Charles de Foucauld was a French “missionary-monk” born into a wealthy French family in 1858. He 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 experience, the more he was drawn to seek Jesus in others, which became a unifying and healing factor in his life. This meant to live a truly contemplative life rooted in the ordinary life of the poor. Charles lived this out among the Tuareg people in Algeria until his death in 1916.
He did not seek conversions, but instead felt that his life was about creating bonds of understanding and respect. His passion for living the Gospel radically inspired the formation of the Little Sisters of Jesus who remain active and vibrant. For today, reflect on his own words regarding Gospel living:
“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.”