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Marist Brothers Melanesia - News and Toksave October Issue 2018


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05/11/2018: Papua New Guinea


See here the latest News from the Dristict of Melanesia


Words of Br. Jean Marie Batick, Superior of the Ditrict

This month of October I had the chance to participate and attend the yearly pilgrimage in honor of St Theresa of the Child Jesus in New Caledonia. St Theresa of the Child Jesus is a well honor Saint in New Caledonia and the pilgrimage happen yearly. I believe it is also common in many other places to honor Saints like Little Theresa.

This types of events mean a lot for many Christians. It describe or tell us a lot about the person who take part in the events such as pilgrimages for a particular Saint or other feast days in the Church. For many Christian people, coming together to celebrate and honor a Saint, it is an expression of their Christian faith in God. They believe that God can work through Saints or his Holy people to intercede for them.

It is amazing to see and experience how these types of events bring different people, and families together. I was really impressed to see that during the pilgrimage of St Theresa of the Child Jesus, families walked and prayed. When I say family, I mean the couple and their children. This tells me that the Saint has a special place in their family. For families to take part in such event, it shows how Christian faith has been lived and practice in the family. It shows how the parents are teaching their children about Christian faith and their relationship with God.

Such experience show us also how, many parents care for their children spiritual development. We always say that teaching starts at home, in the family. These example of parents and children doing the pilgrimage together and praying is an example of that family home teaching. A children learn how to speak and read at home before he or she goes to school. A child learn how to relate with the other person at home especially through the bond that he or she has with his or her mother and father. A child learn things through observing and modelling. They imitate what they see an adult or other children can do.

A child can learn also through routines. In a family where the members do the same thing all the times, this become part of their lives. They can easily remember and learn from it. Therefore oif the family pray together every day in their home, and make as a routine as part of their family liv- ing, the children will easily make prayer become part of their every day life. As the saying says, the family that prays together stays together.

As Marists, we are called to holiness in prayer and in our every day living in our communities and families. Like the families walking and praying together on pilgrimage in honor of a Saint, we are also called to walk and pray together in our communities and families.

We are called to make the prayer part of our daily living and routine. Like a child in the fami- ly, we need to learn from the others, the members of our communities, of our Marist families. We cannot live fully and radically our vocation if we cannot dedicate prominent time for pray- er . If we are truly honest and truthful to our vocation as Marist Religious Brothers and Lay Marist, we should not be making excuses that we are too busy with our work in ministry as a reason to skip the moments of prayer in community.

Our life as religious will be meaningless if we don‘t take prayer seriously. I believe very strongly that unless we pray more often and regularly together as religious Brothers and as Marists , living Christian and religious life will be much joyful. If we are not grounded our life on Jesus and Mary, we are nothing when we call ourselves religious or Christians.

You and I have a special and important mission and that is to pray regularly, in community and individually. It is our call and the free choice that you and I had made when we wowed our lives before God and its people at our religious profession.

Today‘s world and life is full of modern influences. Some of these influences are positives and some are negatives. The fact is that we cannot stop those influences and new changes to hap- pen. The only thing you and I need to be conscious of or do is to be aware of them. And that is when we are called to make choices. Choices about whether to accept and live according to the modern influences or not. Making choices means we are taking life seriously and not letting the modern influences c0ntrol the way we live our lives.

Making choices means being opening our mind and hearts to an invitation that comes our way. This invitation can sometimes bring doubts and uncertainty in ourselves. And so to re- sponse to an invitation with doubts and uncertainty, demands taking a risk in life. But if we are truthful and have faith, we will be joyful and happy with the response we give to the invi- tation.

Mary is a good example of someone who had doubts and uncertainty in her life but responded in faith and truth to the invitation of the Angel. Her YES made her become the first and faith- ful disciple of Christ. But before Mary said gave an answer to the angel‘s invitation, she pon- dered in her heart what the invitation or message meant. She contemplated the words of the angel through questioning. In order words, Mary prayed to God and asked for guidance in other to respond faithfully to His the call. She believed, she could not respond faithfully to the invitation unless God Himself intervene in all that she is going to do.

As Marists, we are continuously called to be like Mary in the way we live our lives with others. This month of October was a good time to strengthen our bond and likeness of Mary in our lives. We were called by the Church to pray Rosary during this month dedicated to Mary. How many of our communities were able to dedicate some of their pray moments to pray the rosary?

With this last question, I am inviting every one of us to be like Mary, and to contemplate her way of living at Nazareth with Jesus and Joseph. The image of the Holy Family of Nazareth has to be the centre of our life in community and in our fami- lies.

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