Monday, October 28, 2013

Marianist Monday

We are called the Society of Mary and it is in her name that we embrace the vowed religious life through poverty, chastity, obedience, and stability. The last vow, stability, is both a dedication to our spiritual mother and a call to assist her in her mission of bringing Jesus every day into the world. The Incarnation began all of this central role of Jesus in our salvation history and the plan of God. 

Marianist students at the tomb of Blessed William Joseph Chaminade
We have several expressions from the New Testament that help us focus on the role of Mary in our lives. At Cana we hear her saying to us, “Do whatever he (Jesus) tells you.” We also have the motto “Be strong in faith” (Fortes in Fide) and the cor una et anima una from the Acts of the Apostles. We see Mary gathered with the first assembly of believers including the apostles in the upper room in Jerusalem or Mount Zion. Mary is seen as a Daughter of Zion. She is Jewish all the way through her life and is honored in the Qur’an over forty times and also mentioned in every Gospel of the New Testament and in Galatians, Acts, and Revelation 12.

Chapter one of our Rule of Life gives us a beautiful section on Mary from her beginnings to her glorious Assumption and crowning in heaven. 

 Statue of Blessed William
 Joseph Chaminade
We see Mary as the first disciple of the Lord and as our Leader, hence, another motto “Maria Duce” that is, Mary as Leader. We are dedicated to making her better known, loved, and served. We never adore her or give her a rank among the persons of the Trinity. She is totally human and it from her flesh and blood that the Son of God became man for our salvation. We do not rely simply on Scripture for knowledge of her, but on Tradition, History, and the teachings of the Church (Magisterium).

Our founder, Blessed William Joseph Chaminade, tells us “You are all missionaries of Mary” and we are willing to go wherever we are sent. We know she is more than a disciple of Jesus; she is his mother, his teacher; she is called woman, virgin, and disciple for she has all the characteristics of a disciple. She is his first and most faithful disciple “from the cradle to the grave.” She fulfills all of the beatitudes and that is why she is called “Blessed Virgin Mary.” She is the happy and blessed woman who shows us the beatitudes in action.

In our Rule of Life we consider this most blessed woman:

By the gift of faith, the Virgin Mary opened herself to the mission the Father gave her in his plan of salvation. Jesus was formed in her by the Holy Spirit. He willed her to be the promised Woman, sharing in all his mysteries. When his hour had come, he proclaimed her our Mother.