Identity Card

Identity and Spirituality of the Servant Mary

            The 2007 General Chapter established a General Secretariat for Ongoing Formation.  Among other things this new secretariat was entrusted with the task of choosing an annual theme and furnishing material for discussion throughout the Order.  The theme chosen for 2008 is “The Identity and Spirituality of the Servant of Mary.”

… we commit ourselves, as did our First Fathers, to witness the gospel in fraternal communion and to be at the service of God and all people, drawing abiding inspiration from Mary, Mother and Servant of the Lord (Constitutions 1).

It happened that [Blessed Philip] was going to Siena with a friar named Victor.  While they were on the road they met two friars from the Order of Preachers coming from Germany.  The Dominicans were surprised at the habit our friars wore and stopped to speak to Blessed Philip.  They insisted on knowing what sort of life they led and what Order’s habit were they wearing.  The man of God answered them saying: “If you want to know where escudocoloreadowe come from – we are natives of this region; if you ask about our condition we call ourselves Servants of the Glorious Virgin whose widow’s weeds we wear; our life is based on the example of the Apostles and we try to follow the Rule of the Most Holy Doctor, Augustine.”

[Legenda “vulgata” del beato Filippo, 8: “Fonti storico-spirituali dei Servi di santa Maria,” I, pp. 269-270]

In this way, no one shall perform any task for his own benefit but all your work shall be done for the common good, with greater zeal and more dispatch than if each one of you were to work for yourself alone. For charity, as it is written, is not self-seeking (1 Cor 13:5) meaning that it places the common good before its own, not its own before the common good. So whenever you show greater concern for the common good than for your own, you may know that you are growing in charity. Thus, let the abiding virtue of charity prevail in all things that minister to the fleeting necessities of life.  

[Rule of St. Augustine, V. 31]

Living together as the Apostles did is no less essential for us than for man to be rational; – just as depriving man of his essential form, the rational soul, makes him no longer human so too if we are deprived of the poverty of common life we are no longer ourselves – we have become something else; we are not friars, we are not Servants of Mary, our boast, we are not of God […]

 [Angelo Maria Montorsoli, Lettera spirituale (1596), Rome 1935, p. 211]

 continue reading  On-going Formation


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