Marist Contemplative Living

The Assumption of Mary

This month's reflection on Marist Contemplative Living comes from David Kennerley sm, former Provincial of Aotearoa - New Zealand, "Marist spirituality almost has too many 'core' themes. We have the three founding, formation moments of Fourviere, Cerdon, Bugey and then of course there are the classic Colinian-life themes of Hidden & Unknown, Nazareth, One in Mind and Heart, Perseverance of the Just and the Conversion of Sinners, Instruments of Mercy etc. For me, however, Mary in the midst of the Church is in a sense the sun in our spiritual galaxy, THE theme around which all the others revolve and thereby receive their own particular light and significance as well. In term...

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The Pandemic & the People of God

The Pandemic & The People of God

Fr Gerald Arbuckle sm, is about to publish his latest book:    The Pandemic and the People of God: Cultural Impacts and Pastoral Responses.  He provides us with this summary overview:  The world is grappling with the most severe health, economic and political emergency since the Second World War as a consequence of covid-19 disease. It has left so many people in so many nations traumatised. An untold number of people have died. The enduring human suffering especially among society's most vulnerable - the poor and elderly – is incalculable. It is estimated that the pandemic could cast 490 million in 70 countries into extreme poverty, reversing almost a decade of ...

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A Synodal Church

Pope Francis' Call for a Synodal Church

We Marists SM are committed to having an International 'Omnes Gentes' community in Paramatta. Covid has slowed us down, and while we are waiting it is worthwhile to ponder on a summary reflection of the Bishop of Paramatta, +Vincent Long OFM Conv, in his recent Helder Camara lecture. "My hope for the [Australian] Plenary Council"  What follows are 'tastes' of what he has to say under each heading:  Plenary Council: Abundance of goodwill or the last throw of the dice? With a few months to the first session of the long-awaited Plenary Council, we are finally headed down the home stretch. The initial phase of listening drew nearly 220,000 people across Australia and 17,500 i...

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Marist Contemplative Living

The Wedding Feast - Cana

In Irish mythology there is a well-known exchange between the mythical king, Fionn Mac Cumhaill, and some of his warriors. Fionn is asking them which is the most beautiful music of all. One speaks of the clashing of spear on shield, another of the baying of the hounds as they move in on a cornered stag. They turn to Fionn, and ask his view. "The music of what happens" is his reply. For me, this could be a key to contemplative living, for Marists, as for anyone else. It came to mind at a recent community reflection on a short text by Simone Pacot, entitled Choisir de vivre le present: "to desire the present is a marvelous way of living God's will". It has echoes of the old monastic adage: age...

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Share the Journey - Marists, Migrants & Refugees

Atlanta-Marist Students Share the Journey

Marist Campus Minister Bernadette Naro writes from Atlanta, Georgia, USA: " In May this Year we again joined Share the Journey Pilgrimage during which we walked in solidarity with immigrants and refugees. I am happy to report that we had over 135 participants from across the Atlanta community. Four other area schools joined us as well, as did Catholic Charities Refugee Services office, and two agencies that serve immigrants in detention, Casa Alterna and El Refugio. Moira Ujda, a newly graduated Marist alumna, was a participant and has this to say:  "Community has always been important to Share the Journey. Especially after the isolation of this past year, it was powerful...

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Interreligious Dialogue - A Marist's Journey

Gerard Hall with 'Aunty' Joan Hendricks, Raimon Panikkar, & Francis D'Sa

Australian Marist, Gerard Hall sm, recently presented his Journey in Interreligious Dialogue to our Marist IRD Commission.     His full presentation can be found here:  This blog begins at the end, where Gerard writes his SUMMARY STATEMENT I feel in many ways that my ecumenical and interreligious journey is just beginning if for no other reason than that my knowledge of other religious traditions is so minimal. Even though I was drawn to Panikkar's inter- & intra-religious dialogue with Hinduism & Buddhism and then, through circumstance, found myself involved in dialogue with Islam, in many ways, like Panikkar, I have been increasingly focused on th...

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Contemplation - A Personal Reflection

Mary-Presence-Tasting God

Michael Whelan SM, Australian Marist writes:  "In the seminary – 1965-1972 – my spiritual life was nurtured by the old manuals. In particular, the old meditation books written by Jesuits outlining a very limited way of "discursive meditation". I found it very frustrating. After six or seven years I told my spiritual director that I thought I was being called to "a deeper form of prayer". He smiled and said he did not think so, that I should persevere. Soon after ordination in May 1972 – courtesy of Philip Callaghan SM – I joined a charismatic prayer group. I found myself drawn into a contemplative style of prayer that was liberating. The rational mind did not have to keep working and th...

