The Mayet Memoirs
Father Colin told us: “When I am at the Hermitage in the midst of the Marist Brothers, I often say to them, ‘My sons, I envy your happiness.’ They do in the Society what Jesus and Mary did at Nazareth. What would we do without them? They have the happiness of serving others. Forgive me for saying so, gentlemen, but ers son ally I enjoy spending my recreation with a Brother far more than spending it with you.” Then, speaking of the poor, he said, “Theage we live in has no love for the poor. It cannot even stand to see them, which is why it has inventedprisons to lock them up in, and keep them out of sight.”
”How I want the sons of the Blessed Virgin to be known like our Lord by that mark: ‘the poor have the Gospel preached to them’.” He laid great insistence upon this, saying, “I love the abandoned works, hidden service, I love the poor.”
– September, 1838
Take the opportunity
If you are willing to listen to me, I should say we should visit Christ while there is opportunity, take care of Him and feed Him. We should clothe Christ and welcome Him. We should honour Him, not only at our table, like some; not only with ointments, like Mary; not only with a sepulchre, like Joseph of Arimathea; nor with things which have to do with his burial, like Nicodemus, who loved Christ only by half; nor finally with gold, incense, myrrh, like the Magi, who came before all those we have mentioned. But as the Lord of all desires mercy and not sacrifice, and as compassion is betterthan tens of thousands of fat rams, let us offer Him this mercy through the needy, and those who are at present cast down on the ground.
– St Gregory of Nazianzen
Love is service
God of the poor “When he had washed their feet and put on his clothes, he went back to the table. ‘Do you understand’ he said ‘what Ihave done to you?” (John 13)
We know quite well what Jesus was saying, but somehow, we forget. He was showing us that loving is inseparable from service, and that we must not stand on our dignity but must humble ourselves and do menial, earthy, bodily tasks for our brothers. To put it bluntly, he was saying that we must feed the hungry and clothe the naked – and not only that: we must clear the drunkard’s throat of vomit, and turn him on his side so that he does not choke, and we must clear up the foul excreta of those whose bodies are so ravaged by disease that they cannot care for themselves. By this shall people know we are his disciples, not by veils, or dog collars, cathedrals or statues to the Virgin.
– Sheila Cassidy
God of the poor
In his life and parables, Jesus offers us an image of God that constantly demands that we allow our myths to be shattered and that we give up notions that would try to limit God’s freedom. He shows us a compassionate God who became one of us, and suffered with the poor and oppressed. He reveals a God who identifies with love and not with power. He challenges us by portraying a constant identification with those who know suffering and rejection, not with those who are decked with symbols of success. He challenges any church that does not present this face of suffering, compassion and self-effacement to the world.
– Neil Vaney, sm
Marist Sisters’ Constitutions
Attentive to the cry of the poor, and the demands of social justice, we shall be concerned about the need and rights of those who suffer… We shall work to promote justice and charit which are an integral part of the Gospel message.
– Constitution 24