May 14, 2011

The Sign of a Faithful Soul

One of my favorite books is by a Carthusian who died during the Second World War, They Speak by Silences.  His notes were never intended for publication.  Somehow the Benedictine Nuns of St. Priscilla's in Rome preserved and translated these texts which became available in English in the early 1950s.  One of the nuns attached this as a forward to the original volume:

"The thoughts contained in this little book were from the pen of one who, in the silence of the Charterhouse, had already arrived at the summit of spiritual heights, and dwelt there unceasingly.  Souls who have reached such perfection are rare; not so rare are souls who ardently aspire thereto.  It is chiefly for such as these -- to encourage and help them to arrive at those same heights -- that these thoughts have been preserved and collected."

The thought I would like to share in this post is intended in particular for those who have dedicated themselves to the service of the Lord but feel like they are not yet doing enough:

"Fear of not responding sufficiently to God's love is the sign of a faithful soul." 
They Speak in Silences, Herefordshire: Gracewing (1955, 2006) 53.


  1. This is very encouraging! Thanks for posting it!

  2. A little nugget of hope! Are there more you can share with us?

  3. I think I have the same book I picked up in England when I lived there in the 1970's. The title on it, though, is "THEY SPEAK BY SILENCES". It seems to have been published in 1950's. The little book has been decisive , and still is, in my ongoing embrace in silence and solitude of all thing Catholic.


  4. Thanks Bruno -- I agree with you - it is a magnificent work.

  5. Thanks for this reference. I got another book by a Carthusian called The Prayer of Love and Silence which is helpful & wonderful. Finally I looked up the Carthusians, after all your mentions of them, and reading about their lives gave me an intense longing for solitude! As though all the loneliness in me suddenly revealed itself to be in fact a longing for solitude.

  6. Thanks Tanya -- I think your insight is very important. We do have a longing for solitude, to be alone with God -- and attending to this, even in the midst of a busy schedule and the demands of family life, curbs that loneliness and roots us deeper in the Lord.