Marianist Family resources for the World Day of Prayer for Vocations (April 25, 2010) are now available in English, Spanish, French and Portuguese (on Spanish site) at www.marianist.org.
We pray as one family, in union with the Church, for an increase in numbers of faith-filled and committed priests, religious sisters and brothers, and lay women and men throughout the world and within our own Marianist Family. And may our own vocations be blessed with renewed energy and hope-filled joy!
Luke’s gospel account is overflowing in richness. There are so many words to pray with, and so many aspects within the story to meditate on. At the center of the story is a woman. She is a woman of deep faith. But, her faith is not a blind one. When she is presented with a situation that is difficult to understand, she is perplexed. In her perplexity she doesn’t immediately reject the impossible. She ponders, trying to connect mind and heart to make sense of what is going on. Her fears are assuaged by the words of the angel, yet she is still perplexed. So she questions. How can this be? For most of us, the answer that Gabriel gives wouldn’t make belief any easier. Yet, because Mary’s mind and heart are already attuned to God’s will, she is able to recognize the voice of the Divine inviting her into the unfathomable mystery of the Incarnation. Because she was “open to the action of the Holy Spirit” she was able to say YES.
When I read the annunciation gospel, I am heartened to know that Mary was a woman who was perplexed and questioned what she did not understand. We have much to be perplexed about. We have much to question, both in our world and in our Church. In recent weeks we have shared the sorrow and suffering of our sisters and brothers in Haiti and then in Chile. How can this be? Within our Church, a seemingly unending stream of sexual abuse cases around the world is making head-line news each day. The credibility of some Bishops, Priests, and the Vatican is questioned. How can anyone harm a child in such a horrific manner? How could leaders in the Church cover-up the evil, allowing it to spread? How can this be?
As Marianists, we join Mary in her “Yes” to God’s will, whatever it may be for each of us. But, the “Yes” takes hard work and perseverance. We pray so that our hearts will be open to the Holy Spirit. We share our fears, so we may gain courage and support from each other. We face the many perplexities and questions, without being overwhelmed by them. Together we study and ponder them so we may discern right and just action.
And, with Mary, we offer ourselves…….
“Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word.”
Fr. José María Arnaiz, SM, Regional Superior of Chile, has written a report and reflection on the recent earthquake. It can be read online in VIA LATINA in ENGLISH, FRANÇAIS, and ESPAÑOL.
Sergio and Marta, our National Responsibles in Chile, wrote the following update:
Te cuento que ha sido una tremenda tragedia, sobretodo para la gente del sur de nuestro país donde fue el epicentro. son ciento cuarenta y siete las víctimas fatales hasta este momento, al interior del Movimiento a la fecha no se ha tenido información de alguna víctima fatal perteneciente a las comunidades. Daños en las viviendas y rotura de enseres ha sido lo más generalizado en las pérdidas materiales, hay sectores sin servicios básicos aún, muchos países han ofrecido su ayuda solidaria. Para los chilenos este tipo de desastres no nos es desconocidos y la solidadidad entre vecinos y familiares se hace presente con mucha fuerza.
Te agradecemos tus sentimientos y las oraciones que las Fraternidades puedan elevar a Dios Padre por la intercesión de María Santísima por nuestro pueblo.
Un abrazo fraterno y muchos cariños a las Fraternidades de España.
Unidos en espíritu a través de nuestros Fundadores.
Sergio y Marta
We remain united in prayer, support and family spirit with all our Marianist Family in Chile. May our loving God grant the people of Chile safety in the after-math, and courage in the difficult days ahead.
In past years, the Marianist family in Spain developed a Lenten program called “Forty Days with the Forty Least”. It was an opportunity to journey in prayer, in spirit, and in letter writing with our sisters and brothers in the 40 least developed countries in the world. This year, the Fundación SM has developed the program “FORTY DAYS TO CHANGE THE WORLD” it will “focus our attention on the experiences, people and organizations that are contributing positively to development….It does not try to hide the problems of underdevelopment, but rather present these along with the solutions being implemented to solve them.”
This is a wonderful opportunity to join our minds and hearts across the miles. I pray that our Lenten journey will nurture and strengthen our personal relationship with our God, and with each other. May the union of our humble efforts truly change the world!
(When you go to the web-site in English, click on the “Cuaresma 2010″ link near the bottom of the page for the day’s readings.)
We are gathering in our places of prayer next February 12 at home or wherever we might be, even somewhere in silence, to pray together for Haiti and for all those who have no one who is thinking of them in the situations of such great distress. Haiti, more than ever, must give thanks to God for all the solidarity shown throughout the world and in the heart of each Haitian or others. May God open for us a new way of living as a people of the present world! I agree truly with this proposal of the Brothers of Taizé for the 12th of each much for this whole year… A time of prayer, a significant moment for Haiti.
United in prayer!
Agnès Dumas Bonkoungou
Taizé invites you to pray for Haiti on the 12th of each month.
Taking up a suggestion made by a former volunteer from Haiti, the community of Taizé invites everyone to pray for the people of Haiti on the 12th of each month, for twelve months, following the earthquake which occurred on 12 January.
The young man, who had been a volunteer at Taizé during the summer of 2006, writes: “Life, death, I do not see any difference, since Tuesday 12 January when the country was plunged into a terrible helplessness. But God is great and since he is love his loving plan is already established for us. The songs of Taizé give me a strength and a confidence I never imagined. Ask all the people of the world to pray on the 12th of each month for the next 12 months for the Haitian people. Do not hesitate! This is very important.”
Before 12 February, the internet site of Taizé will have a proposal for prayer, which can be used on that day.
Thanks to the work of Brothers Tim Phillips and Michael McAward and our translators in Rome, the World Council of the Marianist Family2009 Meeting Report and Christmas Message are ready for distribution. Copies of both, in all three languages, can be found at www.marianist.org. We encourage you to read and distribute these messages to all your communities.
The meeting report includes our goals and objectives for the next three years. The Christmas Message is an inspiring resource for personal reflection and for community sharing. It’s a gift to ponder in this season of faith-filled hope and anticipation of a world where peace and justice will reign.
We are also happy to unveil the new logo for the World Council of the Marianist Family, designed by Brother Michael McAward. It’s a stylized (and stylish!) version of the logo from our World Marianist Family web-site at www.marianist.org. Thanks Michael!