This is the story of a certain way of living the Gospel. There is only one Gospel of course, and that is the Person of Jesus; He is God’s ‘Good News”. But the life and words of Jesus recorded in the written Gospels, are different for all times and all generations; and each person each time, and each generation.
So there will be different ways of living the Gospel according to the personality of individuals, their place of origin, and the times in which they live.
When Francis of Assisi took up the Gospels as his source of life, he discovered the poor Jesus “who had nowhere to lay his head”.
Dominic looked into the Gospels and discovered Jesus as the Word of life to be contemplated and proclaimed in “spirit and in truth”. When Ignatius of Loyola opened the Gospels, he discovered Jesus as a Companion, who “went about doing good”.
John of the Cross discovered Jesus as the Lover, beckoning him to ascent higher and higher to the peaks of the mountain of contemplation.
Each of these and so many others down the centuries, left us with a particular slant on the way the Gospel can be lived.
Last century, a group of people in France gathered together, inspired by a question: “What if we discovered the Gospel together, and lived it as Mary lived it?” What they found made a difference to their lives; and yet it was a simple way of life that anyone could live, no matter what their age or state.
In Old Testament times, when the People of God were confused and dispirited, the Prophet Isaiah said to them, “Listen to me, you who seek the Lord. Consider the rock you were hewn from, the quarry from which you were cut.” He reminded them of their spiritual father Abraham, and their spiritual mother Sarah, through whom they had come to know the Lord. Isaiah’s words may be a good place for us to begin. The first Marists were men and women of rock, and the origins of Marist spirituality were hewn, almost literally, out of rock. But what those pioneers found was fresh for their times. And for ours.