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"The Society, like the Church, finds its model in Mary the woman of faith. Its spirituality is simple and modest in its expression, close to the lives of ordinary people, apostolic in character, and marked by spontaneity and joy. It tries to make its own the Christian experience lived by Mary." – Constitutions SM 117.
Spirituality deals with a human person's search for the experience of unity, beauty, goodness and harmony with the transcendent, the mystery that is God. This journey begins when a person realizes that he or she can only find authentic fulfillment and genuine happiness in the experience of the spirit. This call to "wholeness", that takes place at the deepest level of one's being, is also a call to "holiness".
Marist spirituality, namely the insights, the images, the memories, the stories, the symbols, and the richness of the Marist way of life, touch deeply this aspect of the human heart's hunger for authentic living. It invites a person into an experience of God's dream and hope for all men and women expressed in the incarnate Son of God, Jesus.
Mary, the mother of Jesus, is the key to this understanding. Jean Claude Colin, gifted with insight by the Spirit, opened up this treasure for all those who wish to experience it through living the Marist way of life.
Characteristics of the Marist spirit include:
Sharing the faith of Mary that God would like to work wonders through us if only we humbly receive God’s gift
Carrying out the ministry of evangelization like Mary in a “hidden and unknown” manner, with a listening heart fully engaged in life with others
Being “an instrument of Divine Mercy” as Mary, welcoming all people
Being a disciple in the manner of Mary, helping to build and renew the Church
Praying as Mary did – to intercede for the sake of God’s love for the world, especially for those who are lost or seem far from God
Living simply, unselfishly, and compassionately like Mary and to stand against the forces of greed, pride, and violence
In all, the focus is on the spirit of Mary rather than any particular Marian devotion or practice.