Who’s at Your Center?: Weekly Message for 10-06-2020

Dear Friends in Christ,

October 6 is the feast of St. Bruno, founder of the Carthusian order. Liturgically in the U.S., it is an optional memorial. In practice, this means relatively few priests will celebrate the Mass linked to the saint.

St. Bruno’s low profile in North America makes him a bit obscure for many Catholics. I don’t recall hearing much about him until I entered religious life. 

It was in novitiate that we learned the adage about the Carthusians: that it was the only religious order that was never reformed … because it didn’t need reform.

What contributed to this achievement over nine centuries was the severity of its Rule. A “living tomb” is how one writer described the rigors of Carthusian monasteries, with their emphasis on silence and solitude.

It’s in silence and solitude that a person faces himself and God most intensely. The Carthusians’ practice of silence and solitude singularly helps them to shun the petty lures of the world.

While few of us are called to be Carthusians, we are all called to make God the center of our lives. 

What can help us strive for that goal in practice? 

One suggestion would be to simply look at every aspect of our life and ask, “Is this bringing me closer to Our Lord, or not?”

This can be asked of the TV shows and movies we watch, the magazines and books we stock, the friendships we maintain, the material goods we accumulate.

It is a simple exercise, but it can be an effective way to question how you live day to day, in light of God and eternity. For extra help, you might want to turn to our Retreat Guide “Blessed are the Poor in Spirit.”

It could remind you, as St. Bruno knew well, what life is really about.

In Christ,

Father Edward McIlmail, LC
Ask a Priest contributor
askapriest@rcspirituality.org

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Blessed are the Poor in Spirit

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