Jesus spent the first thirty years of his life submitted to his father and mother.
¨He did this not just for the first eight, ten, or fifteen years of his life like other children, but for thirty years. He gave more glory to God, his father, during all those years of submission and dependence than he would have given by spending them working miracles, preaching far and wide, and converting all mankind. Otherwise he would have done these things.¨ -St. Louis de Montfort
How bewildering it mustov been for Mary and Joseph. Here they are the parents of the God of the universe, yet for 30 years he spends it under their care. What I find most important is when St. de Monfort says, “Otherwise he would have done these things.” Thus, fortifying the fact that doing the Will of God does not always mean doing the incredible. Such as evangelizing the masses, writing New York Times bestselling books, or even leading a Parish retreat. The Will of God is so specific to each’s own. So, if you know in your heart that you are doing his Will, nothing else, especially judgments, matter.
We spent a week in Nimes. This is where most of d’Alzone’s life took place. During this time we visited where he was born, the various places he lived, his tomb, his museum, where the order was born, where he took pilgrimage, and where he died.
Looking at his life, the biggest thing that sticks out to me was first, his desire for excellence. Second, the present-ness he showed in his ministry. Third, his willingness to keep his ears open for the Lord’s Will. And fourth, his courage to act on the Will.
He left a family fortune to become a priest. He went to a seminary in Rome to obtain the best eduction. He served his Bishop as a Diocesan Priest for some time, and eventually he founded a Religious Order. I think we can all learn from his story, and all take something away from it.
First day of our pilgrimage ‘The Footsteps of d’Alzon’. Fr. d’Alzone is the founder of the Assumptionists. His request for canonization is currently underway.
We arrived at a retired community. We spent 3 days here. Learning from and listening to stories of retired Assumptionists. One, (the picture is posted) spent his entire time of service in a favilla (slum community) in Rio, Brazil. In the span of 40 years, he transformed this area of huts and aluminum housing into actual apartment type living. His advice when it comes to working with the impoverished was very similar to St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, saying “Live with them. Live their life.”
“Don’t start by evangelizing. Just do the work. And when they ask you why you are doing the work, tell them why.”
“Start with a human community.”
Andres, a retired Assumptionists, told us his story also. He worked as a journalist and Editor in Chief for a very influential press company, Bayard, in France. (Bayard is run by Assumptionists and is still very big and influential in France.) As journalist, he traveled to many different countries. What he loved to do most was build relationships.
His one piece of advice:
“Take a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Walk where Jesus walked.”
These men both put God first in everything they did, yet they have two very different stories. Everyone has their own specific job, given by God, to help increase and nurture the kingdom of God. If one opens their heart to the Lord, this job will be revealed to them. Perhaps for the hour, for the day, or for the year… But that doesn’t matter, the key is to open your heart to the Lord, to follow what brings you happiness. Not the artificial happiness that the world can give, but the true internal happiness that only God can give.
Above all that I ask, may you grant me Wisdom and Knowledge. For I know that you desire from me great things. To lead your people. I only desire for your people to be led by you and you alone. May you work through me so that this can be fulfilled.
“Now, Lord God, may your word to David my father be confirmed, for you have made me king over a people as numerous as the dust of the earth. Give me, therefore, wisdom and knowledge to govern these people, for otherwise who could rule these vast people of yours?” 2 Chronicles 1:9-10
Lord, let me do what is good and right in the sight of the Lord. To fear the Lord. To walk in the ways of David. To not lose faith. To stay true to your commandments. For when I do what is right in the sight of the Lord, He will stay true to his promise. He will not anger, He will have compassion, and His blessings will be of abundance.
“He did what was right in the Lord’s sight” 2 Chronicles 26:4
May the Lord grant me a passionate love for Him stronger than the passion depicted in the Song of Songs. For even without the language of the body this is possible. Grace me with love for you.
“Do not awaken or stir up love until it is ready” Song of Songs 4:5