Dom Columban Mulcahy Born 1901 Entered 1924 Priest 1929 Abbot 1948 Died 15 July 1971
Dom Columban Mulcahy, First Abbot of Nunraw On 15th July 1971 Dom Columban died peacefully after undergoing several weeks of semi-paralysis which resulted from a cerebral haemorrhage. He was 70, and had spent 47 of these years as a monk. He was Abbot for 22 years. Before being directed to become a Cistercian monk at the age of 23, Dom Columban had aspired to missionary work in China with the Columban Fathers. Early entrusted with responsibilities, he devoted himself fully to the succession of offices; Novice Master, Prior, Definitor, which led finally to his election in 1948 as first Abbot of Nunraw. He initiated the building of the new abbey and received much generous support in seeing it progress As one of the pioneers of Scottish Church Unity he became known to a much wider community and wherever he went he seemed to draw forth the trust and goodwill of separated and diverse Christian people for unity and friendship. He will be remembered for his response to what has been a movement of the Holy Spirit, the Ecumenical Movement in Scotland. His brethren will remember him as a great monk, wholly faithful to his monastic vocation. Scottish Dictionary of Biography First Abbot of Nunraw Abbot Columban (Samuel) Mulcahy played a key role in Christian Ecumenism in Scotland between 1961 and 1966. In the twenty years he was Abbot of the Cistercian monastery of Nunraw, Haddington, East Lothian, he presided over the construction of a new monastery. The collaboration of countless people from all walks of life, and all faiths, was reminiscent of the building of medieval Cathedrals. Addressing 1500 people at the laying of the foundation stone in 1954, the Abbot put his life's endeavours in the perspective of faith. "It is necessary to stress that in the eyes of monks, any achievements are only secondary and subsidiary. The chief purpose of monks is the personal service of God." He was born in Thurles, Co. Tipperary, in 1900. A Quaker grandmother's influence may have coloured the deeply religious character of the family. Of eight children four girls became nuns and the youngest boy, Samuel, aspired to become a missionary in China. Towards the end of his theological studies with the Columban Missionaries, a slight speech impediment may have weighed his decision to become a monk. In 1923 he joined the monastery of Roscrea where foundation in China was being considered. He took the name Columban. He was ordained priest, lectured in Philosophy and directed young student monks. An appointment to Rome in 1947 was cut short by his election as Abbot of Nunraw and he came to Scotland. The rallying call of Pope John XXIII for the Churches to be 'open to the signs of the times' was not likely to galvanize the Catholic Church or the Church of Scotland into any hasty move towards unity. If 'the future belongs to those who see it first' then Dom Columban was at that happy point of an historic junction of man and moment. In 1961 leading men and women of the Church of Scotland and the Episcopal Church responded to Abbot Columban's invitation to attend the annual meeting of the Roman Catholic Council of Religious Superiors of which he was Chairman. He was a diminutive figure. With disarming good humour he opened the meeting, "Friends - Romans - and countrymen". The telling pauses were greeted with applause which put people at their ease. In the interest of informality and friendly dialogue the Media were excluded. The reaction of the Press was to sensationalize this historic encounter between members of the different Churches as 'a secret meeting' with innuendoes of a Roman take-over. Ministers rushed to distance themselves from the event. There were impassioned letters to the Press. These voices were but echoes from a past of intolerance. The actual participants remained enthusiastic and soon their initiative gained official approval. The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland gave its first tentative acceptance of such inter-Church meetings in 1962. In 1966, In the Catholic Church, in 1968, the move culminated with its Bishops' Directory described as Scotland's Ecumenical Charter. As the sixties progressed unexpected problems faced the Abbot. A TV documentary on Nunraw Abbey in 1967, portrayed a scene which was very different from the thriving optimism of the fifties and early sixties. In the presenter, Malcom Muggeridge, Dom Columban found a 'soul-mate' who shared his concern for the changing attitudes in society, in the Church and in the monastic community. Dom Columban continued to be in demand as an ecumenical speaker after his retirement as Abbot of Nunraw in 1969. He suffered blood pressure in June 1971 and died in hospital that July. In a tribute on the BBC the Rev Roderick Smith, of the Church of Scotland, friend and collaborator in ecumenism, recognised in him as 'a man of God'. The building of a monastery on the Lammermuir hills, the building up of the Churches' in closer relationship, are fitting memorials to such a 'man of God'. Abbot Donald McGlynn Sermon at the Laying of the Foundation Stone 1954 by Abbot Columban Mulcahy "My house shall be called a house of prayer." Isaias, LVI.7. Your Grace, my Lords, Right Reverend and Reverend Fathers and dear Friends of Nunraw, We are assembled today on the slopes of the Lammermuirs for a very historic event. the laying of the foundation stone of the first Cistercian Abbey in Scotland since the Reformation. Even the most superficial knowledge of history will convince us that any abbey, almost in spite of itself, must