Here is a remarkable quotation from Carlo Carretto (1910-1988). He went into the Sahara desert in 1954 to live among and serve the poor and so draw closer to Christ. He was a member of the “Little Brothers of Jesus”, a group who sought to live out of the lifestyle of Charles de Foucault. Brennan Manning was a member of this order for a time. Listen to this:
“You must pass on the fruits of your contemplation, not your wisdom, or worse still, your culture.
Only the man who contemplates the face of God, and is carried beyond himself in so doing, can effectively say to his brother: come and see, and understand for yourself how sublime he is!
To lead others to contemplation: this is the soul of every [mission]. Come and see, come and try for yourself, come and experience, come with me on to the holy mountain.
What persuades your brother to follow you is the grace of God, which is never lacking, and your own conviction, your experience, your example—of which there can never be too much.”
(Carlo Carretto. In Search of the Beyond. Trans. by Sarah Fawcett. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1976, p. 120.)
We aren’t passing along ideas about God, or inviting people to participate in a movement (or culture). We are inviting people to respond to God Himself.
Come and see. Come and know.
How does this strike you?