“I want to accustom all the inhabitants, Christians, Muslims, Jews and idolaters, to looking at me as their brother, the universal brother”
Charles de Foucauld
Some excerpts from Cardinal Aveline’s meditation given during the prayer vigil for the canonization of Charles de Foucauld on May 14, 2022
“To follow Christ is to approach the lowest place in all things, for that is where one is nearest to Him. There is a call for our Church today. It is by passing through the door of service to the poor that we have the best chance of finding the way to the following of Christ. »
“It was by contemplating Jesus at Bethany that Charles understood the importance of brotherhood. A fraternity capable of receiving from others something of the gift of God. Like Jesus and Mary Magdalene.
And as Charles will learn to receive from Dassine the goat’s milk which saved his life in Tamanrasset when he almost died there. As he had received from the Moroccan Muslims, whose prayer had impressed him, something of the gift of God which brought him back to faith. There is a call here for our Church: to learn to receive and live the mission in a spirit of dialogue, of trust, without fear of witnessing to Christ but without neglecting the gift of God who, through his Spirit, is « present and active not only in persons but also in societies, in cultures, in history and in religions” (John Paul II, Redemptoris missio, 28). »
« To inhabit the Word, to love with all one’s heart by imitating the Sacred Heart, to adore the Lord, to celebrate the Eucharist as the first and most fundamental of missionary gestures: this is the path of the disciples that Charles points out to us. And this path is not evaluated in terms of efficiency, growth curve or number of conversions, like on a hunting board. For the fruitfulness of the mission has the paschal mystery as its matrix. It is the work of God in which we are asked, by grace and not because of our merits, to cooperate. »
« If it is true that catholicity is not a status or a privilege for the Church but rather a vocation and a task to accomplish, then Charles de Foucauld will have offered our Church a better understanding of this vocation to catholicity. : as in Nazareth, a catholicity of the last place, with the poor and for the poor; as in Bethany, a catholicity of fraternity, which knows how to give and receive, to announce and to dialogue, to hope for all and to pray to God unceasingly so that “all human beings may go to heaven”; as in Gethsemane, a catholicity of abandonment, of renouncing our ambitions for efficiency in order to welcome, wherever it comes from, the gift of God, to welcome, purify, assume and learn to cooperate with the Spirit so that one day, the Father will be able to recapitulate everything under one head, Christ, the things of heaven and those of earth.