Thursday, January 19, 2017

Your Call

It's your call. You are chosen material, though you might not know it.

Most of us spend quite a bit of time shopping around before we finally find, or fall into, a profession that seems to suit our personality. The most popular childhood careers of firefighter, football player, doctor and astronaut are not reflected in the numbers of adults actually involved in those pursuits. Instead we "settle" for jobs that need to be done or are the most available. When's the last time you heard a kid dreaming about growing up to be an office manager or a banker or an electrical line repairer. But all those jobs must be done and done well by someone, if we are to keep our businesses, our banks, our communities and our homes running smoothly.

One author put it this way: God often calls us when we are running errands, doing the mundane, thankless chores of life. When we least expect it, we are elected. Moses, hiding out on the back side of the Midian desert, was running an errand when a bush started burning that would not be consumed until he faced Pharaoh. Isaiah was somewhere in the temple, performing his regular priestly duties, when the heavens came down and the Holy commissioned him to go to the valley. Ezekiel, performing his pastoral tasks in the Exile, was transported by divine limousine service to a valley filled with dry bones. Amos was out herding sheep and keeping sycamore trees when the voice came and compelled him to go to the valley. And, Andrew and Peter were fishing out on the Sea of Galilee when the Master called them from fishing to the valley.

God is calling you right now. Are you going to respond?

It's your call whether or not to accept your "call."

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Fresh Prince of Bordeuax

Years ago, the Holy Father spoke of Blessed Chaminade's beginnings in Bordeaux in this manner: "In 1790 after the outbreak of the French Revolution, he moved to Bordeaux, where he spent most of his life. In 1791 he refused to take the oath of the so-called Civil Constitution of the Clergy and clandestinely exercised his priestly ministry, putting his life in constant danger."

Since that time, we have seen many try to capture the spirit and charism of Blessed William Joseph Chaminade in every word, look and gesture. Now take a look at this contemporary attempt to capture the mission and vision of Blessed William Joseph Chaminade.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Listen to Him

Listening to God requires a deliberate choice to shut out the chaos around you and focus your thoughts. Is God someone you can hear? The Bible says He is, and the Bible is one of the main tools through which He speaks.

We live in a world of noise. Almost everywhere we go, we find sounds competing with our minds, keeping us from letting our thoughts get below the surface level. Hearing God's voice means not listening to the noise of the world around us. It's not easy, but it can be done. Do you desire God's will for your life above every other desire? If you do, you can trust that He will direct your path. Listen to His message, and be quick to obey.

When you listen to God and obey Him, you will discover a life that is full and rich with purpose, confident you are following the Lord's plan.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Bicentennial Jubilee

This past week we were able to offer our prayers for the bicentennial jubilee of the Society of Mary and the Daughters of Mary Immacualte.

Arriving at our three schools was the Bicentennial icon of the Wedding Feast at Cana at the Marianist Province of Meribah. The icon, commissioned by leadership of the Society of Mary and the Marianist sisters, the Daughters of Mary Immaculate, traveled to Chaminade, Kellenberg, and St. Martin's with original letters from Marianist Founder Blessed William Joseph Chaminade and Venerable Adele de Trenquélleon, founder of the Daughters of Mary Immaculate.

The icon depicts the motto of Fr. Chaminade's Marianist Family: "Do whatever He tells you." (John 2:5) 

The letters were written by the two founders during the time of their work. The Society of Mary's apostolate of education draws inspiration from Mary's words – preaching the joy of a Christian life under her protection. Blessed Chaminade began this mission by forming and dedicating himself to "sodalities" in France – groups of lay men and women learning how to be Christian in a new society.

Bro. Timothy S. Driscoll, S.M., provincial superior for the Province of Meribah, said, "We are truly blessed to reflect together on Mary's message, and Fr. Chaminade's manifestation of it, during our bicentennial year. It reminds us of the privileged task given to us as Marianist educators and rekindles our zeal for the sacred task of making Jesus and Mary known, loved, and served in all places."

Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Bicentennial Icon - Bro. Salvatore Santacroce.

