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The Incarnation : a school of prayer

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A time of welcome …

An « exercise »

The mystery of the Incarnation for Fr.Baudouin is not only a school of life but, always linked with life, it is also a school of prayer. He proposed an « exercise » which we call the «exercise of the Incarnation » or «celebration of the Incarnation ».
Fr. Baudouin said : it is our « distinctive exercice ».
This is how the « Mustard seed » presents it :

"It is a road which is discretely marked with beacons like a footpath well trodden ... Like every footpath it teaches a tradition to all who walk it: Someone has passed before us and has chosen the road. The traces that he has left are sufficient to make friends, not only with him, but with all the walkers who have gone before us... In walking it, they have kept the trace for themselves, for us. It is up to us to maintain it for those who will come after us.

Each footpath teaches us freedom… freedom to breathe, to admire... freedom to walk at our own rhythm…

There is no direction that is obligatory nor no direction that is forbidden... But the footpath only yields up its secrets to those who walk it, painfully sometimes, and by going slowly."

That is what we are invited to.

Exercise of the Incarnation, from FMI Norms p.13

We recognise ourselves poor before God, but confident in He who became one of us and who loves us.
We ask for the help of the Spirit.
We unite ourselves to Mary :
With her we prostrate ourselves to adore Jesus the Word Iincarnate.
BY HIM, WITH HIM, and IN HIM we marvel at the beauty of the Father, at his project of love.
BY HIM, WITH HIM, and IN HIM, we give thanks to the Father
for the Incarnation
for Mary
for the church in heaven and in the earth
for ourselves…
BY HIM, WITH HIM and IN HIM, we offer ourselves and we welcome the will of the Father for his glory and the salvation of the world.
We present our intercession for the Church and for all people.
We ask for the blessing of the Word Incarnate and of Mary, our Mother.

Fr. Baudouin made the link between adoration and life

Some examples drawn from his life :

  • Once when he hesitated about an orientation in the life of Mme St. Benoit, he wrote to her : You will adore Jesus as truth and the enemy of every lie. (Letter 8 January 1801)
  • When he was named for Chavagnes parish he
    wrote again to Mme St Benoît : Adore the Word Incarnate sending out his apostles to all corners to spread his fire and his light there.
    (letter 9 July 1801)
  • When he was fully engaged in mission in Chavagnes, he wrote : May the missionary of the Father live. You will adore him in this quality.
    (letter 23 sept.1801)

We would recommend you to read the text of the draft exercise by Fr. Baudouin in the Sablaise Rule (ch. 6) and share some reflections...

Testimonies from COMMON TREASURE

  • The Spirituality of the Incarnation is a way to God which requires from us to develop three points fundamental for the life of every Christian :

    - prayer,
    - admiration
    - and action,
    so as to discover the presence of the Incarnate Word in each of our brothers and sisters.
  • It is a school, a path of prayer to learn how to adore, to wonder, to praise, give thanks, to offer oneself and offer the world, to ask.
    To adore ? It is more than an exercise, the acts of adoration form a spirit. Living the adoration of the Word made flesh gives us to God, at the service of our brothers and sisters… Adoration and offering are lived for a demanding, apostolic life.
  • A school to teach us to contemplate.
    Contemplate the mystery of the Incarnate Word, the person of Jesus : God- Man.
    Contemplate the Word Incarnate in the continuation of this Incarnation there, where people live. Contemplate Jesus fully attentive to the Father and to all peoples.
    Contemplation of the " Word made flesh " in our world leads us to develop our attitude of opennes, of surprise, of wonder, to welcome the mystery of the other person and to respect them in their history, their culture as a meeting place with God.
    Wonder also for Creation.

This exercise is the most important one. It is our distinctive exercice
(Sablaise Rule ch.6)

  • Praying in our lives, with our lives, from our lives, discovering a God who is simple, who manifests himself in every day life, in the details, in the simplicity of each day.
    To be, to find oneself and to live the here and now which the Lord shows us through events...
    To discover also the Lord hidden in the most difficult realities.
    Admire, contemplate and celebrate his presence among the poorest people, those who suffer most.
    In Adoration we open ourselves to commitment, to gift, to offering.

What word, testimony touches me? Why?

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

- Jn 1, 46 : "No one can come to the Father accept through me."

- Eph 1,3-14 « Blessed be God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ..."

- Eph. 1,14 "That is why I bend my knee, in the presence of the Father"

Some practical steps

The person who reads without practising what they read is the sower who casts his seeds too wide. (Fr. Baudouin)

- I take time to look at my prayer journey…

    • What are my insistences and general attitudes in prayer : thanksgiving, praise, contemplation, intercession ?
    • How does my prayer journey reflect my life?
    • How is my life present in my prayer?

- I take time to look at the journey proposed by Louis - Marie Baudouin.
On what part of the journey would I like to stop and take time in prayer.?