What is a Charism?A charism is a gift of God, a favor of God, a completely gratuitous, undeserved gift from God. It is a grace of the Spirit. It is for the building up of the Church, of the people of God.
What is the La Salette Charism?
The charism of La Salette is the grace and prophetic word that flows from the Apparition of Our Lady to Maximin and Melanie on Saturday, September 19, 1846 on a mountaintop near the hamlet of La Salette, in the Alps of southeastern France. Mary says: “Come near, my children. Do not be afraid… Make this message known to all my people.”
These words heard on the holy mountain are to be inscribed in our hearts. They are the words that speak of the nearness and the approachability of our God. The remote awesome Alpine setting speaks of God present as mystery, a divine presence so inclined, so disposed to the human family, that the torturous human heart is able to find peace, discover that it is held tenderly in the embrace of a prodigal, mysterious God.
Central in this apparition is the crucifix of Jesus that Our Lady wore on her breast. The children described the light coming from this crucifix as a light that gave light to the entire apparition, the entire setting. This crucifix seemed to be the source of the “globe of light”. Light, resurrection and Easter faith all come as images that easily fit together.
Jesus remains central in this apparition. The crucified and resurrected Jesus, the Jesus of Easter light, is the absolute and certain sign of forgiveness. We may rest assured; our hearts need not yearn for more. Jesus is the heart of forgiveness and reconciliation.
In sum, this is the Charism of La Salette: namely, that God is near and approachable, and that Jesus is the sure and effective sign of forgiveness and reconciliation with the Father. Mary calls us to respond in love and faith; she charges us to accept and to become ambassadors of an ongoing ministry of reconciliation.
The most important quote by St. Paul gives an overview of his vision of the purpose, effects and ministry of reconciliation:
“So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come. And all this is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and given us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting their trespasses against them and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
“So we are ambassadors for Christ, as if God were appealing through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who did not know sin, so that we might become the righteousness of God in him. Working together, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain” (2 Corinthians 5:17 to 6:1).