To simplicity we link humility and modesty, making the “three violets” of our Marist tradition. In our teaching and organisational structures, we show a preference for simplicity of method. Our way of educating, like Marcellin’s, is personal, rooted in real life, and practical. Likewise simplicity of expression, avoiding any ostentation, guides our way of responding to the possibilities and the demands of our contemporary educational settings.
Read from In the Footsteps of Marcellin Champagnat page 44.
Local Immersion Sit in a nearby park, shopping centre or cafe where people are. Read the following article “The Three Violets” and quietly observe other people. Can you find examples or moments of humility, simplicity or modesty around you?
After 20 minutes. Discuss with one other person your observations.
The Three Violets by lay Marist Jane Luker Jesus compares the seed to the Word of God. Imagine the seed as our soul seed - this minute but distinct word in the image of God which is what we are. How then shall we get in touch with the interior ground of the Spirit, be rooted in the good soil, make virtuous growth our path and not be overcome by thorn or weed, drought or adversity. How are we to grow this honest and good heart, and bring forth fruit with patience. Our key virtues will help. They are very much linked and what is true of one is relevant to all.
Humility Humility comes from the Latin word Humus meaning ground, earth or soil. To be truly humble is to be grounded, to be earthed. To be grounded in God is the only true path to holiness. Just as earth is dependent on rain and sun to make things grow, so it is only through our humility that we come to know our complete dependence on the grace of God. Mary's Magnificat is a hymn of praise to the humility of God. Mary says: No to pride, to ego, to domination, to injustice; Yes to the poor, the simple, the lowly.
Simplicity Humility allows us to live simply (to be poor in spirit) and in harmony with others. Simplicity is really about what is important in life. How often do we hear the teaching of Jesus - don't get attached to material pleasures, securities and possessions but tend the inner wealth which is a gift from God. Be content with enough and avoid waste. Enjoy life as it is, delight in people, in all creation for its own sake not in order to manipulate or dominate. Be honest and fair, have integrity, share resources, be generous hearted.
Modesty To be truly modest is to rejoice in God's gifts to us, doing the work entrusted to each one confidently, with enthusiasm and a zest for life and relationships. We live in hope, secure only in God's love and providential care, but also with a kind of self-forgetfulness (which is hard) not looking for praise or success or recognition. Natural talents are not to be hidden away but used creatively. Be faithful in little things, but also risk great things for it's never too late to plant new seeds, start new ventures, face fresh challenges. How open am I to a sense of adventure? What risks will I take for God, what fears hold me down from growth?
Image Activity Finding ONE quote which most speaks to you about simplicity, humility or modesty.
Sharing Share with the group, family or community – what is the meaning of the quote and why this is important.
Prayer of Serenity God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time; accepting hardship as a pathway to peace; taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; trusting that You will make all things right if I surrender to Your will; so that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with You forever in the next.
Amen. Prayers of the Faithful Dear God, we bring these prayers to you this day. I invite any one who wishes to share a prayer with those gathered to do so. The response is “Lord hear us” and we respond “Lord hear our prayer”.
Hail Mary Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Leader – “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen”