This article of Rev. Thierry de Roucy was published in the French magazine of Heart’s Home “D’un Point-Cœur à l’autre” #15 in June 1996.
To some people, the mission of Heart’s Home seems to be very simple, one word is sometimes enough to make them understand its meaning and necessity. To others, the mission of Heart’s Home sounds strange, disturbing and blurry. They say it is inefficient, even useless on the one hand, maybe because of its spiritual aspect; on the other because it is based on a vision of mankind where life is not reduced to alimentation, instruction or vaccination issues. And for those people we need hours to explain the charism of Heart’s Home. The same arguments, oppositions, and lack of understanding rise again and again. At the root of Heart’s Home lies the certainty that each man can only fulfil himself if he develops harmonious relationships with others because God is Trinity. Hence, what we try to be at Heart’s Home, what we do depends entirely on this anthropological, non-reducible fact. For us the essential will always be the search for communion, the friendship without which zest for life disappears; without which sadness and anxiety enter our hearts.
Since the beginning of Heart’s Home, we have constantly insisted on the thirst of thirsts of each human being, which expresses itself and is quenched under the most normal or unexpected circumstances: the death of a beloved, an accident, a disease. These events reveal the fragility of life; at those times the urgent need for affection wells up. By constantly coming back to the challenges inspiring the life of the missionaries rather than to what these trials inspire them to do, we might forget about their thousands of charitable acts. I saw during my latest travels missionaries happy to respond, day or night, to the appeals for help. Their response reinforces my conviction that we need these beyond self, on-the-spot servants.
In the panorama of humanitarian actions, we really need missionaries of Charity who welcome the dying found in the street so that he feels at his last breath the presence of a hand in his hand―even if this simple gesture does not reduce Calcutta’s misery; we need a Little Brother of Jesus, who on a building site, offers a smile of encouragement to his co-worker―even if it doesn’t add anything to the work’s completion; we also need Heart’s Home missionaries to play with a little boy to console him from his parents’ violence, to take another one to the hospital, and sew up again the shirt of a different one―even if in doing so, the street children’s problems are not solved.
However, the main action of the missionaries of Charity, the Little Brothers of Jesus or the Heart’s Home missionaries is to be found beyond all the many services rendered. We do not want to deny the work these disciples of Christ accomplish sometimes until exhaustion, nor deny the fecundity of their community life, but they are helping humanity to reach its destiny through their most important action: praying.
Praying is far from being a mere private action. It is an act which has a universal effect orienting the world in one direction or another. To us, praying is more than just a source where you draw strength to love and serve. Prayer has its own results. It gives an infinite character in each dimension―depth, width, length―to each finite gesture of mankind. Prayer applies to the soul of each sinner the fruits of Christ’s sacrifice, the ‘summit-act’. It attracts the Holy Spirit the Paraclete, enabling Him to mysteriously comfort those suffering here below, wherever they are. We therefore can attest that no other human being in history has ever comforted or will ever comfort mankind as much as the Virgin Mary, because no one else has been so close to the Holy Spirit. For no one else could have stood at the cross to help the One shouting at his Father: Eloï, Eloï, lama sabactani!
It is this fully human Mother that we choose as a model for the missionaries, certain that she will teach them that their fruitfulness―like any human fecundity―only depends, as Saint Seraphin of Sarov said, on the “possession of the Holy Spirit”.