have considerable influence both social and spiritual, so it is no exaggeration to say we are engaged in an action of historic import. There is added historic interest in the fact that these lands are returning to Cistercian hands, for as you know, Nunraw formerly belonged to the Cistercian nuns of Haddington. It was a grange or outfarm and at least one document has come down to us from the 16th century signed by a nun at Nunraw. Yet another, if rather tenuous, historic link is that in former times the monks of Melrose had the right to graze their sheep on part of the Lammermuirs. In fact not far beyond us over the hill is an old ruin said to have belonged to Melrose. Today you may raise your eyes and see Cistercian sheep once more feed on the slopes of the Lammermuirs. History is wont to recall the debt owed by Scotland in the 12th and following centuries to the Cistercians: their contributions to agriculture, sheep- rearing, coal-mining, architecture, education and general social life. It is not perhaps generally known that several of the early professors of Glasgow University were Cistercian monks and a modern writer on the history of agriculture assures us' that the suppression of the monasteries threw back agriculture in Scotland by a hundred years. Admittedly these were very solid contributions to the national life, but it is necessary to stress that in the eyes of the monks themselves, this contribution would be only secondary and subsidiary. The chief purpose of monks, descried by Our Divine Lord as the one thing necessary, is the personal service of God, whereby the monk centres his whole life on God and for God and strives to give God that worship which every creature owes his Creator, yet which man is so apt to forget or forego - to his great loss, not to God's. For why did God make us all? The catechism answers: To know, love and serve Him in this world and to be happy with Him in the next. And how are we to know God? How do we best get to know anybody but by speaking to him? So we get to know God by speaking to Him in prayer. Yes, we can speak to God at any time of the day or night, without any appointment or ceremony and we can be sure of a true communion of spirit, an entirely cordial reception. We are the creatures of His hands, made for Himself, and with an inherent craving in us for Himself, a bounden duty to praise and worship God who made us. That is our primary duty, but it is also our greatest achievement. There is nothing which so elevates man's nature as prayer, adoration, praise, thanksgiving, the creature's joyous worship of His Gracious Maker. It is while exercising that prerogative that man truly lives. The Gospel tells us how insistently Our Divine Lord while on earth carried out this great duty - frequently spending whole nights in prayer, and it records for us His command to pray without ceasing. The disciples, seeing Him emerging from His prayer asked Him enviously, "Lord, teach us to pray", and received from their Master's lips the "Our Father". Taught thus by Our Lord we dare to call God our Father and we pray that His name be hallowed, His Kingdom come, His will be done on earth. How that prayer elevates us, raising us up to God, raising our concern above ourselves and making us think only of Him. To give honour where honour is due is a dictate of our very nature and hence because of our utter dependence on Him, God merits our profound adoration. That being so, is it not frightening to think of the millions who neglect God? Even in Christian countries, how many millions neglect prayer altogether, and then what of those ever increasing millions who deny God, and strive to destroy every vestige of His worship, shaking their fists in His very face. Surely it is not surprising that the Church should institute contemplative Orders where souls dedicated to God's service might make prayer the mainstay of their lives and devote themselves to the adoration of God and to prayer for their fellow-men. This is the aim of the monastic life. It trains men of prayer to make reparation to the Divine Majesty for the neglect of so many. It creates a milieu, an atmosphere, favourable to prayer so that a monastery is a place where people find prayer easy and almost spontaneous. Such a place is a constant reminder to all of the duty to pray and is a support to those whose faith is weak. Truly this abbey will recall Our Lord's words to His disciples: "A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden, neither do men light a lamp and put it under the measure but upon the lampstand so as to give light to all in the house." (Matt. V, l5). May Sancta Maria Abbey be a sanctuary lamp recalling God's presence to the whole countryside, raising up all men's hearts to God in humble, loving, brotherly prayer, creature of one God, children of one heavenly Father, blood brothers of Jesus Christ through the saving waters of Christian baptism. Such then is the purpose of the Cistercians' return. The miners of Scotland have no longer anything to learn from monks about mining coal. The farmers of Scotland have no longer anything to learn about farming or sheep-rearing, but all Scotland and the whole world has still to learn this perennial lesson, the one thing necessary: "What doth it profit a man to gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his soul, or what can a man exchange for his soul," or, as St. Augustine so beautifully phrased it: "Thou hast made us for Thyself, O Lord and our souls can never rest until they rest in Thee." And so we return to the old, old task, to build a house where souls may worship God in silence