To Put in Love and Light

Charles JournetBy work  I take the word ‘work’ in a broad sense  man goes beyond his own individuality; finally, in it, he finds the communication of one spiritual soul with other spiritual souls… Even in the most material tasks that could have been done by a mere animal, his action carries with it his spirituality, to be joined to that of his fellow men…  What is at play is putting into the temporal the love and light of the spiritual.
Charles Cardinal Journet (18911975)

Bitterness Changed into Joy

VanToday a cold north-west wind blows… My heart is exhausted, beats slowly and closes itself… all under the effect of an extreme aridity… My heart was just a leaf in the wind… But when the night comes and I lie on my bed, before closing my eyes, my heart overflows with joy, because a day has been given to me to live to console Jesus. And this joy doesn’t come from the fact that I’ve been given a lot of consolations throughout the day, but uniquely because I met with a lot of bitterness.
Little Brother Marcel Văn CSsR (1928–1959)

The Impact of God

The Impact of God

Who was Saint John of the Cross, and in what ways are his personal experiences the source of those seemingly, deceptively “impersonal” and “dry” prose writings of his? That’s the kind of question pursued by Iain Matthew in The Impact of God.

Iain Matthew looks first into John’s life and then how it bursts into his poetry. Since all the main prose texts focus on explaining the poems, which are more naturally John’s, they are examined in that light.

If you want to get to know Saint John of the Cross – the idea of the dark night rooted in Christ’s redemption, the idea of the poet-theologian, the idea of a dark night in various circumstances of life, the origins in John’s life of particular images and ideas, his description of and hope for transformation in Christ, his love of the Beloved – this book is recommended. Things aren’t explained away by the history of John’s life. But the spiritual realities and John’s own style are rooted in John’s life – something often needed by those of us approaching from so many centuries away.

Continual Union with Jesus, Continual Union with Neighbours

Van with his little sister and spiritual director

I say to myself: “For souls that love Jesus and that are intimately united in him, it is not necessary to make an effort at all moments to remember one another. It is enough to pray one for another by thought.” That’s to say: If we are brought together in friendship in Jesus, even our littlest actions offered to Jesus, are considered as so many prayers that Jesus will communicate to the one we love, in such a way that, even if we do not have that conscious intention, it is still the manner in which Jesus practises this exchange in his love, because it is because of his love that we are united in friendship.
Little Brother Marcel Văn CSsR (1928–1959)