Perhaps there is no better way to celebrate the Anniversary of Jean-Claude Colin than to encounter him again in his own words. All quotations below are from A Founder Speaks. Suggested reading - Lectio Divina style:
Doc 9:3 In a word you must live in complete detachment from everyone, detach yourself from any judgements that others may pass on you. We should exist before God, as if there were none but he, seeing him alone, walking boldly by faith.
If people are wanting in virtue it is because they lack courage, because they do not pray as they ought.
Do not be self-seeking in meditation, otherwise you achieve nothing.
It was prayer which made the saints.
If you get nothing out of it, neither taste, nor enlightenment, nor consolation, well.... carry on all the same. Such a meditation is always of greater benefit than you think.
If you can say nothing at all, just be content with a sense of faith... not a sense, but rather the knowledge that faith gives you, the knowledge that God sees you. Go, walk in this certainty of faith and you will become strong.
9.4 Take a priest who goes to the altar in an edifying way. What is the root of that? It is because he has made good preparation. The Holy Spirit impresses upon his whole person, upon his face, his gait, his bearing, a very special character that is immediately recognizable. The impression left by the good prayer he made in the morning will last not only throughout the day, but even on occasion for a long time afterwards.
9.9 If you put someone in the pulpit who will say something solid, and well-founded, a man of prayer, people are impressed and convinced straight away. He stirs up conviction, and penetrates the soul, filled as he is with God. He does not speak just out of his head, but from his heart. You soon know a preacher who is full of the spirit of God.
9.14 I insist heavily on meditation. I could not insist on it too much: I feel impelled to. The reason is that the whole success of our enterprise depends on this single point.
FS 39:44 I recommend you strongly, Messieurs, to go to bed in the evening in great recollection. Leave aside the things that may be occupying you; make this sacrifice to the spirit of recollection. You must go to bed in great union with God...... your sleep will be like a prayer. Often, indeed, you will dream about the things of God, about those things which will lead to God. Messieurs, when you are at prayer, I really wish you to leave behind thoughts about classes, your profane occupations. Let us be completely for God.
44:2 His heart is burning to reach out to us, he asks only to bestow his graces on us. So let us turn to him with fervor and confidence, let us never cease praying.
44:3 By the spirit of prayer, by praying without ceasing, I do not mean always having your rosary in your hand, always being in prayer; oh, no! ... But by the spirit of prayer, I mean being continually dependent on the will of God; being like a child at its father's side. - it is enough for the child to know that it is by the father's side. - In a word desiring nothing but the holy will of God. .... Attachment to the will of God is heaven on earth.
FS 63:2 I would try simply to unite them to God, to bring them to a spirit of prayer. Once they were united to God, everything else would take care of itself. When the good Lord dwells in the heart, it is he who sets everything in motion. ... Having once tasted God, a novice will turn to him again and again. It is a treasure in his soul, something to which he is consistently brought back as to his own center.
FS 64:1 If once they are united to God, they will gain more in a day than by everything that you might do. Yes, if once they have tasted God, you will have only one problem left: how to hold them back.
64:2 A meditation full of distraction, provided you reap some humility from it, is an excellent meditation.
64:7 Particular examen, as I understand it, is quarter of an hour of prayer in the middle of the day. You put yourself at peace with God, see if all the faculties are in order, and examine your intentions. Personally, Messieurs, I must confess I have drawn the greatest fruit from it.
65.1 To pray well, you must first of all make a firm and generous resolution to belong completely to God, to set self aside. Then you must turn to the good Lord with abandonment and with the simplicity of a child. You must not get worked up, because then you will achieve nothing. You will only get tired and not be able to keep it up.
65.2 If you have distractions and your imagination is at work, you should not pay attention to them. Just carry on, stay in the presence of God.
65.3 You have also to learn to taste God - yes, to taste God - and that is to feel your heart wounded.
65.4 Besides, the way to pray well is always and everywhere to maintain our self-possession. We must prepare in our hearts, in our souls, a kind of sanctuary, a sanctuary of peace.
FS 187 "The missionary who is not a man of prayer is not a good missionary. If he cannot pray, if he has not the time for it, he must have a desire to, a feeling of the need he has of it. This feeling leads him back to it .... as though reining him in to his center, to the heart and source of true zeal. Without that he is not a missionary".
Note: As we are in Vocations Year, and the Contemplative Living is at the heart of our Identity, we will continue with the Words of our Founder for another session or two in the months ahead....