and in prayer, a house which will be a constant reminder of man's primary obligation to God and a living example of that happiness and joy to be found in the wholehearted service of God. As such we sincerely hope it will be a source of inspiration and gratification not only to Catholics but to every creed and class, to every individual who still bows in prayer before the one true God of all consolation and love. It is the traditional rule of the Cistercian Order that every abbey is to be dedicated to the Mother of God, and for this devout gathering no further elaboration or justification of that practice is necessary. This particular house has from the first been placed under the patronage of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and it is surely providential that today on the Feast of that Immaculate Heart, in this unique Marian Year, the foundation stone is to be laid. That this is possible the monks regard as a sweet sign of our heavenly mother's favour. Judge then our delight and joy when our beloved Archbishop expressed his desire to make this the day and place for the official consecration of the Archdiocese to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Surely this day will bring us the heavenly fragrance of Her presence and be an abiding memory to console and encourage us in this vale of tears. But this day must also see laid in our souls the foundation of a more active devotion to the Immaculate Heart. You remember how part of the heavenly message of Fatima was a request for the consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart and the Communion of Reparation on the first Saturday of the month. Our Holy Father has already made that general consecration and we today will help to ratify and complete that act by dedicating ourselves anew, individually and collectively, to our Immaculate Mother. That same Fatima message insisted on God's wish for the spread of devotion to the Heart of Mary. We are assured that "It is through the Immaculate Heart of Mary that God wishes to grant His grace and it is from Her we must ask it. It is through the Immaculate Heart of Mary especially that peace must be asked, because it is to that Heart that the Lord has confided it." Yes, we Catholics have a grave responsibility, because we know that peace will not come to the world through the adroit negotiations of statesmen nor through the threats and violence of war. Peace is the gift of God Who alone holds all men's' hearts and wills in His Hands. Peace is only to be won by prayer - especially prayer to the Immaculate Heart. And as in this Marian Year we so frequently repeat the beautiful and challenging prayer of the Memorare:"Remember, 0 most loving Virgin Mary that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession, was left unaided," surely we must feel our trust in her grow stronger day by day. Let us say that prayer slowly and thoughtfully, confidently beseeching Her to bring us peace. And as we now make this gesture of filial compliance with Her wishes, may this day become for us a day of Marian grace. May it set in our souls the foundation of a more fervent devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and may the rising walls of Her Abbey urge us to an ever-growing devotion in our hearts till we find every fibre of our being dedicated to Her - the surest guarantee that we shall not be wanting in wholehearted service of God. Contemplative Life Today by Right Reverend Columban Mulcahy, O.C.S.O - Abbot of Nunraw What is Contemplative Life? (Liverpool Congress) It is the exterior profession of a religious life ordained for the seeking of God alone by interior contemplation, a seeking after God which can and ought absorb one's whole life and activities. The purely contemplative life does not admit within the religious precincts the permanent pursuit of any other occupation. The mixed contemplative life combines the pursuit of the contemplative life and certain services compatible with it, these being exercised within the religious precincts. What is the Precise Purpose of the Purely Contemplative Life? Speaking of this life in "Sponsa Christi" our Holy Father says: "Who shall say what flowers and fruit of sanctity those enclosed gardens bore for Christ and the Church? Who knows what efficacy their prayers had, what was the value of their life of dedication, with what good things of every sort the nuns strove with all their might to deck their Mother, the Church, to sustain Her and strengthen Her." Pope Pius XI insists in the Bull "Umbratilem-: "It is of the greatest importance that the Church should never lack intercessors exempt from every other duty to implore unceasingly the Divine mercy and to draw down every grace from heaven on men who are themselves so little worried about their salvation." He also stresses the apostolic fruitfulness of this life saying: "Those who assiduously fulfil the duty of prayer and penance contribute much more to the increase of the Church and the welfare of mankind than those who labour in tilling the Master's field." Undoubtedly the contemplative life has a very considerable apostolic value. But is that its essential purpose? No. The essential purpose of the contemplative life is God, and the seeking of God. The Book of Genesis (1, 27) tells us: "God made man in His own image, made him in the image of God." More explicitly St. Peter (11 Pet. 1, 4) tells us we are -partakers of the divine nature.