Chaminade Legacy, Volume 7

Translator: 
Joseph Stefanelli, SM
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708 pages,  Development of the Religious Institutes

Volume Seven, The Times of the Religious. Growth and Expansion

Jean-Baptiste Armbruster SM, José María Khasa Beya Mayela, SM under the direction of Ambrogio Albano

Volume seven of The Chaminade Legacy completes the documents of the growth and development of the Society of Mary and the Daughters of Mary. The Constitutions of the Society of Mary (1839) and the Daughters of Mary (1839) are in this volume; the Society of Mary Constitutions of 1829 are found in volume six, and Father Stefanelli has developed a comparison of the two that is in the NACMS library.

Other documents of great interest are a lengthy survey of Organization and Structure of Schools of the Society, and the “New Method of Teaching. General Regulations for the Schools of the Society of Mary” (1831); the “Letters to a Master of Novices” (1835); “The Practice of Mental Prayer” and “Method of Mental Prayer on the Creed”; the foundation of the Third Order Regular of the Daughters of Mary at Auch; notes from the Retreat of 1832 and the Retreat at Saint-Remy in 1834; the instructions on the vow of poverty, on obedience, and on chastity and several other documents on direction; and the “Manual of the Servant of Mary.”

As Father Manuel Cortez writes in the epilogue to this volume, “we now have a precise and precious instrument which not only will keep us from hearing what Father Chaminade did not say, but also will permit us to more clearly understand what he did say and what he wished to say.”

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  • Read an excerpt

    [1] You will love the Lord your God with your whole heart
    and with your whole soul and with your whole mind and with your
    whole strength
    (Mk 12:30; Deut 6:5).

    Our Lord repeats to the scribe what he had already
    revealed to Moses.

    The commandment to love God is not so much a precept
    by virtue of which we are obliged to love, but rather an observation
    by which we are reminded that it is impossible to go to God except
    by loving him. For if God is the only happiness of human beings
    and we cannot not love what we consider as our happiness, it is not
    because we are commanded to love God that we are obliged to do
    so. Rather, we are so ordered to love God because we are obliged
    to do so. And we are so obliged by all the laws of nature. They do
    not allow us not to love ourselves, [2] nor do they allow us not
    to love our true good, which is God. We cannot consider God as
    our true good without loving God, for the desire to be happy will
    make us desire to possess God from the moment we are persuaded
    that God is our happiness. And to desire to possess God as our
    sovereign happiness is to love God.

    We do not desire a good except to the extent that we
    are persuaded that we will be happy with its possession. If we
    believe we will be supremely happy in possessing it, we desire
    it supremely. God is supreme happiness; then we must love God
    supremely and above everything else.

    If God alone is our happiness we should love only God,
    for we love only what makes us happy. If we do not experience
    happiness here below, however much [3] we love God, we will
    love only what leads to God; thus we will love something only
    for its relationship to God. We will love God for himself, as the
    supreme good, and we will love a creature for him because it will
    be a good for us only to the extent that it leads us to God. It is good
    in itself because it comes from God, but it is not good for us unless
    it leads us to God.

    If we love only God because God alone is the true good,
    we will love God in keeping with the precept of Jesus Christ—with
    all our heart, with all our mind, with all our soul, and with all our
    strength (Mk 12:30).

    We will love God with all our heart. The heart will not be
    divided by different affections [4] because it considered different
    things as its good. If then it perceives only one good, it will love
    that one and will tend entirely toward it.

    The strength with which we move toward a thing is more
    or less great, depending on the force which moves us toward it.
    Love is the force of the heart. If the love of God is sovereign, as it
    should be because it is love of the sovereign good, the force of this
    love will drive the soul to God with all its strength.
    The sovereign good must please supremely. When there
    is only one sovereign good, it is the only thing that can please by
    itself. Anything else would please only by relationship to that one.
    What pleases most is what most [5] occupies the mind. God alone
    should please supremely; God alone, then, should occupy all the
    mind of a person. This is what is meant by loving God with all our
    mind—that is, to make God the only and supreme object of all our
    thoughts.

    The mind makes known to the will the good which it
    should love, and the will applies the mind to the thought of what it
    loves. The heart fully possessed by the love of God applies all the
    mind to the thought of God. If some other thoughts present itself
    which has no relationship to God, it will not please; to the best
    of its ability, the heart will recall the thought of the object which

    pleases it. We will therefore love God [6] with all our mind and all
    our thoughts.

