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THE MESSAGE OF UNIVERSAL BROTHERHOOD
OF CHARLES DE FOUCAULD TODAY
Aurelio SANZ BAEZA
PUC SÂO PAULO, Theology Week, June 2016
“”Our whole life, however silent it be, the life of Nazareth, the life of the desert, the same as our public life, should be a preaching of the Gospel by example, our whole existence, our whole being must proclaim the Gospel from the rooftops, our whole person must breathe Jesus […] Our whole being must be a living preaching, a reflection of Jesus, a perfume of Jesus, something that cries out to Jesus, that makes one see Jesus, that shines like an image of Jesus”[Charles de FOUCAULD (Meditation on the Gospel – OS p395)
TO WHERE DOES THE SPIRIT OF NAZARETH LEAD US
- To become embodied in the realities we are living.
- to live friendship with Jesus in adoration, contemplation and the encounter with people (fraternity, neighbours, work companions the excluded…)
- To change to become human beings that need others and Jesus.
- To accompany people in a simple manner, learning from them, from the least and poorest.
- To see the world through the eyes of Jesus: he who does not judge, he who listens, he who forgives, he who concerns himself that wine and bread not be lacking, he who multiiplies the loaves and fish of our interior for the good of others.
- To be ready to denounce injustices that affect others.
- Not to flee from problems, from without or within, and to respond as honest men and women.
- To allow God seek us and invite us to the banquet of joy.
- To have fraternal encounter with those who do not believe, or do not believe as we do, or who are of another culture or language.
- To not judge or live with prejudice.
”God, the infinite Being, the Almighty, becoming man, the last of men”
HOW TO LIVE NAZARETH TODAY
- With the style of Nazareth: as Jesus lived the greater part of his life among his neighbours. It is to be with, not in order to proselytise.
- In brotherhood.
- Opting for those who are last
- Being conscious of our limits as far as we can.
- Not to flee from ourselves or from others.
- Being embodied in the culture where we are living, yet without abandoning a critical attitude when it is opposed to the Gospel.
“I am eager to finally live the life I have been seeking for more than seven years, which I have glimpsed, guessed at, walking the streets which the feet of our Lord trod, in Nazareth; a poor craftsman lost in abasement and obscurity”.
WHAT THE MESSAGE OF BROTHER CHARLES SAYS TO TODAY’S CHURCH
- It does not fit in with the profile of a saint that we are used to
- It opens a space for contemplation within a system where all is organised
- A new meaning to mission from being making Jesus present in different realities.
- It puts us in the place where we are called by vocation, not where we would like to be.
- It seeks the last place among the most abandoned, on the periphery, where one lives with poor resources, without dazzling anyone.
- It helps one fight for the Human Rights of excluded peoples and persons, of those who suffer.
“For me, to always search for the last in the last of places, to be as small as my Master, to walk with Him, step by step, as a faithful disciple, to live with my God who so lived all his life and gives me this example from his birth”
HOW POPE FRANCIS RECOGNIZES HIS INTUITIONS
- The joy that springs from meeting Jesus
- The missionary impulse that involves friendship and familiarity with the people entrusted to us (with reference to having “the smell of the sheep”)
- The desire for a Church capable of “going out to the geographical and existential peripheries”
- The proposal of “a Church of and for the poor”
- The importance of mercy towards all those wounded by life
“You must be filled with the Gospel of Jesus to the point of being capable, with total independence, of affirming, faced with the powers and ideologies of this world, the values that truly are indispensable in order to guarantee the transcendence and essential rights of the human person. You cannot silence for men what Christ would say to them if he could speak through your mouth and give witness through your attitudes. For this I have chosen and called you”.(René VOILLAUME, “Gospel, Politics and Violence”)
HIS MESSAGE OF UNIVERSAL BROTHERHOOD
- Respect for other cultures, religions, and ways of life…
- To live amid what is difficult and in situations of risk
- To give meaning to one’s personal and community life
- To learn using the poorest and simplest of means to be with the neediest
- To be a missionary and [Good} Samaritan Church, in need of the Spirit and of renewal (Pope Francis)
- To allow others read our hearts as we read theirs and help each other mutually to grow interiorly
- A social and political appeal not to become set in fixed opinions
- To live the Gospel in small ways and human details, without insisting that everyone must enter where we like to be or believe is best
Nazareth helps us to to live without judging, to live in contemplation of our own personal spaces and the spaces of others: the heart, hopes, and life. The spirit of Nazareth, then, urges us to review life contemplating it, to love one’s life and that of others as a great loving gift from God, while we feel free. We are only in Nazareth when we don’t idealise it and we accept Jesus as our neighbour or house mate, [sharing] our time and our future, as the co-pilot of our vehicle or as our companion on our visits and in our meetings.
Basically, Nazareth is to “BE WITH”, like Jesus, like Charles de FOUCAULD.