--- We must live accordingly. Now Revelation tells us the divine life consists in the mutual knowledge and love of the Three Divine Persons. In so far as human language can express it, God knows perfectly the infinite perfection of His Being and loves It. In us to love is to desire; in God there is no desire, only fruition and delight. The divine life consists in the perfect knowledge and delight God has in Himself. Human life must necessarily be an image of this, and the life of the soul is to know, love, desire and enjoy God, by a knowledge which prostrates the soul in adoration and a love which yields itself in total self-surrender. This, then, is the primary purpose of the contemplative life: to permit souls to truly seek God by living lives vowed entirely to His praise, love and service, thus fulfilling the end for which they were created. Not every one, even amongst religious, can embrace this life. Obviously someone must teach the young, someone must attend the needy and the sick. We realise the paramount importance of preaching the Gospel in foreign lands, and that at home we must continue to proclaim before men the perfections of God, His rights and His goodness. But we must not forget that our primary duty is to proclaim these things before God Himself by faith, hope and charity, by adoration and thanksgiving, by self-renunciation and total self-surrender. It is therefore of sovereign significance to the Glory of God Who is the Final End of all creatures that generous souls should disengage themselves from all preoccupations and earthly ties in order to consecrate themselves entirely to love God alone, to praise Him with their whole souls, to serve Him, not in the guise of their fellow-men but in Person and to serve Him assiduously without reserve or respite. This of course is an ideal not easy of attainment and it is just because they are schools of divine service where souls are trained and encouraged to strive after this ideal that contemplative communities are vitally necessary to the Church. They are training souls to strive after that pure love of which St. John of the Cross says (Spir. Cant. 29): "A very little of this pure love is more precious, in the sight of God and the soul, and of greater profit to the Church even though the soul appear to be doing nothing, than all these works together." And he adds: "Let those who think to girdle the world with their outward works and their preachings take note here that they would bring far more profit to the Church and be more pleasing to God (apart from the good example which they would give of themselves) if they spent even half the time in abiding with God in prayer even had they not reached such a height as this." Hence the Dominican ideal: "Contemplare et contemplata aliis tradere." The contemplative life is described as seeking after God alone, by interior contemplation. What is Contemplation? Any answer given to this question is likely to cause controversy. This is a great pity because controversy causes distrust and as a result there is a difficulty in getting a clear line of guidance in a matter of considerable importance. Much of the controversy is due to a clash between the speculative and the practical. And as Abbot John Chapman, O.S.B., says in one of those truly wise statements that are the despair of the speculative theologian : "This is a practical description. The theory does not matter much!" (Letter 43) A Cistercian answering the question: "What is contemplation?" might be expected to turn to St. Bernard, a Master of Mysticism, who adds literary charm to soundness of doctrine. However, his literary charm, redolent of the Canticle of Canticles, gives a rather awe-inspiring flavour to a doctrine that is more simply set out by St. John of the Cross, especially as interpreted for us by his distinguished son Father Gabriel who, until his recent death, was Professor of Spiritual Theology in the International Discalced Carmelite College in Rome. For St. John of the Cross infused contemplation or contemplation in its rigorous sense is a state of prayer in which the soul is experimentally aware of God's presence and action within it. He calls it "the science of Love" and defines it as (D.N.Bk., 11 C. 18, 5): "An infused and loved knowledge of God which enlightens the soul and at the same time enkindles it with love until it is raised up step by step even unto God, its Creator," and he adds: "It is love alone that unites and joins the soul with God." What are the Steps in Contemplation? The first is the Prayer of Quiet in which one feels a mysterious but unmistakable impression of God's presence in the soul. This may vary in intensity from just a sense of nearness or touch to a loving embrace and immersion in God. However, the memory and imagination are not greatly affected and distractions may disturb the soul. A further step is Full Union in which the soul is fully occupied in God and there are no distractions. One can still hear, see and act and so can end the prayer at will. A third step is Ecstasy where the soul is so seized as to be cut off from communication with the outside world. This obviously cannot last for long. A final step and the supreme goal for all mystic union is Spiritual Marriage or Transforming Union. This is a permanent state of union generally accompanied by an habitual intellectual vision of the Blessed Trinity in the soul. Such is a brief sketch of the steps by which, as St. John says, contemplation raises the soul even unto God its Creator. A question immediately presents itself: IS NOT THIS AN EXTRAORDINARY PRAYER only intended for and attainable by a chosen few? No. Not at all. Every soul in a state of grace is a temple of the Holy Ghost, a sharer in the divine nature, adorned with the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost