A Time to Die

“The cemeteries of the abbeys will always be in bloom.” 

This evening I read a beautiful book, A Time to Die: Monks on the Threshold of Eternal Life, written by Nicolas Diat and with a forward by Robert Cardinal Sarah. 

Diat travelled to several monasteries in France to visit monks and learn from them about the mystery of death and the art of dying well. Continue reading “A Time to Die”

An Antidote to Indifference

Many things come back to me in this season and today I recalled this excerpt from Josef Pieper’s memoir No One Could Have Known. In it, Pieper recalls, amidst his adventurous student days, making a thirty-day silent retreat.

He says:

What awaited me, as one of a group of fifteen to twenty companions was precisely that kind of “initiation” into adulthood that, at the age of twenty-one, I needed: reflection, in complete silence, on the fundamentals of my own existence. Often enough, when I tell people about this, they shake their heads in disbelief, or even in horror, and ask me how it was possible to endure that kind of thing, and for thirty days! Nowadays let no one dare suggest that youngsters should put up with even three days of silence! This timidity seems to me just as absurd as if one were to say to someone: Listen very carefully; but of course, if you want to, while you are doing it, you can look through a magazine or whistle a tune. ‘Reason’ comes from ‘perceiving’ and no one can perceive anything unless he is quiet; only the silent person can hear things.

Continue reading “An Antidote to Indifference”