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A mystery to wonder at : the mystery of the Incarnation

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A Mystery to wonder at : the mystery of the Incarnation

This first « portal » will help us to situate ourselves as « Family of the Incarnation », taking as our starting point the wonder that
Fr. Baudouin had for this mystery..

A time of welcome: sharing joys, events…

Presentation of our name : Family of the Incarnation ! Who are we?

For us, members of the Family of the Incarnation, it is this mystery which is the source of life for us and we are invited to drink deeply from this source.
It is our charism. It is the aspect of the mystery of Jesus which animated Louis Marie Baudouin, and which he wished to pass on to his disciples.
Today, it is this charism which is offered to all who wish to live it. For Fr. Baudouin the mystery of the Incarnation was not distinct from the mysteries of the life of Jesus. He said : « The Incarnation and its divine consequences… »
A time of sharing : What is the significance of the mystery of the Incarnation for me ?

A phrase used by Fr. Baudouin:

Let people admire what they will : all we find worthy of admiration is the Incarnation and its divine consequences. We need no other school, this one suffices. (letter of 25 March 1825)

He wrote these words 10 years before his death. They are the fruits of a long spiritual experience .

In Fr. Baudouin’s life, some fundamental principles concerning his love of the Incarnate Word :
- his time in the « cachette » where he drew up a Rule of Life with the opening words « Our Spirit will be the Spirit of the Incarnate Word »…
- the commitment of Fr. Baudouin to religious life with these words : « in the name of, and to the glory of the Incarnate Word … ». He took as his religious name: Marie-Joseph de l’Incarnation.
- For Fr. Baudouin the mystery of the Incarnation is a mystery to be wondered at…
it would be helpful to read the complete letter of 21 March 1825 (see annexe 1) and share some of your reflections…
Today, what do I admire ?...

Testimonies from a COMMON TREASURE :

How can we speak of this mystery in the words of today ?
How does this mystery touch our lives ?
We can read the testimonies of our common treasure . These testimonies are taken from a questionnaire carried out with the fraternities of both congregations founded by Fr. Baudouin, in view of launching the Family of the lncarnation . The question asked was :

What do you understand by the words « Spirituality of the Incarnation » ?

The spirituality of the Incarnation leads us to the heart of the love of God.
- God loved us first. « The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us ». He continues to live among us : the important message is…he lives.
« Ever since God became man we meet with him in every human face» (UJ Book of Life)

- Jesus became flesh : He was the hands of God, the eyes of God, the heart of God among us, the gaze of God, the tenderness of God…Our spirituality must be inspired by all of this.

- The Incarnation, is meeting up with those who are most poor, most destitute, most alone, by our prayer and our mission.
It is to contemplate a God who was made man because he loves us, he saves us, and he wishes the best for us.

- The Incarnation, it is the mystery of a divine presence, presence in each human being, in nature, in history, in events.
When we open our eyes to everyday events we see the seeds of life, we see all events as being part of the way of the Incarnation.
The Incarnation is Jesus who is our companion on our journey.

- To live the Incarnation, is to work the earth continually so as to be like Mary, available to love and adore Jesus who takes flesh in us and in the other, and we must do this daily…

- The Incarnation gives meaning to our daily life. Knowing that he is present gives my life meaning.

Which word, which testimony touches me ? Why ?

The Word of God : « a mustard seed to chew ».

If you swallow a mustard seed without chewing it you will not taste it. This is like people who have a general kind of belief, superficial, without reflection. But if you chew the it well, your palate will savour it. It has plenty of taste. Such are those who reflect and who meditate on the word of him who has sown the mustard seed. Fr. Baudouin, Letter 23-6-1827

Two texts to keep in your heart :

- Jn 3, 16 : God so loved the world that he gave his only Son so that all who believe in him will not perish but will have eternal life.
- Jn 10, 10 : I have come that you may have life and have it in abundance

- Three longer texts to savour :
- Jn 1, 1-18 : The Word was made flesh…
- Lc 2, 26-38 : The Annunciation
- Ph 2, 1-11 : His state was divine

To put into practice :

The one who reads without putting it into practice is like a sower who casts his seeds too wide. (Fr. Baudouin)

- In prayer : a time for « wondering at » the love of God who gives his Son.
- welcome this love of God for the world today.
and for me personally.
- in my relationships and my encounters : how do I look on others ? God loves them too.

Remark : It is important that each one can leave the meeting, with something to « practice » linked with the contents and orientated :
- towards personal prayer. Even if the initiation to the «distinctive exercice » is only proposed later on one can already live one or other aspect of the « exercice ».
- towards « an action » which touches our way of living our relationships with our « neighbour ».