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Take Five

A Certain Way

Part Two: Origins
There's only one Gospel: the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But there are different ways of living the Gospel. Francis of Assisi, Dominic, Ignatius of Loyola and many others found different ways of applying the Gospel of Jesus to the needs of their times. In 19th century France a group of people found a way of living the Gospel that answered some of the spiritual needs of their post-Revolution world. This was new and refreshing in their day. It's still fresh today.

Read "A Certain Way" from the beginning.


Fire and rose

Fire and RoseIf we were looking for a spiritual centre point of the Marist enterprise, we might possibly find it in two "moments" in Mary's life which may at first sight seem almost contradictory: Mary's life at Nazareth and her life in the early Church after Pentecost.

In many statements jotted down by Mayet, Colin calls up these two images of Nazareth and the early Church, sometimes making a distinction between them, and sometimes making no distinction, blending them together as if they were two sides of the one coin.

Marist historian Jean Coste writes: "The first point of reference for every Marist is the person of Mary, of whose spirit we must partake. That Mary represents the heart of Christianity, of the Church, is brought out in two biblical mysteries, to which Father Colin ceaselessly sends us back.

The first is Mary present in the Church after Pentecost: humbly immersed in its midst, animating by her prayer and her zeal that first apostolic group.

The second sets before our eyes the house of Nazareth, where, in the obscurity of a little carpenter's shop, the redemption of the world began to be realised, and where we see so clearly that a person cannot truly work for God if he is not spiritually ready to accept, if need be, for God's glory, even obscurity and apparent uselessness."

In Mary
we recognise
one in whom
the fire of
Pentecostal action
and the rose of
mystical
contemplation
are combined.

Colin saw great richness in these two images. They helped him to envisage the Marist enterprise as a tree of many branches. They helped him, too, to shape his convictions about the need for Marists to be united in mind and heart, to be open to the Spirit and to work zealously in a hidden way.

The image of Mary at Nazareth and in the early Church is also enriching for us who feel the call to prayer, yet realise our place is in this world of activity.

The Church's liturgy honours Mary with many titles, among which are two significant ones: we call Mary "Mystical Rose" and "Queen of Apostles". In Mary we recognise one in whom the fire of Pentecostal action and the rose of mystical contemplation are combined.

In this she is a model for all those who wish to find a unifying point in their lives.

NEXT READING
Chapter Four,Section 1: A place to stand

BACK TO TAKE FIVE: A CERTAIN WAY

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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.

...in Mary the woman  we can see a reflection  in human terms of  the maternal qualities  of God, especially  the qualities of mercy and compassion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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