Wednesday, February 10, 2010

February 11 – Introducing, a Modern, Married, Missionary Monk

WHY would any young man or woman, just gazing over the horizon toward the prime of life, elect to leave the joys and beauties of the world behind and step over the threshold into a household of religious rigors?

We know the typical answers (escapism, legalism, social misfit-ism,) but they are all given by those WHO NEVER TRIED IT!

Frank Laubach, a brilliant teacher of teachers and minister to illiterate people, made a “Cor Unum” decision in the forty-fifth year of his (Protestant) life. He decided that he would set out to live “in continuous inner conversation with God and in perfect responsiveness to His will.” That, my beloved friends, is as monastic an endeavor as could be named. He tried it, and kept a journal to record the experience.

In 1943, Time magazine wrote a glowing tribute to Frank Laubach and his work among the illiterate of the Phillipines. At that time, Mr. Laubach had devised extremely effective literacy charts for 79 languages and was working on the 80th . . . Korean. The article focused on his work, but in the first paragraph it noted that he was back home in Pennsylvania, trying as he always did, to think every minute upon God. His journal reveals an agonizing “try,” and a magnificent success.

We are privileged to live in a day and time where many of those who minister to us have taught us to live humbly in an evil day and to win souls, as is wise, but we have not always learned how to become those people who do not go out without the Presence of God, which is the power of God, and the love that never fails. Jesus Christ is, as ever, our example, and He told us He could only do what He saw the Father doing!

The conflict between the “active” and “contemplative” orders is as old as … Martha and Mary! Yet, we shall have it all in Cor Unum! Worship and work! Quiet and endeavor! Prayer and profession! Inspiration and obedience!

Of course, the nuns at Regina Laudis Abbey would smile and say that they have all of those, too, and they do. We are preparing to join them in the CLOISTER OF THE HEART.

photo by Kerry

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