Unquiet Vigil

Stale prayer from
unreal depths–
depths I assume are mine–

are relieved by
real sleep,
that awakens me to my

real shallows where
prayer amounts to
almost nothing
or less.

Such an infinity where
almost nothing
dividing endlessly
never reaches

wherein are
real depths
not mine…

Be kind,
Myself, to myself, be kind.

A poem by the Trappist monk Brother Paul Quenon from the Abbey of Gethsemane, from a collection of his work ‘Unquiet Vigil’.  A book I purchased from the Benedictine bookstore at Assumption Abbey.  An email sent, for no particular reason:

I called and spoke with Brother Michael, the call sending tingles down my spine.  Demonstrating the vigor of the monastic life, Father Warren, the man who drove me to the airport, moving in experience as we never spoke during my stay, I learned more about.  I asked Brother Michael about Father Warren’s cancer, the severity.  He informed me four years ago Father Warren was given four to six months to live.  The monastic life is truly a preserver, and above personal invigoration the hidden life blood of the Church.  Through prayers and healthy, prospering living of the monastic life, the monks and nuns are able to provide the contemplative spirit our Holy Mother was able to provide through her life after the ascension of her Divine Son.  I have been deeply moved by the writing of Father Thomas Philippe recently.  He identifies this as Mary’s Eucharistic time of life, continuing life with her Son through the sacrament of the Eucharist.



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