Blessed Charles de Foucauld
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The intuitions and spirituality of Charles de Foucauld are at the origins of our way of life.  

Born into a wealthy French family Charles lost his faith and his bearings at an early age.  It took him many years and wanderings before he met the one whom he called his beloved brother and Lord, Jesus.  The more his prayer became a mystical meeting with Jesus, the more he was drawn to seek Jesus in others.  His belief in this double presence was a unifying and healing factor in his life.

He came to understand his vocation as imitation of the life of Jesus at Nazareth.  By this he meant a truly contemplative life rooted in the ordinary life of the poor.
"It is love which should recollect you in me, not distance from my children.  See me in them, and like me at Nazareth, live near them, lost in God."  
                                      -Meditation of Charles de Foucauld
At the heart of Charles' way of prayer was a deeply eucharistic spirituality.  He saw in the gift of Jesus' body and blood the sign of God's abiding presence among us, a love capable of healing and saving our broken humanity and the image of his own way of presence to others.
   
Charles lived this out in Algeria among the Tuareg people.  He saw his way of presence and friendship, as well as his life of prayer, as his mission and thought of himself as a "missionary-monk".
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Among the Tuareg of Tamanrasset
He also understood that it was not a time for conversions, and felt that his life could be about creating bonds of understanding and respect with this people.  
He extensively studied the language and culture of the Tuareg, and left us with important linguistic and litterary documents of their culture.

A French military man who knew Charles de Foucauld in Tamanrasset in quoted him as saying,
“I am not here in order to convert the Tuareg people at once but to try to understand them...  I am sure that the Good Lord will welcome into heaven all those who have been good and honest without them having to be Roman Catholic.  You are Protestant, T. has no religious faith at all, the Tuareg are Muslim.  I am  convinced that God will welcome all of us if we deserve it.”
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