Posts Tagged ‘Dom Guillerand’

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

willingness[1]Hosea 14

Conversion and Hope

God’s love is so immense that we are invited to conversion every moment of our lives – even when we have greatly sinned.  This is a message we have heard and seen on Easter Sunday.  It is a message the Spirit whispers to us constantly.  It is a message we need to examine again . . . for it is a message of hope.

Today we look again at the writings of Dom Augustin Guillerand, a French Carthusian monk who died in 1945.  He describes how we allow our will to take over our lives rather than allowing our willingness to teach us humility before God.  He writes: “The will is a master that has, in theory, the ordering of everything but, in fact, the full control of nothing . . . When we give God our will fully, little by little he takes the rest, all of our faculties, the whole [person].  The conquest no longer rests with us, but with God; it becomes his affair.  As he wishes and when he wishes, he will take our memory, our senses, our passions, our imagination, our intellect, and heart, and he does this by various stages through which we have to pass, and by the trials he sends us”.

In the story of Hosea we see a man who has dedicated his will to God to such an extent that he marries a prostitute because God calls him to this vocation.  Through his suffering and because of his pain, Hosea is able to call his people back to God; and Hosea continues to call each of us today.  In his beautiful prophecy, Hosea shows us how his love for Gomer never fails . . . and thus he shows us how God’s love never fails.

God’s love, as seen through Hosea, is a love in action.  It is a love that sacrifices self will for God’s will.  Hosea tells us that love heals disloyalty, it loves freely, it turns away from anger, it is like the dew to new shoots, it gives off a sweet fragrance, it brings life.  Hosea tells us that our hope lies in our own desire for and will to enter into conversion.  A turning back to God is all that is required.  This is a huge request to make of us – yet it is the simplest of tasks if we can only begin by taking one small step each day.  And we can begin by refusing to turn back to old, corrupt ways.  It is an act of love by the creator to call his created to union.  It is an act of love by the created to reply and to go.

The greatest love calls for conversion.  The greatest love answers this call.  The greatest love brings hope.  The greatest love takes up this hope and never lets it go.

I read back over the meditation: “Even if we have nothing to show for it . . .”   We cannot give up, even if there is nothing to show for our efforts because the will – our will – is formed by our constant and unwavering willingness to go to God with all trials.  This is the nature of a conversion that brings hope.

The greatest Love is God’s and we are called to live out this Love daily.  The greatest Love has never and will never be undone.  Let us embrace this Love willingly.

Cameron, Peter John. “Meditation of the Day.” MAGNIFICAT. 3.11 (2010). Print.  

Adapted from a Noontime written on March 11, 2010. 

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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Where-the-willingness-is-great[1]Nehemiah 13


I am always struck by the need to separate self from the alien or pagan world in these Old Testament scriptures when the message of unity and universality is taught by Jesus in the New Testament.  As a practicing Jew, Jesus would have known the warnings of Nehemiah quite well . . . yet he challenges us to cease our separatism in order to come to him with others, even those others we have previously avoided.  I believe that God, through Jesus, was calling humanity to something higher.  God is calling us to our divinity . . . through Christ.

I am also struck by the MAGNIFICAT Meditation.  Dom Guillerand, a French Carthusian monk who died in 1945, writes about the kind of willingness we must find within ourselves if we are to find intimate union with God.  He writes about training our willfulness so that the journey – with all its obstacles – becomes our desire; he explains that wishing for something is different from desiring it.  True desire is accompanied by willingness and perseverance.

What distinguishes wishing from real willing is this: the true will wants both the end and the means; mere wishing wants only the end.  Simple desire is conditional: “I would like to reach the end . . .”  “All right, go ahead!”  “But there is this difficulty and that”.  And so mere wishing remains simply an unfulfilled desire – an intention, and nothing more.  Further, it is not a question of just saying or thinking; the essential thing is to act.  Do thoroughly at every moment whatever it is you have to do.  Then you will be strong, although you may not know that you are.  By “thoroughly” I mean with the firm conviction that you will arrive, and the determination to overcome, sooner or later, every difficulty.

In our Eastertide journey we have discovered that although discipleship is arduous and difficult, it is also privilege.  We receive the gifts of meekness, constancy, broken-heartedness, honesty and truth.  Today we add the concept of willingness.  The willingness to live for and in and with Christ.  The willingness to become one with and in Christ.

Tomorrow, the difference between willfulness and willingness . . .

Written on July 21, 2009. Re-written and posted today.

Cameron, Peter John. “Meditation of the Day.” MAGNIFICAT. 21.7 (2009). Print.  

For another reflection on Willingness, go to the February 14, 2012 post on this blog at:  https://thenoontimes.com/2012/02/14/willingness/ 

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