Sunday, July 25, 2010
Ten years ago I read an interesting book written by the late William F. Buckley, Jr. The name of the book is "Nearer, My God." It is Mr. Buckley's autobiography of his Catholic faith. At the end of the book he writes about the ordination of his nephew, Fr. Michael Bozell, who is a priest and monk at the Benedictine Abbey of Solesmes in France. I checked out the abbey website - I found it not only informative, but fascinating. The abbey is beautiful - a holy, quiet place. A perfect place for a future retreat.
Fr. Bozell is a painter. The above painting is called "Entrance Solesmes." The entrance to the abbey. Fr. Bozell's paintings are a good source for contemplation, like Icons. If you can, make a retreat at a Benedictine Abbey....it will surely bring you closer to God.
Here are some words from the abbey website...
The grace of baptism makes us sons of God, in imitation of Christ. And by the action of the Holy Spirit who dwells in each baptised person, faith and love progressively transform our natural life. Our view of God and the world are renewed and gradually resemble that of Christ, the only Son of God.
He whom God calls to the monastic life feels attracted by this mysterious discovery of God, and he understands the supreme value of the priceless pearl. To acquire it, everything else must be subordinated to it because only it gives him the plenitude of life and wisdom.
Saint Benedict resumes this program with the expression, "seeking God", and he wants us to verify carefully if this is indeed the intention of a candidate to the monastic life. This is what he writes in the Prologue of his Rule:
«The voice of God calls out to us each day: 'Run as long as you have the light of life, for fear that darkness cover you over!' And the Lord, seeking his worker in the crowd whom he speaks to, says, 'Who is the man who wants life and desires to see blessed days?' If, having heard him, you answer, 'Me!' God answers you,'Do you want true life, eternal life? Then keep your tongue from evil and do good, seek peace and keep to it.' See with what tenderness the Lord shows us the way of life!»
«God seeks man, comments Dom Delatte, and in turn man must seek God. We do nothing else in the monastic life.»