The spirituality of Charles de Foucauld has long attracted me:
I abandon myself into your hands;
do with me what you will.
Whatever you may do, I thank you:
I am ready for all, I accept all.
Let only your will be done in me,
and in all your creatures -
I wish no more than this, O Lord.
Into your hands I commend my soul:
I offer it to you with all the love of my heart,
for I love you, Lord, and so need to give myself,
to surrender myself into your hands without reserve,
and with boundless confidence,
for you are my Father.
It reminds me of Mychal Judge's prayer (which is cuts to the chase):
Lord, take me where you want me to go, let me meet who you want me to meet,
tell me what you want me to say, and keep me out of your way.
What attracts me to both men and their embodied spirituality is the "calling" Foucauld discerned after living as a French noble man, soldier of fortune and dissolute. In his own words he realized he was called to "live as Jesus lived before the season of his public ministry." That is, to live and serve a life of compassion anonymously. Quietly. Without any explicit effort to "evangelize" others save being present in the world with love and solidarity with the poor.
Members of the Fraternity are called to live the hidden life of Nazareth and ”cry out the Gospel with our lives”. We are called to live in solidarity with the poor. We are to be the living presence of Christ in the midst of the world.... We commit ourselves in a special way to live in solidarity with the poor by living a simple life, which is counter to our consumer society, and by recognizing in all people, particularly our neighbors, a brother and a sister to love, and especially the most abandoned who are in need of material, spiritual or moral support. (from Jesus Caritas web page)
Could this be, perhaps, another take on Bonhoeffer's "religionless Christianity?" Like Bonhoeffer, Foucauld prayed and celebrated Eucharist regularly. Like the martyred German, Foucauld spent his days outside ecclesiastical structures simply caring for the Muslim peasants of Algeria who were his neighbors. He lived in solidarity with the Berbers until a gang of mercenaries kidnapped him for ransom. In an unplanned act of violence, Foucauld was shot through the head by an startled guard and died in the desert. He was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI on November 13, 2005.
As the next three weeks of quiet wandering mature, I'll be listening to this still small voice of the "hidden" Christ within me...
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