The personal faith of Marists, our manner of sharing in the mission of the Gospel, and our association with one another are all shaped by the spiritual way introduced into the life of the Church by Saint Marcellin Champagnat (1789-1840) and developed by successive generations of Marists. We model our lives on Mary, our Good Mother, imitating her faith response to God and sharing in her work of bringing Christ-life to birth and nurturing its growth in young people, being with the Church as it comes to be born. Our spirituality is marked by a profound experience of God’s abiding presence and love, by trust in God, by a deep personal love of Jesus and his Gospel, by community living in a family spirit, and by a humility expressed through simplicity.
As Marists, take Mary’s Magnificat as our manifesto, setting out into the hill country of young people’s lives, filled with hope and joy, bringing them news of the justice and mercy and faithfulness of God. Like Mary, first disciple, our lives are centred on Christ, and our hearts are moved by the young.
Living Mary's Spirit
Since the time of Marcellin, Marist disciples have made Mary known and loved. Today we continue to be convinced that to follow Jesus in the way of Mary is a privileged way of bringing our Christian journey to fullness. With a heart filled with compassion, we share this experience and conviction with children and young people helping them to experience the maternal face of the Church.
Since Marcellin’s time the Church has deepened its appreciation of Mary as First Disciple. Marists therefore have a growing relationship with Mary as our Sister in Faith, a woman with dust on her feet, a woman who was disturbed and puzzled by God, who was challenged to trust and give without knowing all the answers, whose faith life was a journey.
Mary inspired Marcellin’s style of being on mission. She received the Holy Spirit at the Annunciation and responded immediately to Elizabeth’s need. In so doing, she shows us that contemplation and action are both indispensable elements of spirituality. Mary’s way lays the foundation of all our actions: listening, patient waiting, nurturing interiority and responsiveness to God’s will.
Confirmed in her own vocation by the invitation of the Spirit, Mary feels compelled to leave her own house to enter the house of another. She indicates for us the direction of mission - that we are to meet others where they are.
Mary, as a sensitive and compassionate disciple, goes “in haste,” responding quickly to those who need her. She goes “in haste” to joyfully announce the news of a God who loves, and the sure promise that a reign of justice and faithfulness is at hand. She brings to Elizabeth both her hands for service and her experience of the Spirit.
As Mary in the Cenacle in the midst of the Apostles, we too, joyfully, simply and humbly - bring the Good News through our presence and our faith.