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Myanmar Coup - a Marist View

suffer the little children.... Matt 19:14

The Military Coup in Myanmar and the Marist Mission in Ranong      [Frank Bird, Kiwi Marist, writes from Ranong.] While the rest of the world has been watching the horrific scenes of the recent coup in Myanmar, or perhaps looking the other way, our Marist Mission in Ranong, Thailand, has been affected by collateral damage. Visits were made to the Marist Centre by special intelligence officers to declare protests were not allowed. Every child and adult became fixed to their phone worried for their family members back in Myanmar. The Thai Government designated Ranong as one of 9 areas on the Thai Burma Border to allow fleeing refugees and asylum seekers to find shelter and safet...

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Towards a Marian Integral Ecology

A Marian Integral Ecology  - Peter Healy sm NZ - Donato Kivi sm Fiji    We acknowledge you Mary Protector of the Whole World. You are Mary, Virgin Soil. You are Mary, our Food Garden. You are Mary Queen of the Whole World. Dear Reader may this ecological spirituality open your heart at this critical time. This essay is an exploration of a Marian Integral Ecology. Integral ecologies are a creative response to the multi-faceted crises of our times. A Marian integral ecology is unique in the way it gives prominence to the person of Mary and her role as we enter a new period of human-earth relationship. It focuses on three of Mary's well-known titles; Virgin, Mother...

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Contemplative Marist Living

How can this come about?

This months regular post on Contemplative Marist Living comes to us from Ted Keating sm, USA:    "I was challenged to consider a few words on the gifts of a Marist contemplative life while approaching the "biblical four-score" shortly. I am aware of the frequent line of the mystics in all religions: "Those who know do not speak, and those who speak do not know". The language of God is silence and It is always poorly translated. But I am foolish enough to try. I am convinced with experience that Eric Erickson who did his lifelong work on the tasks of each of the stages of life has it right: he terms it "integration or despair" for this period.   I have some close friends t...

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Deep Resurrection

Alpha & Omega - New heavens and new earth

"Deep is calling on deep" - these words from Ps 42:7 help us appreciate the Paschal Mystery at the heart of the unfolding universe.  Science informs us of Deep Time, and Deep Space. Faith informs us of God at work in the ultimate, and deepest ways, in these created mysteries. 'Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, all time belongs to him, and all the ages. By his wounds  we have been healed" - These words from the Easter Vigil invite us to celebrate the Deep Presence of the Word from Beginning to End, and to live in and through the Presence of Christ Risen, as daily we make our humble contribution in brining about a new creati...

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Myanmar and Marists

Sister Ann Nu Thawng - pleads for an end to violence

Fr Peter Nawt Lawt, a Diocesan Priest from Myanmar, left our General House Community 2 weeks ago to return to his home Diocese in Myitkyina. Amidst the political turmoil caused by the military coup he felt he needed to be with his People in this time of their need. He had been staying with us, completing his Licentiate in Canon Law, due to a connection with Fr John Larsen, who had spent some years in that part of Myanmar where Fr Peter comes from.  Fr John Larsen, our SG, writes: Marist connections with the diocese of Myitkyina (pronounced myit-shi-na, meaning "near the big river"), in the north of Myanmar, go back to the 1990's. At that time the Bishop sent young people from Myitkyina ...

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Contemplative Marist Living

Contemplative Marist Living: Fritz Arnold sm, writes from Furstenzell, Germany: "I am grateful that Justin Taylor referred so strongly to the statements and decisions of the last General Chapter in his article on Marist Contemplative Living. I would like to add a personal note to this. Every religious, in the course of his or her life story, can always discover a new side to his or her vocation in religious life. As an aging religious s/he may discover a new emphasis in the cultivation of the contemplative life. We are a community of older confreres in many countries of the world. Therefore, in 2012 - I was then involved in the accompaniment of our novices in Tutu/Fiji - I sent a postulatum ...

