PAX IN MARIA
Two years ago, thanks to your help, we were able to rebuild the roof and facade of the house named “St John”, which gave us three additional cells, a separate refectory and kitchen and a chapter room for community meetings. (See the attached transformation). But this is only the outside of the house.
Here we are now about to restore the interior, where everything is to be renovated: plaster, paint, plumbing, electricity, heating, not to mention doors and windows.
I am well aware that the financial situation of many of you is difficult and that many communities legitimately appeal to you from all sides for their apostolic works.
I take advantage, however, of the grace of Lent and of the Church’s invitation to penance and mercy to draw your attention and heart to our community and its vital needs.
You know the greatness and necessity of prayer not only for every Christian but also for the salvation of the world. And “the monk is a man of prayer,” said Dom Gérard. “The contemplative soul is not a sealed urn,” wrote Gustave Thibon. Beyond words and actions and even thoughts and feelings, it spreads upon the earth the treasures it draws down from Heaven. These cores of inner life have a secret radiance which changes the ambient temperature. For to pray is not only to ask God for this or that, nor to be exclusively concerned with one’s personal salvation, it is to open the portal by which grace penetrates, it is to allow God to circulate in the world. And where this circulation slows down or stops, the temporal life dries up and rots like a limb into which the blood no longer circulates. The monk, immobile in his cell and alone before God, embraces and penetrates the whole extent of space and time: his prayer, falling back upon men, acts more on the being than it appears and this divine infiltration is too deep and too pure for a thought from here below to grasp its unfolding. Who would dare to assimilate the communion of the saints with a sociological phenomenon? It is absolute intersubjectivity which, beyond all sensory signs unites souls in the pure interiority of their source. ” And our author added: “One speaks of the “emptiness “of the existence of monks. It is empty like the pores in the body, but it is through this void that the world breathes in God.”
These sublime words say infinitely more than I can of the importance of the contemplative life, and the vital necessity of sustaining it by temporal aid, without which it can neither develop nor intensify. The monks are in tune with the God to whom they pray and whom they serve, “this God of the Armies who made himself the unarmed God”, who makes the highest of the lowest, the superior of the inferior, for even if the earth does not need the rose, the rose still needs the earth.
Prayer is the Work of works. It passes before any apostolate that it supports secretly and effectively. But without your help it cannot grow and flourish under the firmament of this world that it must save from evil and unhappiness.
We thank you in advance from the bottom of our hearts for the charitable aid you are willing to send us. Our gratitude will be expressed especially by the Mass we celebrate every month for all our benefactors. May God bless you, both you and your families. “Give alms out of your goodness,” said Tobias, “and do not turn away your face from any poor man; for it shall come to pass that the face of God shall not turn away from thee. ” (Tb 4, 7-8)