Saturday, December 1, 2012

Charles of Jesus

For December 1, I have already circulated last year's post on Blessed Charles de Foucauld. Here it is (click on those words right there):

The Little Brother of Jesus

The symbol Charles wore on his habit, which
was taken up by the Little Brothers and Little
Sisters. I've rendered it crudely, using the
materials I had on hand ("Paint"). My family
laughed, yet I think Charles would (and does)
approve of the poverty of this effort.
Postscript: Blessed Charles de Foucauld wrote a rule for a community, the "Little Brothers of Jesus," but no one joined him, though he prayed ardently for it. Charles had the deep sense that he was "founding" something; nevertheless his killers discovered him alone in the Sahara desert, without followers, an apparent failure. He spent his last years living his contemplative life among the Taureg people. His death on December 1, 1916 seemed to bring his hopes to an obscure end. But he had a few friends; over time they collected his writings, and quietly made his witness known to others.

Eventually men began to follow his example, and the first community of the Little Brothers was founded in 1933. The charism of Charles de Foucauld began to grow, attracting in various ways priests, consecrated men and women, and lay people. The seed of his life and death began to bear fruit.

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.

"God who is infinite, all powerful, has become human, the least of human beings. My way is always to seek the lowest place, to be as little as my Master, to walk with him step by step as a faithful disciple" (Blessed Charles de Foucauld).