An Introduction to Marist Laity

What is a Marist?
A Marist is a person who follows Jesus in the way of Mary.

The word “Marist” is made up of two parts.“Mar” for “Mary” TO “ist” for “Christ”.Mary said “yes” to the will of God. Marists step out of “business as usual” to reflect, pray and meditate on God’s will.

Marists seek simplicity in life. Marists search to choose the essentials in our own life. Today, we live in an information-rich world which can often block out God’s word and will. A more simple life style enables a freedom to let go of the things which prevent us from striving for and finding what is most important.

Marists are flexible and inclusive to life’s pathways,life with its struggles, hurdles, and difficulties.Marists respond with a tender heart. With compassion. With forgiveness. With Mercy.

Mary strives to bear the Christ child in a chaotic world. As an unmarried teenage girl in first century Palestine, Mary could have been executed forbeing pregnant. Yet, Mary actively steps into thischaos in order to birth God’s hope. Marists do the same, by actively going out into the world to bear hope. To be Mary’s hands, feet, mind, and hearttoday.

How do I catch this spirituality?

You cannot just say “I am a Marist”. This is like saying “I am a teacher”, but without teaching.Thus, in a sense, in order to “be Marist” we must be open to forever “becoming Marist”. To say“yes” to God, may mean “no” to other things. Marist actively strives to be Mary’s hands, feet,mind and heart day by day.

The family and community are a critical part to being Marist. Through the relationships in ourlife, we embody Mary. Thus, Mary is not far away in heaven. Mary is down with us being God’shands and feet. Marists too strive to be present to others through the practical application of this spirituality. To catch the Marist spirit requires usto be open to the moment to moment encounters in a relationship. We taste and catch this spirituality by experiencing the hospitality, humour, joy, pains, sorrows and compassion where God appears in life with others.

Who are the laity?

Lay people are at different stages and states of life. Single, married, unmarried, divorced,children, grandparents, partnered etc. There isa rich array, diversity and inclusiveness to thelaity. God’s creation is diverse, and laity reflects this diversity. Lay people form a key part of forming God’s family.

Are there other Marists?

Yet there are others who choose to live a religious life as a Marist Sister, Missionary Sister, Marist Brother or Marist Father. They take vows of obedience, poverty and chastity so as to be more available in the wider community tobe God’s hands, feet and heart. This is a beautifulgift and way; however, most people are notreligious, but choose to live a life as laity.

Would you like to join a Marist group?

There are various Marist groups which meet people at different stages of their life. What binds these groups is not their uniformity or sameness,but a deeper desire to be Mary in the world today.A Marist group allows one to explore and form in the Marist spirit in a formative setting. By regularly gathering, praying, doing works of justice or discussing, individuals can discover the Maristspirit alive in the people. Mary’s spirit who seeksGod’s spirit today.

Mary’s Prayer
Let us make Mary’s prayer, our own prayer as we pray:
    “My soul magnifies the Lord,
    and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour,
    for God has looked with favour on the
    lowliness of his servant.
    Surely, from now on all generations will call
    me blessed;
    for the Mighty One has done great things for
    and holy is his name.
    God’s mercy is for those who fear him
    from generation to generation.
    God has shown strength with his arm;
    he has scattered the proud in the thoughts
    of their hearts.
    God has brought down the powerful from their
    and lifted up the lowly;
    God has filled the hungry with good things,
    and sent the rich away empty.
    God has helped his servant Israel,
    in remembrance of his mercy,
    according to the promise he made to our
    to Abraham and to his descendants for ever.”

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26 December 2020

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Commit to reading the brochure each day and praying 'Mary's prayer' from the Annunciation for 1 month.

Reflect and pray about – am I called to be a lay Marist?

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