Our charismatic ideintity-2: Formed by the Spirit in the forge of Mary’s Heart
XXIV General Chapter: “Men on Fire with Love”
The experience as sons gives meaning to our special commitment to the Heart of Mary, our Mother (CC, 8) which we make at our Profession: “I offer myself in special service to the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary in order to fulfil the aim for which this Congregation has been established in the Church” (cf CC 159; Dir 32-34). To be sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary means to be seekers of the glory of God who desires that all his sons and daughters live with dignity and fulfilment (cf CC 2; TMHL 8) and in harmony with all of creation. (MFL 36)
General Plan of Formation
22. Our experience of apostolic life is only possible through the action of the Spirit, who anointed Jesus, impelled the apostles to bear witness to His resurrection throughout the world and moves others to follow the same kind of life. This Spirit makes us sons of God and cries our “Abba” in our hearts. It is the Spirit who has raised up our Congregation as a gift for the Church, bestows on each of us the gift to follow Christ in apostolic community, anoints us to evangelize by giving us joy and missionary zeal, gathers us together in fraternal community and grants us a diversity of gifts for one common mission.
23. Like our Founder, we are aware that our own vocation as followers is shaped in the forge of Mary’s heart. All of us can address her in the same terms that Claret used: “You are well aware that I am your sons and minister, formed by you in the forge of your mercy and love. I am like an arrow poised in your mighty hand”. Thus we feel strengthened to proclaim the Gospel and confront the evil that affects the persons and structures among which we live. This cordimarian dimension is essential in our missionary vocation. Hence we must stress it in a special way in formation.
Gospel (Lk 4:16-22)
16 When Jesus came to Nazareth where he had been brought up, he entered the synagogue on the sabbath as he usually did. 17 He stood up to read and they handed him the book of the prophet Isaiah. Jesus then unrolled the scroll and found the place where it is written: 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me. He has anointed me to bring good news to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives and new sight to the blind; to free the oppressed 19and announce the Lord’s year of mercy.” 20Jesus then rolled up the scroll, gave it to the attendant and sat down, while the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21Then he said to them, “Today these prophetic words come true even as you listen.” 22All agreed with him and were lost in wonder, while he kept on speaking of the grace of God.
Autobiography of Claret
118. In a most particular way God gave me to understand those words: Spiritus Domini super me et evangelizare misit me Dominus (The Spirit of the Lord is upon me. He has sent me to evangelise).
687. The Lord told me both for myself and for all these missionary companions of mine: You yourselves will not be bthe speakers; the Spirit of your Father (and of your Mother) will be speaking in you.
270. O Virgin Mother of God, mother and advocate of poor and unhappy sinners, you are well aware that I am your son and minister, formed in the furnace of your mercy and love. I am like an arrow poised in your mighty hand. Release me, my Mother, against Satan, the prince of this world, who has made an alliance with the flesh.
271. May the victory be yours, my Mother; you shall overcome. Yes, you have the power to end all heresies, errors, and vices. And so, trusting in your most powerful protection, I begin to do battle not only against flesh and blood, but against the rulers of darkness, as the Apostle says, taking up the shield of the Holy Rosary and armed with the two-edged sword of God’s Word.
8. We attribute the founding of our Congregation to the intervention of the Blessed Virgin Mary, whom we honour as our Patroness under the title of her Immaculate Heart. Since we are called and truly are Sons of her Heart, we accompany her in love and trust and commit ourselves to her that we may be conformed to the mystery of Christ and may cooperate with her in her maternal role in our apostolic mission.
9. We should always keep this model of a missionary before us: “A Son of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is a man on fire with love, who spreads its flames wherever he goes. He desires mightily and strives by all means possible to set everyone on fire with God’s love. Nothing daunts him: he delights in privations, welcomes work, embraces sacrifices, smiles at slander, rejoices in all the torments and sorrows he suffers, and glories in the cross of Jesus Christ. His only concern is how he may follow Christ and imitate him in praying, working, enduring and striving constantly and solely for the greater glory of God and the salvation of humankind.
For personal reflection and prayer
- How do you feel the presence and action of the Holy Spirit within you?
- Who is Mary for you at this moment of your life? Is she really your Mother and Formatrix, the forge in which you are shaped as a missionary?