A new venture

A new venture

Handwritten letters from Charles de Foucauld.

We are embarking onto a new venture to love Jesus in the footsteps of Bl. Charles de Foucauld.

Charles wrote more than 2,000 letters in his lifetime. Most of these were written during his 16 years in the desert of Algeria. Not only did he correspond with his family and friends, but he regularly received letters and newspapers. Deep in the Algerian desert, he remained aware of other’s lives and the world around him. Thankfully, many of those letters were stored. They have become a crucial treasure revealing his passionate and total love for his neighbor and for “Jesus, my beloved brother and Lord.”


This blog is inspired by de Foucauld’s spirit of correspondence, by the longing to share with others our experience of seeking to “live Nazareth” in our own places and time. It will be letters from personal deserts; not necessarily deserts of smooth Saharan silt, but more so urban deserts of heather cement, bumper-to-bumper traffic, strangers passing shoulder-to-shoulder on sidewalks, and a tumult only deafened by plugged ears of harmonious singing. The desert in the city has become, for much of the world, a new place of struggle to love Jesus and cry the Gospel with one’s life. Though the desert noise competes to distract the heart and mind from noticing God’s presence in the midst of everything, it is not impossible. I am reminded of the city cafe, which is often a place of discovery. The city sounds soften into the subtle buzz of coffee grinding and espresso pouring, while friends sip contentedly and deepen their conversation. God is discovered here. He is present in the midst of every ordinary activity in the city desert.

Charles supposed that “we can live the life of Nazareth anywhere.” Is this truly the case? Can Nazareth be lived by a married man with twins in Seattle, or a young woman in war-torn Damascus, or a priest in the throws of Vatican City politics? Can Nazareth be lived anywhere by anyone? It is this supposition that anyone, anywhere can live Nazareth to which these Letters from the Desert will attest.

Your brother in Jesus and Mary,

Gabriel Luke Mary

Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.

By |2018-02-16T10:22:35+00:00February 15th, 2018|Uncategorized|5 Comments

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  1. Brendan February 15, 2018 at 5:42 pm

    Amen. Thanks for this. I work in a bakery myself which, like the cafe, is a place of discovery. Like Nazareth, the work is a little mundane, obscure, etc, but when you give the work, the customers, and your coworkers your full attention, really hear what someone’s saying, and just really be present to the demand of love in that moment, open to where the spirit is leading, it reminds you that can indeed live Nazareth right where you are, right now. You start where you are. Look forward to reading more!

    • Jesus Caritas February 25, 2018 at 8:45 pm


      I think you hit the nail on the head there. It is so important to give others our full attention. I find myself often bouncing between being attentive and inattentive to others, especially with my phone in my pocket or simply just thinking of what I will say next- not actually listening.

  2. Mariajen (gina grace) February 15, 2018 at 9:05 pm

    Beautiful…looking forward to more sharings…❤

  3. Terry February 22, 2018 at 10:17 am

    Wonderful I live in New York City. In a city of 8 million it is surprisingly ease to feel that you live in a desert. Remembering that as we go about our lives we can have the spirit of Nazareth. In our work our commute and going about the task of caring for our families. Looking forward to more.

  4. Fr. Ron Belisle February 26, 2018 at 11:57 pm

    I experienced a true desert (the Atacama) when I observed the young college students at Caldera Chile at the end of January 2018 spend the “Day in the Desert” in prayer and reflection. I was deeply impressed by their devotion and great spirit of fraternity. Certainly the sponsors of this Week of Nazareth deserve considerable acknowledgment worthy of emulation.

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