.
– Jan Snijders, sm
The commitment of men and women, ordained priests and laypeople, religious and people living married life and “secular” professions, all to the same mission of embodying Mary’s intervention in this present age, that commitment was part of the core of the original Marist vision prior to the divisions imposed by history.
This does not mean we must try to do away with the divisions. All our Founders soon realised that other structures would be unworkable. Cardinal Castracane was right. It does mean that we should try to grow closer together as together we rediscover our common mission – to the secularised world as such; a common undertaking – the Work of Mary; a common superior – Mary; a common message – the mercy of God for the people of today; a common approach – hidden and unknown; a common desire – to involve the whole peopleof God.
It cannot be without providential guidance that the Marist family has grown closer together already in the last twenty-five years while beforehand we seemed to be drifting even further apart.
– Jan Snijders, sm
Jean-Claude Colin, you spent your life fighting for a Society in whose future you believed. You traced it with features marked by yourtime. Forgive us if at times we are very far from it, but what you wanted we still want today.
This body, which you passionately loved, we intend to bring alive. For this we will be helped by that profound vision which encouraged you: that of Mary’s support of the Church at the beginning and at the end of time…. All during your life you had a certain idea of the Society of Mary.
Help us, after so many changes, to remain in communion with it, to accept that God can speakto us through the poverty of your person and your work. Help us to understand that a word spoken yesterday may still resonate in hearts today, that a body born yesterday may find within itself the energies of a new youth.
– Jean Coste, sm