The Mayet Memoirs
Father Colin said: “I think more is to be gained by arousing people’s feelings of confidence than by thundering and frightening people. There are souls perhaps who respond to a fright, but there we far more, I think, who respond to kindness, gentleness and trust…. I shall never forget one poor creature who fell at ‘he missioner’s feet, eyes streaming with ears, and said: ‘Father, I have been waiting for you for ten or twenty years. I weep every light.’ This person did not dare to go elsewhere and had not the courage to confess to the local parish priest.”
– September 15, 1845
The more abandoned
Sketched out in the Gospel in parables and hidden sayings, I find a man who is a shepherd of a hundred sheep. When one of them left the flock and wandered off, the shepherd did not stay with those who stayed grazing in the flock without wandering. On the contrary, he went off to search for the single stray; he followed it through countlessvalleys and ravines, climbed many difficult mountains, searched with great trouble in lonely places until he found it. When he had found the lost sheep, far from beating it or driving it to return to the flock, he laid it on his shoulders and gently carried it back and returned it to its fellows. The Good Shepherd rejoiced more over the one that was found, than over all the others.
The whole story has a sacred meaning, and it warns us not to thinkof anyone as lost or beyond hope. We must not easily despair of those who are in danger, or be slow to help them. If they stray from the path of virtue, we should lead them back and rejoice in their return and make it easy for them to rejoin the community of those who lead good and holy lives.
– St Asterius of Amasea
The rugged Aspromonte range in the Calabrian “toe” of Italy’s “boot”, is known as the country’s Wild West.
Since the early 1970’s, over 250 people have been kidnapped, some of them famous people, including John Paul Getty III, kidnapped in July 1973. But most of the victims of kidnapping in Calabria are neither rich nor famous.
In recent times, however, the name of one victim, Cesare Casella, became a household word. Rather, the name of his mother Angela became the household word. Her efforts to find her son earned her the name of “Mother Courage”. In January 1988 Cesare was abducted while parking his car in the family home. When police investigators failed to find her son, she went alone to the Aspromonte.
Travelling from town to town, she begged everyone she met for news of her son in defiance of omerta, the Calabrian “code of silence”. At night she camped out in the town squares. In one village she chained herself to a phone booth until the police claimed she was jeopardising the chance of Cesare’s freedom.
After nearly two years’ captivity, Cesare was released, and the name of Angela Casella remains in the historical memory of the Italian people.
“I sought him whom my heart loves. I sought him but did not find him. So I will rise and go through the City; in the streets and the squares I will seek him whom my heart loves. ‘Have you seen him whom my heart loves?'”
The right person
As a Marist, I do at times link faith with compassion. Faith is also the freedom to admit that no matter how we see ourselves there have been moments when we seemed to be the right person at the right time in the life of someone else.
If I show that I am not threatening, compassion is fully manifested.
“Jesus saw a large crowd and had compassion on them.” (Mark 6: 34)
– Martin Williams, sm
Marist Brothers’ Constitutions
We seek out young people wherever they may be, even at the rist of entering unexplored territory where they need for Christ is evident in their material and spiritual poverty. In our encounters with them, we show a caring attitude that is humble, simple and selfless.
– Constitution 83