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  • Writer's pictureDr. Anthony Lilles

The Mission of Contemplatives in the Church

Though having embraced anonymity and engaged in an apostolate which avails no measurable results to this world, the sons of St. Bruno take up the work of contemplation and enter deep into the heart of the Church. They have discovered in the presence of God the salvation of the world: By devoting ourselves exclusively to God we exercise a special function in the Church, where things seen are ordered to things unseen, exterior activity to contemplation. If we are truly living in union with God, our minds and hearts, far from becoming shut in on themselves, open up to embrace the whole universe and the mystery of Christ that saves it... We testify to the world, excessively absorbed in earthly things, that there is no God but Him. Our life clearly shows something of the joy of heaven is present already here below; it prefigures our risen state and anticipates in a manner the final renewal of the world... By penance, moreover, we have our part in the saving work of Christ, who redeemed the human race from the oppressive bondage of sin, above all by pouring forth prayer to the Father, and by offering himself to Him in sacrifice. Thus it comes about that we, too, even though we abstain from exterior activity, exercise nevertheless an apostolate of a very high order, since we strive to follow Christ in this, the inmost heart of his saving task. The Wound of Love: A Carthusian Miscellany, Kalamazoo: Cistercian Publications (1994) 239-240.

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