and the three theological virtues. It has therefore all the potentialities for the highest union with God. As Abbot Vonier expresses it in his Studies in Theology (p. 167): "Even the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost are subservient to the three great ones of faith, hope and charity and at no time does the Christian mystic rise to anything higher than a full development of the three divine virtues. It is not to be admitted that there can be a state of mysticism superior to the state of the theological virtues. All things that we receive from the Holy Ghost, even of the sublimest nature, are meant to bring about an increase of faith, hope and charity." Hence there is no intrinsic impossibility in contemplation for all. Furthermore, there is a very considerable and constant teaching in the Church that contemplation is open to all. This is maintained amongst others by St. John of the Cross, St. Bernard and St. Teresa. St. John tells us God is like the sun ever lighting up any corners that are opened to Him. St. Teresa says: "Who is more anxious than Thou if Thou dost find those who wish to receive." (Foundations. C. 2, N. 7) Again: "When He finds souls prepared, He would not do otherwise than give." "It is true," she says, "that the Lord grants these graces to whom He wills; but if we loved Him as He loves us He would give them to us all, for He longs only to find souls upon whom He may bestow them." (In. Cast. Man. VI. Ch. 4, N. 16) St. John of the Cross (L.F.St.11, 23) pointedly faces the question : "And here it behoves us to note why it is that there are so few that attain to this lofty state. It must be known that this is not because God is pleased that there should be few raised to this high spiritual state-on the contrary it would please Him if all were so raised-but rather because He finds few vessels in whom He can perform so high and lofty a work." Most souls lacking the constancy in bearing trials, necessary to purify them in preparation for close union with God. St. Bernard assures us we do well to desire contemplation (Cant. S. 46, N. 5) provided we prepare for it by the practice of solid virtue. He says: "If your desire of these visits is practical, that is to say if you prepare by a serious preparation, then trust in Him Who said, 'Ask and you shall receive.' If you persist in knocking at the door you will not leave it empty-handed. But be careful not to glory in yourself but in the Lord." (Serm. 49, No. 3) He will even have souls aim at the highest union with God. He identifies the beginners, proficients and the perfect with the kiss of the feet, the hand and mouth and says: "I am thankful for the kiss of the feet, I am thankful for the kiss of the hands; but if He cares for me at all let Him kiss me with the kiss of His mouth. It is not that I do not appreciate the first two, but I love Him. I confess that I have received far beyond my desserts but far less than I desire. It is my desire, not my reason which carries me along. Do not. I pray, condemn as presumption what is only the effect of ardent love. Modesty, it is true, protests but love will not be gainsaid." (Ser. 9, No. 2) This received doctrine of the spiritual masters may be summed up in the lapidary phrase of St. Gregory the Great: "Sitit sitiri Deus." God thirsts for souls who will thirst for Him. It has also been put very beautifully and effectively in a letter to a Cistercian novice written by a great Catholic layman-the late Count Arthur Moore. Writing to his former secretary he said: "Rome was not built in a day. God will in His goodness give you time to rise to perfection but from the beginning put the highest, the very highest aim before you; hope and sigh, entreat, desire absolute perfection and the highest union with your Creator. You may never reach it, never mind, you can't tell. Theologians say that these desires pierce God's heart as it were like darts, but this much is certain that you will reach much higher than you ever expected or than you would have done if you had not aimed high; and these desires are so pleasing to God, so powerful to blot out sin, such perfect homage." The question now arises if contemplation is defined as an infused loving knowledge of God. How can we Aim at It? How can we do anything but receive it if it comes? I have spoken thus far of contemplation as defined by St. John of the Cross in "Dark Night,- Ilk. 11, Ch. 18. This might be described as fully-fledged contemplation, where the soul is fully conscious of the working of God in her. An earlier definition in Ilk. 1, Ch. 10, describes the incipient form. "Contemplation is naught else than a secret, peaceful and loving infusion from God, which, if it be permitted, enkindles the soul with the spirit of love.