This month's blog builds on last month's, where we ponder our Founder's own words on Contemplative Living. All quotes are from "A Founder Speaks":
39:19 'Keep well in mind that you must direct your house by prayer. That is very important. Everything by prayer.
47:2 'When you want to obtain something, you do the same [procession] in Heaven, making a round and passing all the saints in review. I make a halt before the holy patriarchs, the holy apostles, the prophets, the martyrs, the bishops, the holy women, the virgins, the confessors, and the holy innocents – yes, especially the holy innocents. I am very fond of turning to them; I pray to them with special affection. They are children who never did the slightest evil and it seems to me that God could not refuse them anything'. He added with a laugh, 'They seem to me like little lambs frisking about in Heaven. When I have made my collection in this way, I got to Mary and place in her hands all the alms that the saints have given me. I ask her to join her prayer to theirs and to offer it all to her Son so as to obtain my wish. Then I ask for the grace I want.
71 'Yes, I would like each town to have a newspaper to stand up for what is good. That is the way you preach today. Give a sermon: nobody comes. You convert more people with a good newspaper. … we must pray. Without prayer we will achieve nothing.
75 Personally from the beginning I formed the habit of praying for everything, and I say that is the best way, that we must do that always and in everything. At the start of the enterprise...we had to rely on God alone; there was only him. I felt impelled to this work...by an impulse that I felt came from above. It was that which gave me the habit of praying always and for everything.
92:3 Marists engaged in preaching should take their ideas from a spirit of meditation and prayer.
The holy innocents - Rachael weeping for her children-Dec 28
102:39 'Let us set the people an example too. I know that in one mission given by the Marists everyone said: "See how these Fathers pray! Just to see them in church impresses us and encourages us to pray." Example! Messieurs, example!
104:1 'Messieurs, in order to draw real fruit from our retreat, we must learn to probe our attitudes and get to know our own habits. Let us not make a lot of resolutions, but just one, and let us arm ourselves to defend our weakest point.
104: 2 'I put forward a resolution which might be most suited to the greatest number of you. It would be to maintain a constant fidelity in making an hour's meditation, unless obedience or necessity dispense us from it on occasion.…I would also include a second resolution – particular examen which is the complement of meditation….You could perhaps add to this resolution one other – direction. You could be most exact in opening up your soul at least once a month to your director… to tell him what is happening in the inner man.
104:3 'If we are men of prayer, the good Lord will make his will known to us…. As long as we fail to fashion our soul in a constant and profound way by mental prayer, we shall always by the same…. All the outstanding saints and men of the apostolate, owed it to a spirit of mortification and a spirit of prayer.
105:2 'without prayer, without the spirit of prayer, we shall achieve nothing'.
Jesus: 'I no longer call you servants, but friends'
105:5 'If our piety is too sensitive, too particular, it will not be able to hold up in the active life; there will be a lapse into laxity. If on the other hand we are possessed of virtue that is robust and generous we shall be able to last a long time.
115: 7 "Let us pray, let us be men of prayer. Let us pray without ceasing, let us pray for each other a great deal. To accomplish good, we must pray. The man who loves God, the true priest, must embrace the whole world in his zeal. ...... The man who prays only for himself is narrow hearted... It is prayer which converts ..... Prayer is the means of doing good while remaining unknown: 'Ignoti et quasi occulti'
132: 2 'I am going to publish a decree. Article one: we can do nothing of ourselves; Article two: we can do anything by prayer, because God has promised everything to prayer.
132:5 Let us be men of prayer, without that we shall achieve nothing. ... That is the essential, that is the important thing for us all.
132:6-7 If I were to make the visitation of all the houses of the Society, and the Missions, having first of all looked carefully at the situation, I would enquire about one thing only: 'Do you feel a need for prayer? Do you regret not being able to give yourself to prayer more often and for a longer time? ... In your difficulties, in your troubles, in your zealous plans, in the problems of your ministry, do you have recourse to God? If a man said yes, I would say, 'Fine, carry on; I do not need to know any more; we will let the rest pass in silence'.
Jean-Claude Colin - Solomon Islands Stamp
132: 8 Prayer is the sap which feeds the tree and makes it bear fruit, the oil which keeps the lamp alight. He who has no liking for prayer is like a dead tree, or at least one that is drooping...it will not last long.
132:11 There are many ways of praying. To work is to pray. Everything you do, do well, so that the will of God is accomplished in you. Do that, together with your ordinary prayers, and everything will be alright.
132:12 Studying, preaching, hearing confessions, teaching, all that is praying when we know to relate all our actions to God and perform them in union with him.
132:13 God has revealed that St. Teresa converted more souls by her prayers than Saint Francis Xavier.
132:23 We are so very weak. We can commit faults even when we have long practiced virtue, and then, what courage it takes to reveal that to a man who sees us often and who regards us highly.
132:28 How I like that prayer, 'Lord do great things through me'. Some say, 'But that is pride', but I on the contrary say it is humility. For I am nothing and God made the world from nothing. I acknowledge my nothingness and the almighty power of God by this prayer.
132:32 ... There is an animal in us too, Messieurs, that animal part of us which tries to spread its roots everywhere, which rears its head in all our actions: let us just laugh at it, this is the best way.
140:5 'You must work hard at achieving the aim of the novitiate, which is first of all to get to know oneself, and then to unite oneself to God, to become men of prayer and men of faith. I have known some develop a taste for prayer and the interior life who later on worked marvels in Oceania. They even considered opting for the contemplative life.