Quentin Hakenewerth, SM
"The Great Design" guides its readers through many facets of the Marianist charism, while encouraging us to be missionaries of good works in the name of Jesus and Mary.

by Quentin Hakenewerth, SM
106 pgs.

Blessed William Joseph Chaminade, Founder of the Marianists, received the gift of charism from the Holy Spirit. It is this same charism that Father Hakenewerth integrates with the virtues of Jesus to aid us in living our lives more fully in our faith. Each chapter begins with a teaching of Marianist charism, continues with themes for prayer and meditation, and concludes with questions for personal reflection or group sharing. This book guides its readers through many facets of the Marianist charism, while encouraging us to be missionaries of good works in the name of Jesus and Mary.

Faith of the Mind is a Conviction

Faith means accepting something as true or real without having any proof for it or any experience of it. Father Chaminade says: faith is a firm conviction of things we do not see, as if we saw them. Faith puts in our mind new knowledge through belief that goes deeper than our questions and doesn’t demand evidence. We take something into our mind as true without laying down conditions for accepting it.

Some of the most important realities of life cannot be known except by faith. Father Chaminade uses this image: Faith is a kind of spiritual telescope, which enables us to perceive things beyond the reach of our reason. Faith does not negate reason, nor does it disregard the great gift that reason is for each of us. While fully respecting reason, faith puts us in touch with realities that are beyond the reach of reason alone.

The person who does not believe simply misses the experience of a whole realm which surpasses reason. . . .

Faith of the Heart is a Relationship
While faith of the mind is important, it is not sufficient. Father Chaminade insisted that what we believe with our mind must pass to the heart. By faith of the heart we give assent not only of our mind, but we adhere with our whole heart to what we believe. We love what we believe, and we commit ourselves to embrace it with our whole being. Faith of the mind brings us knowledge; faith of the heart attaches our person to what we believe. Father Chaminade considered faith of the mind insufficient, because we are called to change our life through the virtues and become zealous missionaries. Faith of the mind alone does not sanctify us. St. Paul says: “One believes with the heart and so is justified” (Rm 10:10). . . .

A pole-vaulter surprised everyone when he set a new record which went beyond his recognized talents. Someone asked him how he did it. He answered: “I just threw my heart over the bar and the rest of me followed.” Faith of the heart is something like that: it takes us into new realms of life, which we otherwise would not experience. It sets us on fire and becomes an inner movement to action. . . .

Themes for Prayer and Meditation
Reflect on the faith of the heart of these heroes of the Old Testament. Observe what they believed and what “sentiments” of faith or practice of what virtues attached them totally to God.

+ “Sarah, in spite of being past the age, was made able to conceive, because she believed that he who had made the promise would be faithful to it” (Heb 11:11).
+ “[Moses] left Egypt and was not afraid of the king’s anger; he held to his promise like a man who could see the Invisible” (Heb 11:27).

Questions for Personal Review or Group Sharing
Recall a moment when your faith enabled you to perceive things beyond the reach of reason and gave you a “telescopic perspective” different from that of human wisdom.
Describe an experience in which your faith gave you a new sense of God’s loving presence in your life.


ONE: Redemptive Love
The Transforming Love of Jesus
Redemptive Love Through the Virtues
The Virtues in Our Relationships
The Need for Unconditional Love to Grow to Maturity
The Reverse Miracle of Unconditional Love
Participating in God's Design of Love 

TWO: Transforming Presence of Mary
The Calvary Icon
Consequences of this Special Relationship with Mary
A Relationship Like an Alliance
Consecration on Calvary

THREE: Living the Virtues of Jesus

FOUR: Living By Faith
Faith of the Mind is a Conviction
Faith of the Heart is a Relationship
Faith is a New Light
Living by Faith in the Presence of God
By Faith We Accomplish New "Works"
Faith Actualizes Divine Providence

FIVE: Prayer in a Busy World
Too Busy to Pray
Definition of the Prayer of Faith
Method of the Prayer of Faith
Prayer in the Presence of God
Prayer and the Virtues of Jesus

SIX: You Are All Missionaries
Definition of "Missionary"
(1) Chosen by Mary to Act in Her Name
(2) Given a Mission to Achieve
(3) Equipped by Mary to Participate in Her Mission

SEVEN: Community
Community: A New Presence and a New Force
A Special Presence in Marianist Community
"That They All May Be One"
Benefits of Community
The Virtues as Skills for Building Community

EIGHT: Administering the Concerns of Christ
For the Fullness of Christ's Work
Authority of Interaction
Fill Up What is Lacking in Leadership
Invisible Leadership
Administration and the Virtues
The Style of Jesus