--- The same paragraph speaks of "not hindering the operation of infused contemplation that God is bestowing on it." Here we see St. John speaking of a form of contemplation in which we must be careful not to hinder the action of God. This action is called a secret infusion which the soul must permit. Hence it is important to be able to recognise this secret infusion. Failure to do so will mean hindering the operation of grace in the soul and closing the road to progress in prayer and a consequent feeling of failure in religious life: surely something to be guarded against. St. John of the Cross is particularly helpful here; he points out (D.N. 1, Ch. 8, 4) that ordinarily when recollected souls begin a life of prayer no great time passes before they are deprived of the first feelings of devotion and enter what he calls the Night of the Senses. He adds: "The great majority of them do in fact enter it for they will generally be seen to fall into these aridities." In this aridity of soul we find no consolation in prayer, yet we want to serve God faithfully. We fear our aridity is due to our want of fervour yet find ourselves quite unable to meditate. All this is really excellent. It is a sign that we are being invited to obscure contemplation. God is seeking to give us a secret, peaceful and loving infusion of Himself which, if we accept, will enkindle divine love in our souls. It is now vitally important that the soul should learn to kneel in humble, peaceful adoration before God living within it; a loving adoration which includes surrender of itself to God's holy will and which tends to develop into a simple loving gaze at God, seen obscurely by faith. It is to be noted that the soul is not now using its imagination, or senses or reasoning powers but only its intelligence and its will; purely spiritual faculties which may be intensely active even when we feel we are doing nothing. To kneel and want God intensely is not idleness. It is a very excellent though comparatively elementary form of prayer. At this stage the soul must remain peacefully receptive without multiplying acts and efforts of its own which St. John tells us (D.N.Bk. 1, Ch. X, 5) would only hinder the action of God. He adds by way of illustration: "It is just as if some painter were painting or dyeing a face; if the sitter were to move because he desired to do something he would prevent the painter from accomplishing anything." So, as the Angel of Fatima taught the privileged children of Our Lady, we should learn to kneel and pray to God living in the depths of our souls: "O my God, I believe, I adore, I hope, I love; I am sorry for my sins." Then try to kneel peacefully in that spirit of loving adoration. surrendering ourselves to the will and grace of God. This is the way to advance in prayer. It is yet a very modest prayer but one which in God's own time may lead us on to very close union with Him, even to that pure love, one instant of which is of more value to the Church than all other works. The teaching of St. John of the Cross on all this matter is excellently summarised by Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen O.D.C. in his book "St. John of the Cross, Doctor of Divine Love and Contemplation," published by the Mercier Press. The "Spiritual Letters" of Dom Chapman is also excellent and is only one of the many such books written by the Benedictines of this country who have so faithfully carried on the theory and practice of contemplative prayer. What a happy outcome of our Congress if we all paid more attention to contemplative prayer and studied not to hinder God's grace! As we advance in years and our physical activity slows up should we not see an advance in our peaceful, loving gazing upon God? The lessening of our physical activity would then be more than compensated for by our increased supernatural efficiency and we would be preparing for the day when, by God's mercy, faith will give place to vision. Is Contemplative Prayer Possible Outside the Religious Life? Of course it is. And now that Catholic Action is engaging so many of the laity in apostolic work it is necessary to remind such souls that prayer must ever be the fertiliser of their efforts. What we are is more important than what we do. Suitable literature on this subject is not wanting but the essence of the matter is contained in a short letter from Father Charles de Foucauld to his sister, the mother of a family: "Accustom your children to speak with the divine Guest of their soul; remind them often that for us Christians there is no solitude --God is within us. "As far as my weakness permits this is my very life. Try to make it more your own; it will not isolate you, nor keep you from other occupations; it takes only a minute, and instead of your being alone there will be two to fulfil your duties. From time to time look into your heart, recollect yourself for a quarter of a minute and say: 'You are there, my God, I love You.' It will not take you any longer than that, and all that you will do will be better because you have help. . . . Little by little you will acquire the habit of recollection, and finally you will feel constantly the presence of this sweet Companion, the God of our hearts. Let us pray for one another that we may be lovingly attentive to this dear Guest of our souls." To recapitulate: We have seen that the purpose of the Contemplative Life is to help souls truly to seek God by lives vowed entirely to His praise, love and service, thus fulfilling the end for which they were created. It is of sovereign significance to the Church that communities should always exist for the purpose of training such souls. Yet the contemplative life these souls live is but a normal development of the theological virtues. This development is powerfully aided by the practice of contemplative prayer which all fervent souls may strive for by a serious exercise of the virtues and by learning to kneel in humble, peaceful adoration before God living in the soul. This loving adoration includes self-surrender to the holy will of God and tends to develop into a simple loving gaze at God, seen obscurely by faith. In this prayer God is secretly infusing love in the soul which must peacefully submit to His action. This prayer is suited to all earnest souls and can be taught in a rudimentary form even to children. God will reward our every effort to draw near Him. He thirsts for souls who will thirst for Him. "Sitit sitiri Deus".