| Ave Maria MeditationsA cry from the heart: My God, if You exist, make Your existence known to me!
from Bl. Charles de Foucauld before his conversion (feast day is December 1st)
As soon as I believed there was a God, I understood I could do nothing else but live for him, my religious vocation dates from the same moment as my faith: God is so great! There is such a difference between God and everything that is not.
PRAYERS OF CHARLES DE FOUCAULD AT THE TABERNACLE:
Lord Jesus, You are in the Holy Eucharist. You are there a yard away in the tabernacle. Your body, Your soul, Your human nature, Your divinity, Your whole being is there, in its twofold nature. How close You are, my God, my Savior, my Spouse, My Beloved!
You were not nearer to the Blessed Virgin during the nine months that she carried You than You are to me when You rest on my tongue in Holy Communion. you were no closer to the Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph in the caves at Bethlehem or in the flight into Egypt or at any moment of that divine family life than you are to me at this moment – and so many others- in the tabernacle.
Mary Magdalene was no closer to you when she sat at your feet at Bethany than I am here at the foot of this altar. You were no nearer to your apostles when you were sitting in the midst of them than you are to me now, my God. How blessed I am I!
The priest is a monstrance. His role is to show Jesus. He must disappear and make Jesus seen. I must leave a good impression on all who come to see me. I must be everything to everyone. I must laugh with those who laugh, cry with those who cry to lead them all to Jesus.
My apostolate must be one of goodness. I must make people say this when they see me: “This man is so good that his religion must be good.” If someone asks me why I am gentle and good, I must reply, “Because I serve One who is much better than I am. If only you knew how good my Master, Jesus, is. I want to be so good that people will say, “If that is the servant, how, then, is the Master?”
Be kind and compassionate, and do not be insensitive to any misery. See Jesus in all people. Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. In light of the love and the virtue of the saints, we must humiliate ourselves and convert ourselves: what they have done we can do. God has never forsaken man. At every opportunity, enlighten your neighbor and bring good to him. Be firm but gentle, Keep severity for yourself. Be prepared to sacrifice all to help your neighbor: “What you do unto one of these children, ye have done unto me.”
To prepare oneself constantly for martyrdom, and accept it without a shadow of reluctance, like the Divine Lamb-in Jesus, through Jesus, for Jesus- I must try and live as if I were to die a martyr today. Every minute I must imagine I am going to be martyred this very evening.
OUR LORD TO BL. CHARLES IN PRAYER ON HIS WISH TO BE A MARTYR:
“This life will be followed by death. You wish for a martyr’s death. You know how cowardly you are, but you know too that you can do all things in Him who gives you strength, that I am all powerful in My creatures. Ask day and night for it but always with this condition, that it be My will, and for My glory and my pleasure which I know you desire and pray for above all things. And have confidence; I will grant what you ask, that which is for My greater glory. It is good to ask for this, for ‘there is no greater love than to give your life for the beloved,'” and it is right to wish to give Me this ‘greatest love of all’ “’
MORE WORDS FROM JESUS:
Here and now I am saying to other souls – to all those I who have been given me and now lead hidden lives, possessing Me without having been given a mission to preach, I tell them to sanctify souls by silently carrying Me among them.
To souls in silence, leading the hidden life in solitude far from the wor1d, I say, “All of you work for the sanctification of the’ world; work in the world as My Mother did, wordlessly, silently; go and set up your devotional retreats in the midst of those who do not know Me, carry me among them by setting up an altar among them, a tabernacle, carrying the Gospel to them not by word of mouth, but by the persuasive force of example, not by speaking, but by living: sanctify the world, carry Me into the world, all you pious souls living a hidden and silent life -as Mary carried Me to John.’ ”
Charles de Foucauld was born on September 15, 1858 in France. He was attracted to the military life and entered the Saint-Cyr Military Academy, he later joined the 4th Hussar regiment; in 1880 his unit was sent to Setif, Algeria. He would later be discharged from the service for misconduct, including passing off his French mistress as his wife. But Charles had became so fascinated with the Arabs that he had met that he spent 15 months learning Arabic and Hebrew, and then traveled into Morocco. In May 1885 he received the Gold Medal of French Geographic Society He explored Algeria and Tunisia, returning to Paris to work on his book. But at the age of 28, he would have a profound conversion and from that moment on, all of his life was fixed on living the Gospel and his love for Jesus.
After a variety of experiences as a Trappist monk and a time spent in the Holy Land, he conceived of a new form of religious life, a life closer to the daily lives of the poor. As Jesus at Nazareth, he wanted to live amidst the people, rooted in a culture, sharing the condition of those who live from day to day by the work of their hands– of those who have no security at all and who are the poorest of the poor. He did not envision preaching the Gospel in words as such, but by crying it out with the witness of his whole life; a life lived in shared friendship, silence and prayer. He wanted to go beyond all of the boundaries of religion and race and to become known as a “universal little brother”; the little brother of his beloved Jesus. Most of all, he wished to bring the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament into the desert place. And this he did until his martyrdom on December 1, 1916.
The Prayer of Abandonment of Brother Charles of Jesus:
Father, I abandon myself into Your hands;