    In our soul there is a mind which knows and a will which
    loves. Truth is the object of the mind, as the good is the object
    of the will. If the supreme good should entirely fi ll the heart and
    become the object of all its desires, sovereign truth should fi ll the
    entire mind and be the object of all its thoughts. Now, God is this
    supreme good and truth. We must then love God with all our heart
    and with all our mind.

    What is God? What is the idea which God has placed
    into our reason? In itself, among the pagans as well as among
    Christians, the idea of God contains in itself the idea of a fi rst
    author of all types of good. Not only to Moses has God said,
    [7] “I am the one who is; I am all good.” God also caused the
    Platonists to know through reason that God is good, goodness,
    and even beauty. (Ex 3:14; 33:29. Aug., Bk. 1)135 It is evident and
    certain that the good—that is, goodness and beauty—are the only
    objects capable of touching and attracting our hearts; God merits
    our affection in preference to all the goods and all the beauties of
    the world.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    135 The reference to Aug. lib. 1 is not clear. Another document has: Aug. lib. de cogn. Dei et animae, 1.1. {The reference 33:29 is uncertain.}
     

  • Read the Table of Contents

    1. Organization and Structure of the Schools of the Society of Mary

    1. Particular Regulations for Primary School Communities

    2. Presentation on Teaching

    3. Observations on the Perfected Method of Primary Teaching

    4. Regulations for Primary Schools of the Society of Mary

    5. Prospectus for the Normal School of Saint-Remy (April 6, 1829)

    6. Normal Schools Directed by the Society of Mary

    7. Brief Survey on Normal Schools of the Society of Mary,

    To Be Presented to the Minister of Public Instruction (January 1830)

    8. New Method of Teaching. General Regulations for the Schools

    of the Society of Mary

     

    2. Deepening Spirituality. Directives for Formation

    9. Retreat of 1832. Notes of François-Auguste Bonnet

    10. Arrangement with Auguste Brougnon-Perrière

    11. The Practice of Mental Prayer. The Purgative Way

    12. Instructions of Father Chaminade on the Hail Mary

    13. Resolution to be Made for a Person Troubled by Scruples

    14. Debt of 3,000 Francs to Madame Leberton

     

    Retreat at Saint-Remy, October 15, 1834

    15. Autograph notes of Father Chaminade

    16. Autograph notes of Father Jean Chevaux

     

    Letters to a Master of Novices

    17. Letters to a Master of Novices

    .......... First Letter

    .......... Second Letter

    .......... Third Letter

    .......... Fourth Letter

    .......... Fifth Letter

    .......... Sixth Letter

    .......... Seventh Letter

    .......... Eighth Letter

    .......... Ninth Letter

    .......... Tenth Letter

     

    Foundation of the Third Order Regular of the Daughters of Mary at Auch, July 1, 1836

     

    3. Notebook “D.” The Preliminary Texts for the Constitutions

    18. The Institute of the Society of Mary

    19. The Society of Mary Considered as a Religious Order

    20. The Society of Mary. Principle of Its Constitutions and Its Regulations

    21. Manual of Direction for Life and Religious Virtues

    in the Society of Mary

    22. Manual of Direction

    23. Principles of Direction

    24. Thoughts on Directing the Society of Mary in

    The Ways of Religious Perfection

    25. Summary of the Principles of Direction

    26. Agreement between Bro. David Monier and Father Chaminade

    27. Direction in the Society of Mary. First Draft of the Initial Exercises

     

    4. Progressive Development of The Constitutions of The Society of Mary and The Daughters of Mary

    28. Constitutions of the Society of Mary, 1839

    29. Constitutions of the Daughters of Mary, 1839

     

    5. Practical Religious Requirements Of the Constitutions

    30. Practical Instruction on the Vow of Poverty

    31. Instruction on Obedience

    32. Instruction on Chastity

    33. General Regulations for the Reopening of the Novitiate

    (December 8, 1841)

    34. Method of Mental Prayer on the Creed

    35. Note on the Conferences of Father Chaminade

    36. Notes on the Love of God

    37. Manual of the Servant of Mary

    38. Third Will and Testament of Father Chaminade

     

    Appendix One. Father Chaminade’s Secretaries

    Biblical Index

    Index of Proper Names

    Epilogue