Tuesday, September 14, 2010
September 14 – Vade in Pace
The young postulant who arrives at the Abbey doors seeking peace . . . well . . . she seldom is invited to the Abbey doors.
After many consultations with the Mother Prioress, the Abbess, and members of the community, carried out in strict enclosures through the grille, one of the chief determinations is that the applicant must have an understanding that the nuns are not assembled to find peace, although they do seek and pursue it.
A word of explanation? The Sisters are not enclosed in order to enjoy peace and quiet, away from the business of life. The quiet they may enjoy aids their search for the fullness of Jesus Christ, but if the monastery is in Manhattan, they seek Him there, horns honking, tires squealing. It has been reported, however, that big-city monasteries find “quiet,” wonderfully, and as the residents achieve it, peace prevails.
Nuns are not enclosed in order to float blissfully through life on a cloud of silence; they maintain silence whatever their surroundings in order to direct their souls more deeply into the heart of God. We in Cor Unum may experiment with “peace” today. Quiet, too.
Let us find a quiet moment, as quiet as we may make it, and let us seek the near Presence of God. Stay . . . for five minutes. Let us direct no thought toward the day ahead, nor toward the effects of His Life and Love. Stay for ten minutes just to be near. Direct no thought toward peace, righteousness, or joy. Only stay in His Presence; let the one determination be to stay with, to be near, to be in His Presence. Stay for twenty minutes. Ignore thought and impulse of every nature. Direct the heart to enjoy Him in absolute stillness. Stay longer; stay for half an hour. When our time is up, we are candidates to remain, here in Cor Unum.
Marfo Marinsky convent