Monday, September 30, 2013

St. Charbel and the Contemplative Life

From One of the Greatest Saints of Our Time: St. Charbel Makhlouf:

Father Charbel was thirty-six years old when he went to see his Prior one day and said, “As a grace, Father, I ask you to forbid me to have any contact with the outside. I would rather not see anything anymore, nor hear anything anymore, except for God’s voice.”

Father Albani answered, “Contemplation is something which pleases the Lord, but one must not forget others.”

“I think only of others, Father. I have asked God that the force of my prayers not serve myself, but my neighbor.” (p. 45)

I recall also that in The Cloud of Unknowing it says that in the contemplative work of the spirit,

…Your fellow men are marvelously enriched by this work of yours, even if you many not fully understand how; the souls in purgatory are touched, for their suffering is eased by the effects of this work; and of course, your own spirit is purified and strengthened by this contemplative work more than by all others put together. (p. 48)

The contemplative life…

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