Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Thank God for the Cistercians

My itinerant life presents major challenges when it comes to retaining a contemplative center. I found this reflection in today's Magnificat wonderfully helpful. Where would we be without the Cistercians? Since my spiritual home – for which I pine while on the road – is St. Joseph’s Abbey near my domestic home, I have feel a special appreciation for the Cistercian charism, which is surely the source of this beautiful reflection by Father AndrĂ© Louf, O.C.S.O., abbot emeritus of the Cistercian monastery of Mont-des-Cats, France:
We sometimes have to stop the furious pace of our activities, know how to pause, to put down our weapons, and fold our arms, to listen at length to the silence of our hearts. It is at times like these that God’s action has some chance of emerging and taking the initiative within us. This only gives the appearance of being easy, especially for the active person used to feeding unconsciously on his own activity – as someone gets used to a drug which he cannot stop using without going through withdrawal. This is, in fact, a matter of going from a well-intentioned activism – not without tangible results – to a certain passivity even within action whose effectiveness is not always immediately perceptible. It is a matter, even at the very heart of action, of not getting so caught up in it that the active person not unknowingly cuts the thread which binds him to his own interiority from which all his activity should spring.
Since posting the earlier blog entry, my introduction to this month's ERI session has gone through a few changes, which I have not bothered to insert into the weblog. I hope those who have some interest in these things will listen to the audio of this month's entire session, either on CD (for those who attend our sessions) or by way of the MP3 audio file which will be on our website within a week or so.

1 comment:

kenneth said...

Thank you for your written work, which has meant so much to me, and the quote from Dom Louf. I am just now reading "Tuning In To Grace" and find it astounding. I am deeply grateful for both of you.
Ken Frese