As Marists we are called, to achieve great things for God responding to the call of the Gospel. We strive to do this by simply ‘fitting in’ wherever we can be of service, neither seeking esteem nor acknowledgement. The personal inspiration of our Founders ‘hidden as though unknown in the world’ tells Marists the manner in which to undertake great things for God and how they can become useful instruments in God’s hands, fully open to His action.
The Marist Founders had the deepest conviction that the Society of Mary was not a human enterprise. It was Mary’s undertaking, ‘Mary’s Work’ – she was personally intervening in a large gesture of mercy because of the so called ‘Enlightened’ world. She was calling men and women into Her society to work on Her behalf.
As Marist Sisters today, we believe that we have been called by ‘a gracious choice’ to follow Christ, by living the gospel as Mary did, in a Congregation which bears Her name. We believe that the name ‘Marists’ was given to us as a favour and as a task which calls upon us to do Her ‘work’. Jeanne-Marie Chavoin expressed her intuition as a call to humility, simplicity, a love of work, the readiness to undertake various tasks, tMarist Charismhe integration of prayer and work in a life of constant union with Jesus Christ.
The key to Marist living today is found in the expression coined by Fr Colin ‘To think as Mary, judge as Mary, feel and act as Mary in all things.’ This is really an invitation to ongoing discernment. Everything in our Congregation: the choice of works, the way in which they are carried out, the life-style of the Sisters, should reflect this aspiration.
Both Fr Colin and Jeanne-Marie Chavoin were inspired by the vision ofMary ‘as the mainstay of the new-born Church and its support at the end of time’. Mary’s image as a simple believer in the new-born Church was the model that our Founders took for Marists in every age. Marists are characterized by the desire to make the mystery of Mary in the Church the daily inspiration of its life and action rather than by any particular devotion to Mary.