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Journey with Colin: A doorway to the Marist Project

Nazareth 4

Putting Down Roots

Journey with Colin: Nazareth 2 - Listening


Being rooted is perhaps the most important and least recognised need in the human soul. It is one of the most difficult to define. A human being has roots through his/her real, active and natural sharing in a collective existence – one which keeps alive certain treasures from the past and certain intimations of the future. A natural sharing, that is, one that comes automatically through place, birth, profession and surroundings.

Each human being needs to have multiple roots.

He/she needs to receive virtually the whole of his/her moral, intellectual, spiritual life through the mediations of milieus that he/she is naturally a part of. No less indispensable than rootedness in a natural context are the exchanges of influence coming from very different milieus.However, a particular milieu must receive this external influence not as a supplement, but as a stimulant making its life more intense. It must not feed on contributions from outside without first having digested them, and its individual members must only receive them through their own milieu.

Simone Weil, Rootedness, 1949, Gallimard

Make me a tree that bears fruit

Come, Holy Spirit, come and teach me to be silent, to make a prayer of silence, to allow my heart’s roots to grow, to become a tree bearing fruit each day for all who are starved of love.

Give me the happiness of knowing once more how to stop in order to listen, day and night, to the murmur of the word of life. Far away from the drugging of noise and the waltzing of words.

Make me a tree that is solidly planted close to flowing water and bearing fruit. Root me in the love of the living God so that for each season and over several generations to the evening of my life, I may remain fruitful and flourishing.

Come, Holy Spirit, whenever trials and tempests arise on my path and the desert wind of unhappiness blows. When the drought of doubt emerges and when the derisive laughter of mockers wins the day. Root my love in the source of faith and nothing will uproot me.

Come, Holy Spirit, so that I may know how to pray and to take deep root, to reach the underground water courses of my heart, to listen to the secret song that pursues me and to welcome your love, keeping fresh and green the foliage of my life.

Come, Holy Spirit, that I may not fear to go beyond the layers of clay, to cross within me many infertile zones, to patiently circumvent pebbles and stones, Since a tree’s strength roots itself in the depths of the earth.

Come, Holy Spirit, may I become a solid tree standing up to the full wind. A tree whose sap springs from the heart's roots. You know how humankind has need of living trees of their peace and of their shade!

Come, Holy Spirit, may my inner self be strengthened, may Christ live in my heart through faith, may I each day be rooted in God and may the fruits of my life taste of his love.

Michel Hubaut
Under the Discrete movement of the Spirit
Cerf, 2012


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"Happy the one who counts on the Lord; with the Lord to rely on.

Such a person is like a tree by the waterside that thrusts its roots to the stream: when the heat comes it has nothing to fear, its foliage stays greens; untroubled in a year of drought, it never stops bearing fruit."

Jeremie 17,7-8


for personal reflection
or group sharing

• Take the time to think about your life, your history.
 - What nourished me?
 - What nourishes me now?
 - From where do my roots replenish themselves?

• Draw the tree of your life:
 - Give a name to its roots,
 - Its trunk,
 - Its leaves,
 - Its fruit.

• In groups, take the time to share the reflections coming to us.

You can conclude with a prayer based on Michel Hubaut, repeating a phrase that spoke particularly to you.


"A tree that must bear much fruit over a long period must have good roots, whether it is tested by wind or by storm to ensure that its roots are deeply planted in the soil; see how slow it is to grow, to develop, time strengthens it."

Founder speaks 174, 20