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I was Sick and you took Care of me

"I was Sick and you took Care of me" [Matt 25: 36]  This is the Second Reflection from the Solidarity Commission of the European Province.  Translations below are in French and Spanish. God the Father, in sickness you let us experience the vulnerability of frail creatures: Bestow upon us abundantly your compassion. Jesus Christ, Son of God, sustain us in times of illness and help us carry your burden. Holy Spirit, we pray to be restored in moments of weariness, that we might ourselves become instruments of your loving mercy.  [Francis: XXVIII World Day of the Sick, 11 February, 2021] Constitutions: Sick and Elderly "The call (of the Marists) is to be truly missionary...

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Laudato Si Goals and Action Plan

Laudato Si Goals and Action Plan

Peter Healy sm, writes this Report on the recent Webinar for Marist Family: The Dicastery for Integral Human Development recently presented a webinar for the Marist Family on the Laudato Si Goals and Action Plan. The presenter was Salesian priest Fr. Josh Kureethadam. At the beginning of his presentation he talked about St Francis hearing the call of God to rebuild and repair the Chapel of St Damiano and eight centuries later another Francis (Pope Francis) is sharing with us an equally profound call, to go and repair our common home. Laudato Si reminds us that human life is grounded in three fundamental intertwined relationships: with God, our neighbor and our planet home. Within these ...

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Marist Family - L Si - 7 Yr Action Platform

Invitation to join the 7 Year Journey

Marist Family members, from all branches of the Society, from all around the world, attended a Laudato Si Webinar on 11 February.  The Rev. Dr. Joshtrom Kureethadam is Coordinator of the Sector of "Ecology and Creation" at the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. He is also Chair of Philosophy of Science and Director of the Institute of Social and Political Sciences at the Salesian Pontifical University in Rome. His most recent books include Creation in Crisis: Science, Ethics and Theology (Orbis Books, 2014), The Philosophical Roots of the Ecological Crisis (Cambridge Scholars, 2017), The Ten Green Commandments of Laudato Si' (Liturgical Press, 2019).  ...

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Contemplative Marist Living

Contemplation - the energy source

Contemplative Marist Living comes to us from Fr Justin Taylor sm:   Karl Rahner famously wrote: 'The Christian of tomorrow will either be a mystic or won't be Christian at all.' Perhaps we could adapt Rahner's saying: 'The Marist of tomorrow will either be a mystic or won't be Marist at all.' In case anyone gets frightened off at this stage by the word 'mystic', let us substitute the word 'contemplative', taken in the sense intended by the General Chapter of 2017, when it stated in its Declaration on the Mission of the Society of Mary Today (n. 4): 'As Mary pondered the Word, so are we called to a life of contemplation, centred on the Eucharist, bearing fruit in service within...

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Contemplation - New Year

Contemplation - Energy for Mission

Christmas and New Year have provided us with the opportunity to pause, to watch, and to wonder at the event of the Word continuing to be made Flesh in our time.  Perhaps we have found ourselves pondering with Mary, Joseph, the Shepherds, and the Magi at the unfolding of a Revelation among us that draws us to wonder, to encounter, to hope, and to be replenished with a new Divine-given energy.  With the Divine energy, the gift of Contemplation, we are in union with the One Who is calling us to mission - to heal the wounded world - in the year ahead.  When we encounter this One, we are able give from the Source and we are renewed in the giving, [wher...

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Reconciliation - Aus-Usa - a common need

Minneapolis burns

Jim Carty, sm, Aus, sends this Pentecost reflection:    Following the death of George Floyd, an African American, while being arrested by four Police officers last Thursday,angry mobs took to the streets in protest. Below, a picture of the arrest graphically shows one of the officers kneeling with force on the neck of a prone and handcuffed man for at least nine minutes - for a while Mr Floyd pleaded with the officer to let him breath until he no longer could. Soon after, he died in the hands of Medics.    At a press conference, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said the protests stemmed from built-up anger and sadness "ingrained in our black community not just because of...

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Post Covid-19 - what will be 'normal'?

St Peter's Lent Solidarity in Solitude

From politicians, business leaders and the population in general are eagerly waiting and hoping for the day when life can return to normal. Question: Is that the best we can hope for? I would ask you to ponder upon this enforced semi-isolation as an opportunity to reflect upon our lifestyles. Quakers (in their gathering for worship) are comfortable with the sound of silence. It is an attenuated openness to the inspiration of God or the Spirit. The journalist Tom Robinson writes: If God is trying to tell us something, the thinking goes, how can we hear him amid the hymns, psalms, sermons, and recited prayers of a conventional church service. So, for 350 years Quakers having been sitting down,...

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