The Mayet Memoirs
‘Let us learn to understand the human heart. Let us put ourselves in the place of those we are speaking to. Would outbursts of invective against us win our hearts? Let us 2n the contrary find excuses for them, congratulate them on their good qualities ‘there are always some), but no reproaches. l do not know of a single instance where nvective from the pulpit has done any good, n0t a single one….’
‘In the Society we shall profess all those opinions which give greatest play to the mercy of God….”
For myself, I follow the same approach as ‘he Romans do. I am very fond of those principles: ‘All for souls’ and ‘Salvation before law’…”
Care for the fragile
If there is one characteristic about Father Colin that most impresses me, it is his deep sensitivity to the fragility of every human person. The goals he sets for Marists, the challenges he presents them, are formidable, but it seems to me that they are transmitted with a gentleness that seeks to inspire, to encourage, to urge on rather than to demand, to intimidate or to frighten. He knows how easily we and those whom we serve “get broken”, so he urges us to live constantly in those Presences that mend – Jesus and Mary. He exhorts us to be present supportingly, understandingly, lovingly and frequently to one another, and he instructs us to deal sensitively, compassionately and gently with those we serve.
John Sajdak, sm
To Jean-Claude Colin who never really knew his own father or mother, and who was brought up by an uncle and a difficult housekeeper, Mary became the ideal Mother, the one in whom we can take refuge in all our difficulties. Reproduced below is one of his earliest sermons, in which he gives a striking description of his image of Mary. “She is the mother, who in her tenderness, is more of a mother than all the mothers on earth, the mother of all christians for whom she underwent at Calvary all the pain of childbirth; whose motherly heart is forever open to all, and whose boundless charity extends to all ages of the new Covenant, to all nations and all people; comforts all miseries, meets all needs, grants all prayers.”
It is so easy, when one is tense, irritated, attacked, to let slip a word which will drive away somebody who could have been put in touch with the grace of the sacrament. The Marist who is animated by the desire to become an instrument of mercy for the greatest possible number will take all possible means so that this will never happen to him and so he will never give anyone the occasion to say, “There, it’s impatience of the sinner and push him further away. (The image of the fisherman comes to mind: the aood fisherman knows how to put himself in the place of the fish he is trying to catch; he forgets himself, effaces himself, makes no noise, the fish must not be frightened away.)
Gaston Lessard, sm
A message of humanness
Friedrich Arnold, sm
Compassion and forgiveness
“Neither do I condemn you.”
Christ showed compassion and never condemned anyone who asked for forgiveness. To be compassionate is the first step in forgiveness. That is why I think a compassionate priest is really good to go to for reconciliation. I know one priest I used to go to was an alcoholic – and he had such a compassionate attitude – I could really feel him taking on my faults – not excusing them or anything – but from his heart he had compassion. I could tell that from his weakness he reached out to me – that was the first step in coming before God in reconciliation.