The icon and its pilgrimage

As a special celebration of our charism during the bicentennial, a uniquely Marianist icon is traveling the Marianist world.The icon triptych includes a depiction of the wedding feast at Cana created by an Italian Marianist, Bro. Salvatore Santacroce. 

The Bicentennial Icon and artist reflection is posted belwo.

The Wedding at Cana
Bicentennial icon web
Artist’s reflection

The icon of the “Wedding at Cana” brings into focus several key figures: Christ, the Mother of God, the servants, the amphorae (jars) and the table prepared for the feast. Some other characters and images, usually present in similar icons, do not appear: the newly married couple, the chief servant, other servants busily moving about, flower garlands, the abundant food of the feast, the musicians. Space and time are compressed. These are transformed so as to open us up to the symbol and metaphor of the new times.

The eye of one who contemplates this icon is immediately struck by the interrelated circular movement of the faces and hands. Beginning with Mary, they express gentleness, and affectionate concern, as she appeals with outstretched hand, saying the words “Do whatever he tells you.”

The look of Christ, urged by his Mother into the reality that awaits him, looks beyond the immediate, seeing his “hour” in the water that turns red and with cup and bread on the table, which anticipate and foreshadow his sacrifice: “Take and eat … Take and drink … Do this in memory of me.”

Christ is not reclining at the edge of the table, but seated on the throne of his divine majesty. He opens his arms and with one hand, blesses the water, while raising the other hand, he proclaims his name: “Jesus Christ, Son of God.”

The servant fixes his astonished gaze on Christ and comes to a new enlightenment that, through faithful obedience, is able to welcome the eruption of Divine Power within human reality. He sees the liquid pour down into the amphora as water, but he knows that amidst the gurgling inside, it has turned into wine, because he senses the bouquet. The amphorae are huge because humanity’s thirst is great and there must be enough wine for everyone.

At the top, the Marianist Cross strongly reaffirms our alliance with Mary to bring to the many tables of humanity “the good wine” the wine that has been “kept until now.”

Salvatore Santacroce, SM
Region of Italy

Friday, January 13, 2017

The Bicentennial Letter - Blessed William Joseph Chaminade

The icon and its pilgrimage

As a special celebration of our charism during the bicentennial, a uniquely Marianist icon is traveling the Marianist world.

The icon triptych includes a depiction of the wedding feast at Cana created by an Italian Marianist, Bro. Salvatore Santacroce. Flanking the art are original letters penned by Venerable Adèle de Batz de Trenquelléon and Blessed William Joseph Chaminade.

The Blessed Chaminade letter and translation is printed below.

The Chaminade letter



Agen, December 14, 1832

I hope, my dear son, that all the letters that I have written to St. Remy have reached their proper addresses and that you have seen that I profited by the various observations that you made to me.

How much the style, or, I should rather say, the tone of Father Lalanne’s letters has changed! It is that of submission and modesty in place of etc … I hope very much that we shall come to a solid peace and that I shall be able to occupy myself with the inner life of the two Communities.

Brother Clouzet appears to be making a good comeback, but the natural sentiments seem to dominate a lot more than those of grace. Perhaps, and it must be assumed that these first are a preparation for the second and for the complete triumph of grace? Consult him often, even if there is no real need for it. Make yourself, as it were, necessary to him, without, however, detracting from anything essential to your office. Wisdom knows how to follow middle courses.

I am answering Father Rollinet. After having read the letter and sealed it, will you please give it to him.

Father Lalanne has just asked me to forget about sending Father Meyer to Courtefontaine. Profit by the time during which you have such intimate relations with the latter to reanimate yourself in the service of our divine Master and of our august Mother. May nothing in the world be able to weaken in you the real spirit of the Society of Mary: Ego servus tuus sum et filius ancillae tuae … Oportet ut eveniant scandala …

Oh, my dear son, if we remain firmly united by the direction of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, under the auspices of Mary, we shall be very strong and all hell will be capable of nothing against us. Inimictial ponamiter te et Mulierem, etc., et ipsa conteret, etc.

Do not be surprised at difficulties. I do not yet write to Father Meyer in any other vein. Let him take good care of our four young postulants who are studying at the château. They concern us more than the novices.

I am stopping here and embracing you tenderly,

G. Joseph Chaminade