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Water from the Rock

 

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Interprovincial Novitiate La Valla - Medellín

30/05/2008: Colombia

“God chooses individual men and women and calls each of them by name. He leads them into the desert and there he speaks to their hearts. … By his Spirit, he transforms them constantly leading them more deeply into his love in order to send them out on mission.”

When we compare the vocational itinerary of Mary and Champagnat, we may glimpse in depth the similarity of God’s action and its transforming effects through the Spirit in the lives and work of these two people. Their ways are different than ours, yet they may, all the same, shed light upon our own journey. In doing so, Mary and Champa-gnat may help us remain faithful in responding to the various calls coming to us from God, through our brothers and sisters around us. Such a manner of responding to God is what Father Champagnat called God’s presence.

We know that God’s call varies from person to person. In the case of Mary, Our Good Mother, it is God himself who tells her through the angel: “Rejoice, full of grace, the Lord is with you.” In Champagnat’s case, most probably it is through Father John Santiago Cartal that the invitation, such as we know it, comes to the young Marcellin: “It is God’s will.”

Then, as we reflect upon the vocational itineraries of these people as models for us, we become aware of events which led them each day to ratify the YES they had given previously. We may, for example, recall the Visitation and the young Montagne boy. The experiences were landmarks for the journey and direction of Mary’s vocation and Marcellin’s respectively. The light offered by such events, ever falling upon the process of our generous fiat, may help our own vocational journeys, as suggested in the second chapter of Water from the Rock.

As a consequence, we need not feel alone as we make our journey. Neither Mary nor Champagnat answered their vocational calls starting from contemplative prayer or from a work they were undertaking alone. No: their answer arose in a context which involved other people.

Champagnat answers while in relation with Brother Francois and the first Brothers. Together they start building upon the rock, not only the Hermitage but the whole Institute. For her part, Mary answers while in relation to those close to her: Elisabeth, Joseph, and later the group of the Apostles. As a matter of fact she will become the pillar of that group of men who initiated the evangelization of the world.

Therefore, we also feel the invitation to share our vocational responses, our work and our life with our brothers and sisters, with our lay colleagues and with all those who want to live Marist Spirituality. In this Spirituality, both Eucharist (see nº 23, 86 and 104) and the practice of the Little Virtues (see nº 99) are central points in our lives.


Interprovincial Novitiate La Valla
Medellín - Colombia, April 27, 2008

Brother José Manuel Gómez and the novices
Antonio Alvarado
Yan Arevalo
Sebastián Herera
Rene Montes
Hugo Tapia

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