Vignettes and Cameos
Vignette 27
KEYSTONE OF THE MARIANIST CHARISM

Blessed Father Chaminade's teaching on the concept of Mary's Apostolic Mission is clear and straightforward. He presents nothing radically new and different, except for his clarity and amplification, from what was held by the early Fathers of the Church. But his originality and development are manifested in the consequences he draws from the doctrine of Mary's Spiritual Maternity regarding her present role in the world. He clearly establishes Mary's Apostolic Mission as a corollary of her Spiritual Maternity.

In union with her Son, Mary collaborates in redeeming all on Calvary in principle. To be the true Associate of the Redeemer she must yet apply to each of us in fact the fruits of the Redemption.

After tracing the development of this notion in the Mariology of Blessed Father Chaminade and its clarification in Catholic teaching, we realize it is theologically certain. Provided the idea has has been revealed, the name need not be.

Mary's Apostolic Mission is a particular, essential, and integral aspect of her social functions as Spiritual Mother and Associate of the Redeemer.

This concept is the keystone of the Marianist charism. While Chaminade's instruction is addressed to those who follow the Marianist vocation to assist Mary in her Apostolic Mission, the message certainly applies to the whole of Christianity. The social orientation of his teaching – his Mystical Body framework and social consciousness – focuses on the Church at large and on all society. Truly he was a harbinger of today's Christian theology and apostolate.

 
 
Cameo 27
CHAMINADE'S OWN SUMMARY OF HIS CHARISM

These words of Blessed Father Chaminade taken from Our Knowledge of Mary summarize the charism he bequeathed to the Marianist Family and to the Church:

We have seen Mary making use of all the rights of a Mother in regard to her Son, Who is our God, and sharing, if we may be permitted to say so, with the Eternal Father parental claims over the Uncreated Word. We have seen her, the New Eve, fulfilling in behalf of the human race the functions of a Spiritual Maternity, engendering in it a new life for heaven lost through the sin of Adam. We have seen her sacrificing on Calvary the only Son of her fruitful virginity. We have seen her at the foot of the Cross, stronger than death, associated with her Divine Son, as she had been associated with Him in all the mysteries of His life. We have seen her from that very hour, watching over all Christians, her children, with the most tender solicitude, fulfilling in their behalf the sublime duties of a Mother.

Ad majorem Dei Gloriam Virginisque Deiparare, Matris nostrae!

 
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