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Water from the Rock

 

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How to Live Marist spirituality

13/08/2008: Colombia

Marist spirituality has its origin in Father Champagnat and the first com-unity of Brothers whose hearts were filled with the desire of spreading Christ’s life around the world. They formed a small group and lived in a very humble and simple way (See 33). Taking Mary as their model and as a pathway that leads to Jesus, their mission was to make Jesus Christ known and loved. The fundamental sentiment of the community can be considered passion for God and compassion for people (nº 1). This way of living the Gospel went forth and has spread like an unquenchable fire right up to our own our day, enriching our Marist spirituality over the years.

Within this spirituality, our Marist predecessors handed on to us several fundamental aspects, intimately related to our apostolate. Therefore, they help to proclaim to all humankind the Good News of the Kingdom. From April 21 to 23, in the short course he shared with us during his stay in Colombia, Brother Teófilo underlined with particular emphasis two aspects of Marist spirituality. They are the following:

1. Prayer as a way to welcome within us the strength of the Holy Spirit so that we can accomplish our mission. As a matter of fact, we found an important relationship between prayer and mission or, as we usually say, between contemplation and action. Those two aspects are not the same thing. They cannot be confused, but they are related very deeply in what Brother Teófilo calls “a balanced relationship”. As an example, he refers to nº 131 of Water from the Rock, where Mary is portrayed as the woman who attained the balance in a per-fect way. The balance is brought out when we consider as a whole the narrative realities of the Annunciation (contemplation) and of the Visitation (action).

2. Eucharist as a privileged place to enter into communion with Christ and with his Body, that is to say, the Church. Therefore, it is not surprising that no. 23 of Water from the Rock presents Eucharist as the source and summit of the Christian life, as the sacrament par excellence that “leads us to the heart of Marist spirituality.” Num-ber 104 repeats the same idea while underlining, perhaps in an even stronger way, the community dimension of our life, as a fruit which grows out of the experience of the Eucharist. It is not a surprise, therefore, that this number applies to the human person four adjectives that belong fully to the Eucharistic world: “We find ourselves, throughout our days, gathered, blessed, broken and shared (See also 86). And here we sense, without much difficulty, that the Eucharist is the strength and sustenance to which, following Christ’s example, we are to lead others.

Mary is showing us the correct way, just as the founding community did. Like Mary, we, the Marist family of today, should be willing to proclaim with joy the Good News of the Gospel. Therefore, following Marys exam-ple, we should first of all be opening our own hearts to listen to the Good News of the Gospel. Afterwards we are called to interiorize this Word in our lives so that we may yield abundant fruits in our apostolic life. As a matter of fact, Mary is present in our lives; she is continually inviting us to follow Jesus (See 131-134).

The Marist community, formed by Brothers and lay people, has received a spirituality that can be seen in a great variety of forms. Nevertheless it must always be strong and enthusiastic if we are to share it with today’s world, proclaiming it through works and words. In this way it will be transformed into a great river of living water having in itself the strength of the Holy Spirit (See 43). And nº 97 completes the thought, saying that “such spirituality celebrates the mystery of the Trinity… and it enables us to ‘feel with’ our brothers and our sisters, to share their lives and to join them in friendship. As a matter of fact, we are in the presence of a communal spirituality (See 105, 140) where nº 97 states a group of individuals can grow into a community with one heart and one mind.

With heartfelt and friendly sentiments, we offer our thanks to Brother Teófilo. He has reminded us of the greatness of our spirituality and has invited us to appreciate the unsuspected wealth we have in the book Water from the Rock.

The postulants:

Edgar Leonardo Chicunque Jamioy
Juan Pablo Caicedo Ceballos
Jhon Urban Fredy Bolaños
Andrés Felipe Bedoya Sánchez

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