Too much sadness, far too many tragedies are there in the newspapers that are put out on the large table in the solarium of the monastery, a common gathering room. Too much death and suffering- martyred Christians, flocks of refugees, too many parents cradling wounded children, countless innocent people, far too many soldiers killed. We monks see the photographs, read the stories; our hearts are opened. So much to pray for; too much sadness. Our Constitutions assure us that our Cistercian monastic life has a “hidden apostolic fruitfulness,” assure us that, though we cannot see, our praying is efficacious. We feel helpless; we believe but so often do not understand. Our wounded and risen Lord Jesus is our only Hope. He hears our prayer. That is enough.
Crucifix of Fra Innocenzo da Palermo, 1637, Assisi, Convento di San Damiano. Quotation from an essay by W. B. Yeats.