Father Colin, giving vent to his ardour, said, “Ah, I wish people would stir themselves, that they would wake up…. Really, nowadays, good Lord, the clergy are dead, they are asleep…. Give a sermon: nobody comes.”
“How I hope (Marists) will always continue as they are at Lyon. They work among the masons…. They go into the prisons, they serve the workhouse…. Those are the tasks I like to see the Marists employed in. People say, ‘The Marists go into the prisons, look after the poor…. Yes, that is what must be done; that is truly a work of God.’ They request admission to the Society, and it is that which has won their affection. Let us not be numbered among those who only want to preach in the towns, to give fine sermons.”
– The Mayet Memoirs
Modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses.
It is often said nowadays that the present century thirsts for authenticity. Especially in regard to young people it is said that they have a horror of the artificial or false and that they are searching above all for truth and honesty.These”signs of the times”should find us vigilant. Either tacitly or aloud – but always forcefully – we are being asked: Do you really believe what you are proclaiming? Do you live what you believe? Do you really preach what you live?
– Pope Paul VI
Our methods are perhaps not always adapted to the needs of modern man who also has a hunger for God and a homesickness for his home, without knowing it or daring to realise it. Our words perhaps leave him indifferent.
– Pope Paul VI
A scene in Brian Friel’s play Philadelphia, here I come depicts a young man about to leave his home in Ireland for a new life in the United States. The young man and his father are struggling unsuccessfullyto find the right words to say as they farewell each other. In a corner of the room, the parish priest sits playing chess with himself, oblivious to the drama taking place between the father and his son. Suddenly, the young man turns on the priest and bursts out angrily:
You could translate all this loneliness, this groping, the dreadful bloody buffoonery into Christian terms that will make life bearable for us all. And yet you don’t say a word. Why, priest? Why, arid priest? Isn’t this your job? To translate? Why don’t you speak then?
Brian Friel – Philadelphia
We need to transmit the message of the Incarnate Word of God in terms which the world is able to understand.
– Pope Paul VI
Christ to the world
“Mary’s role was to give flesh to the Word”.
On those nine words, volumes might be written. What was Mary’s role is exactly that of the Marist today – to continue “to give flesh to the Word”, because it is only in human terms, in human example and human words that Christ will ever become actual to people in any age, including our own. Her spirit is essentially a prolonging, a keeping in being, of the Incarnation. She alone, of all humankind, gave Christ to the world. The Marist who endeavours to live by her spirit must be principally concerned with continuing just that work, to give Christ to the world.The Marist’s role is to give flesh to the word.
Kevin Maher, sm
Speak to us of God One of the touching legends
One of the touching legends
that sprang up around the memory
of St Francis of Assisi tells how one day
he walked up to an almond tree and said:
“Speak to me of God!”and the tree blossomed.
The same command is addressed to us
by the world,
bluntly or subtly, but always insistently:
“Speak to us of God!”
And just as Mary made the Word of God,
till then hidden and unknown,
come to flesh in Jesus,
so Marists in our day
are to make Christ come to life for the world.
Marists are to speak clearly to the world
of Christ – not merely by words but by actions.