We continue, for the third month, with words from 'A Founder Speaks' : Jean-Claude Colin sm:
141:4 'Let those who are burning to go out there [Oceania] remember it well. They must not count on themselves, but solely on grace, on prayer, on the spirit of prayer.
141:5Messieurs, without that spirit of prayer we shall not achieve anything anywhere, either on the foreign missions, on the home missions, or in schools. The spirit of prayer softens hard hearts, brings graces, brings enlightenment. Often it will suggest a word, a single word, which goes right to the heart. ... Certainly, we cannot always be on our knees with our hands joined; that indeed is not our vocation. But to pray always is to feel unceasingly the dire need we have of the grace of God, of prayer... Then, in the midst of our various occupations, as we come and go, speak and act, let us say: 'My God, help me'. That is how to put into practice that recommendation of our Lord Jesus Christ: 'It is necessary to pray and never lose heart'.
141:15 The Rule that we give to our missionaries, Messieurs, will be broad in scope, so that it can be easily kept.…. So, for example, if they cannot always devote a full hour to meditation, what is to prevent their making up for it? A man who has not been able to do it at his leisure on his knees, well, he can make up for what he has missed when he is on his way to see a sick person, or to visit one of the tribes.He is thus imitating Saint Francis de Sales, who always walked in the presence of God.
142:12 'Before entering the pulpit, Messieurs, let us devote ourselves to the spirit of prayer, to prayer. In our preaching, humility, but also dignity too, for you are representing Jesus Christ. In this way Messieurs, you will do good. There are some people who are converted simply by seeing the missioner praying, saying Mass or in the pulpit, even before he has opened his mouth.
142:19 'I have noticed that those who made a good novitiate, those who are men of prayer and mortification, bring edification and happiness to all about them.…for the foreign missions Messieurs, you must be in a sense dead, you must deny yourselves. Yes, you must have died in Jesus Christ.If you have too much life in you it will break through.
142:22 'Messieurs, we are an active body, we need to work hard. People must devote themselves to study….One hour of prayer in the morning, a quarter of an hour particular examen at noon, half an hour of meditation or spiritual reading in the evening, evening prayer before the meal [this last exercise always in common: the whole house should take part so that if there are some general instructions to give, everyone will be there]: those are the only exercises of piety that the Rule prescribes.….Above all let us be faithful to our exercises of piety, which must sustain the inner man.
161:3 'Let us awake, then, Messieurs, let faith put life into us. The Society of Mary is a pre-eminently active body; it will achieve nothing unless we unite in ourselves the man of prayer and the man of action: the man of prayer who is completely permeated with the glory of God and the salvation of souls, and the man of action, bent on securing this noble aim.
161:5 'Nowadays, faith and prayer alone can convince people's minds, enlighten their intellect and touch their hearts. Let us set to therefore to have this spirit of faith and of union with our good Lord. Let there be no love of show among us, no seeking after reputations…. Let us imitate her who is our Queen, what a model Mary is for us! She bears the title regina apostolorum and rightly, and yet she is more hidden than any of the apostles.
161:7 'What grieves me, Messieurs, is that people are afraid of sacrifices. Courage! The struggle will not be for long. What is life? You all know how short it is.
161:9 'How do people go on? They go and consult an author, laboriously ferreting through his works. But we have Jesus, doctor of doctors, light of scholars! He is always with us and still we do not go to him to ask his inspiration…. [we] rack our brains, trying to remember what the theologians said, and [we] never think of casting ourselves at the feet of Jesus, the one who enlightens theologians, and asking him for the solution to the problem.
161:10 'Yes, Messieurs, at all costs we must become men of faith and of prayer. God expects it of us. Can we refuse him after all he has done for us?
182:3 'I will guarantee the salvation of anyone who is faithful in making his meditation, his particular examen, and his spiritual reading every day. The man who neglects them will be lost.
182:4 'Messieurs, each man will reap only what he sows'. He then recommended us in the strongest terms to take care to retire and rise at the same time each day.
182:5 'After evening prayers do not work on your classes or at study, but prepare your meditation. Profane authors dry out the heart. I would repeat, it is absolutely forbidden to go into confreres rooms after prayers. That would be an abuse that would open the door to a thousand and one others.
182:6 'Go to bed recollected, your minds occupied with holy thoughts.
182:7 'If the points I have raised were not going to be observed, it would be better to put an end to the Society here and now.
182:9 'On what should be meditate? … the Holy Spirit tells us 'Remember your last moments, and then you will never sin' [Sir.7:36]. The Last Things, the emptiness of human affairs, death, judgement, Hell, eternity, these are the things we must come back on, delve deeply into, and imbibe.