Vignettes and Cameos
Vignette 19
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE MARIANIST VOCATION

Father Chaminade insists in his hallmark letter of August 24, 1839, that the Marianist vocation, as well as that of every Christian, is to offer to our Spiritual Mother our services and to cooperate as her auxiliaries. This aspect of assistance and active benevolence is the most strongly emphasized effect of our filial love for her. The separate vow of Stability binds one to Mary as a child to a loving mother to stress and to give perpetuity to our devotedness in her service. He directs and urges all Marianists to hasten "to labor under her orders and to combat at her side...bound...by a special vow…to assist her with all our strength...in her noble struggle against the powers of hell."

Continuing in this vein, our Founder launches into a statement presaging the monumental instruction of Pope Pius XII in Mystici Corporis, regarding the "deep" and "inexhaustible" mystery of God's dependence on human instruments to complete the Redemption of mankind in cooperation with our Blessed Mother, the Mother of the Whole Christ. This is our distinguishing family trait.

 
 
Cameo 19
THE DISTINGUISHING MARIANIST TRAIT

Again we turn to the charter-like letter to the retreat masters of 1839, where, after explaining that this essentially apostolic spirit of assisting Mary to complete the Redemption is our distinctive character and family trait, Father Chaminade stirringly proclaims that:

We are in a special manner the auxiliaries and instruments of the Blessed Virgin in the great work of reforming morals, of preserving and propagating the faith, and by the fact of sanctifying our neighbor. She communicates to us the projects which are inspired by her almost infinite charity.

He goes on to express "the intimate conviction that we shall not bring souls back to Jesus except through His most holy Mother." For, "we have been called by Mary herself to help her…in the struggle against the great heresy of our times (philosophism, secularism, religious indifference)."

 
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