To celebrate well, we must fully tell the tale of our charism. We must recount the story.
‘Has the Lord spoken only through Moses? Has he not spoken through us also?’ And the Lord heard it and said to Moses, Aaron and Miriam ‘Come out, you three, to the tent of meeting.’
Read Numbers 12:1-9
In a provocative examination of the role of Miriam in the Sacred Scriptures, Michele Stopera Freyhauf writes, “The oddity of Miriam being mentioned at all, let alone in a leadership position, lends to the authenticity of the passage. Miriam’s role is yet another veiled attempt to deny the leadership roles women had in antiquity. Miriam, as with so many brave women in the Hebrew Scriptures functioned as a leader in their society, yet they continue to be overlooked or their role diminished in favor of male leaders and heroes.” (Silencing Miriam: Prophetess, Liberator, and Leader.)
Part of our celebration of the 400th anniversary of the charism is the “telling of the tale” our charism. In 2001, Vincentian priest José Vicente Nacher Tatay described it in this way: “Vincentian charism: gifts that the Spirit bestowed upon Vincent de Paul, Louise de Marillac and their followers; gifts that moved them to serve Christ in the person of the poor…. Using Vincent’s own words the Vincentian charism is composed of those gifts that God has used to enrich us so that we might do the same thing that he did while he was on earth: evangelize/serve the poor.”
Charism is an enriching experience that prompts action. It is not fundamentally a set of teachings or practices. Even famvin.org needs to revise some of its materials!
It is something that the Spirit has given and continues to give, so we don’t simply need to know our “foundational” past, but our lived tradition, our present, and our future orientation. We need to tell our tale. All of it: the tale of the men, women and children who let the charism take flesh. Won’t you share that with us during the upcoming anniversary year?
Nacher Tatay continued,
…we need people who understand how the Vincentian charism is being lived and how it should be lived; we need people who are filled with the gifts of the Holy Spirit: joy, peace, kindness and wisdom ; we need persons who are imbued with a prophetic and eschatological spirit; we need people who understand the past, live in the present with hope and move out toward the future; we need people who accept risks, who are energetic and willing to confront life’s struggles; we need people who inspire enthusiasm and motivate others.
Who can say “#IamVincent ? You can! Tell the tale.