Brother Charles De Foucauld

North American Jesus Caritas Communities
May 30th, 2015

May 31, 2015 Feast of the VISITATION

The unique feast day celebrated in common that unites all the spiritual family of Blessed Charles.

“The new element in Charles de Foucauld’s teaching on the mystery of Nazareth was that the hidden life in Nazareth was not only a stage in Jesus’ training for his mission as Savior, however long it may have been, but was also salvation itself that was already beginning to work through him.

The best illustration of Bro. Charles’ insight is his meditation on the Visitation of the Virgin to her cousin Elizabeth. Inspired by Bossuet’s ‘Elevations sur les Mystéres’, he did not dwell on Mary’s readiness to help her elderly cousin Elizabeth. In his eyes it was not so much a visit of practical charity to assist her cousin in the last months of her pregnancy and at the birth, although Mary goes to her and this is important.
But something else was far more important: “Mary set out to sanctify St. John, to proclaim the Good News, to evangelize him and to sanctify him, not with words but by bringing Jesus to him in his home, in silence…”.8

This point deserves further development: “John the Baptist was sanctified, and with him, the whole of Zechariah’s family, not through words or an invitation to conversion that would in any case have been impossible, but simply through the presence of the Son of God within her. From before his birth, therefore, Jesus is Savior with his presence alone. Continuing along the lines of Bossuet, Bro. Charles extends this form of sanctification to all souls.

“Just as Mary sanctified John by going to his home and bringing Jesus himself, the living Gospel, within her, a soul that is filled with Jesus can bring salvation. With regard to the Visitation, Bossuet notes that as soon as she is filled with the Holy Spirit she is full of love, and that this is what happens to every soul: it possesses love to the extent that it lives on Jesus”.9
Universal brotherhood

Followers of Charles de Foucauld know well that the Visitation is one of the important pillars of his spirituality. They also know that Jesus of Nazareth was revealed to Bro. Charles as the Universal Brother whom we must imitate if we are to become, with him, a universal brother in miniature.”