Contemplatives in Action
Sisters praying in adoration The Handmaids of Mary (Servant of Mary), by her vocation, is called to be contemplative in action. Our prayer life must be deep and intense. We shall attach great importance to personal and community prayer in order to become souls saturated with prayer at the service of the apostolate, in such a way that it may derive its strength from contemplation, this in turn giving it impulse.
We shall make no distinction between our prayer life and our apostolic life. If we truly possess a living faith and we are capable of discovering Christ in the countenance of each one of our patients, then our going from the chapel to the bedside of the sick will not in any way interrupt our dialogue with Christ; we will continue loving Him where and how we find Him, ever alert to the slightest demand he may wish to make of us. In this contemplative spirit, the caring of our patient will be made easy and we shall daily experience a renewed enthusiasm in respecting, loving and lavishing upon him all the services her requires.
Personal prayer is an absolutely indispensable element for insuring the authentic vitality of our interior life.
As Servants of Mary all our apostolic efforts and those concerning our own sanctification that do not stem from intimate union with God or do not promote it will remain barren, since without Him we can do nothing worthwhile and effective (Jn 15,5), and He must always be the supreme objective of our evangelical plan of life. Our primary and most excellent apostolic contribution to the building up of the Mystical Body of Christ and to universal salvation will always be prayer, works of penance and the example of our own lives by the exact fulfillment of our duties.
Sister helping elderly woman in bedFrom the first stages of formation, emphasis is given to this characteristic trait of our spirituality which prepares us to listen to and meditate on the Word of God and to seek His divine will manifested in the events of daily life and through those who, as mediators of God, guide us along these paths. This contemplative attitude helps us participate more effectively in the saving mission of Christ by the gift of our sacrificial love for others, understood as an essential requirement of our consecration and spirituality. The Virgin in a stained glass windowThe Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother and model for consecrated persons, will always be our model and guide on this way. She is an immaculate mirror in which the Servant of Mary must see herself in order to reach the summit of her spiritual life (cf. VC 28).
Abandoned to Divine Providence
One of the dimensions of the “poor of Yahweh” is trust in Divine Providence. This confident love is a sign of evangelical poverty. Mother Soledad experienced God’s Providenceto such a degree that her spirit of abandonment to God was unbreakable. This spiritof confidence in God’s Providenceis the soul of our Institute and was instilled in us by our Mother Foundress not only through the Constitutions, but principally by the power of her example. It was her custom not to rely on human means but rather to expect everything from Divine Providence. As her final testament she told her Daughters: “I leave you in the hands of Divine Providence”. Immersed in this abandonment in the providential hands of the Father, she advised her Daughters with conviction: “Do not worry about anything because if God takes care of the birds in the sky, will He not take much better care of His Servants?”
This same spirit of confidence in God is summarized in our Constitutions. “We fulfill this mission at the bedside of the sick, caring for them diligently and gratuitously…” This charismatic grace is reflected in the spirituality handed down to us by our Holy Mother Foundress: contemplative in action, abandoned to providence, collaborator with Christ and Mary in the salvation of mankind”. “Abandoned to providence” was the attitude of Saint María Soledad and is a true witness and demanding message that she left for her daughters.
Sister with a person in front of their adobe homeThe Servants of Mary express their gratitude for God’s Providenceby sharing it with others. Each one of us are transformed into the “providence” of God for the sick as we care for them, healing and sowing seeds of hope in all.
The Servants of Mary strive to follow the way of our Mother Foundress: with dedication and interior peace that flows from unwavering faith in Divine Providence.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides” (Mt. 6, 25).
As Servants of Mary we rely on God and seek to make our life a poem of gratitude to the Lord as well as one of generous GRATUITY. This is the criteria and identity of the Servant of Mary as it was of our Mother Foundress.
Collaborators with Christ & Mary
Collaborators with Christ and Mary in the salvation of mankind
The spirituality of Mother Soledad and of every Servant of Mary was forged in the fire of a two-fold identification: The Servant of Mary like Mother Soledad recognizes Christ hidden in her neighbor, and in a special way in the sick they care for in their own home (Const. 3); they can identify with Mary, the Mother in perpetual contemplation of her Son under the two very significant invocations and in harmony with the charism-mission Mother Soledad received from the Holy Spirit which the Church entrusted to her to carry out in its name. Her two significant titles are Mary, our Sorrowful Mother at the foot of the Cross of her Son, and Health of the Sick, a title obtained through the suffering and triumph of her Son. She teaches us that all human suffering, united to the mystery of the redemption fully obtained by Christ through his suffering, changes human weakness into the power of God.
Like Mary at the foot of the cross in a contemplative attitude of faith, we as Servants of Mary must convert the patient’s room into a sanctuary where Christ is mystically immolated and where we exercise our common priesthood by offering with Him the sufferings of our patient to the Father.