Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Little Brother of Jesus

Today we remember a shining light of holiness that reveals something very profound in the times in which we live.

He desired to "shout the Gospel with [his] life." He wanted to live among the poorest and most forgotten people, and he made his hermitage deep in the Sahara desert among the Tuareg, a Muslim nomadic people who called him "marabout" (holy man). He did not preach. He spent his days in contemplation and caring for the people. He was put to death on December 1, 1916. His blood bears witness that mystical contemplation and fraternal charity are at the heart of the New Evangelization. Today is his feast day. Blessed Charles de Foucauld, pray for us.

‎I shall let him speak for himself:

“We do good, not by what we say and do, but by what we are, by the grace which accompanies our actions, by the way that Jesus lives within us, by the way that our actions are Jesus' actions, working in and through us."

"Our entire existence and being should shout the Gospel from the rooftops. Our entire person should breathe Jesus. All our actions and our entire life should proclaim that we belong to Jesus."

"I want to accustom all the inhabitants, Christians, Muslims, Jews, and nonbelievers, to look on me as their brother, the universal brother. Already they're calling this house 'the fraternity' (khaoua in Arabic) -- about which I'm delighted -- and realizing that the poor have a brother here -- not only the poor, though: all men."

"What is there in common between heaven and me -- between its perfection and my wretchedness? There is your Heart, O Lord Jesus. It forms a link between these two so dissimilar things."

"Above all, always see Jesus in every person, and consequently treat each one not only as an equal and as a brother or sister, but also with great humility, respect and selfless generosity."

‎"Let us concern ourselves with those who lack everything,...those to whom no one gives a thought. Let us be the friends of those who have no friends, their brother. The love of God, the love of men, that is my whole life, that will be my whole life, I hope. When we can suffer and love, we can do much, the most that one can do in this world."

The Prayer of Abandonment of Blessed Charles de Foucauld:

Father,
I abandon myself into your hands.
Do with me what you will.
Whatever you may do, I thank you.
I am ready for all, I accept all.
Let only your will be done in me
and in all your creatures.
I wish no more than this, O Lord.
Into your hands I commend my soul.
I offer it to you with all the love of my heart,
for I love you, Lord, and so need to give myself,
to surrender myself into your hands
without reserve and with boundless confidence,
                                                   For you are my Father.

3 comments:

patienceandtrust said...

Oh, thank you John! After yesterday's quotes on facebook, I was hoping you'd devote a blog post to this wise man!
--Magg

Taylor Everett Brown said...

That was beautiful, I want to learn more about this man!

John Janaro said...

He converted from an immoral life, became a monk, and then a hermit. He wrote a rule for a community, the "Little Brothers of Jesus," but never gained any followers. He died unknown, except for a few friends who made his witness known to others. A few men began to follow his example, and the first community of the Little Brothers was founded in 1933. Today the Little Brothers and Little Sisters of Jesus, along with 16 other religious families and associations, bring the witness of Blessed Charles to the poorest and most forgotten people in "deserts" all over the world, especially the secularized countries of the West.