“And now, my dear Son [Msgr. Cloutier, Bishop of Three Rivers, Canada], if you desire that God should bless your Apostolate and make it fruitful, undertake everything for His glory, saturate yourself and your devoted fellow-workers with the spirit of Jesus Christ, animating yourself and them with an intense inner life. To this end, I can offer you no better guide than The Soul of the Apostolate, by Dom Chautard, a Cistercian Abbot. I warmly recommend this book to you, as I value it very highly, and have myself made it my bedside book.”

And from the words of Chautard in the Prologue to his great work, “O God, infinitely good and great, wonderful indeed are the truths that faith lays open to us, concerning the life which Thou leadest within Thyself: and these truths dazzle us. Father all holy, Thou dost contemplate Thyself forever in the Word, Thy perfect image – Thy word exults in rapt joy at Thy beauty – and, Father and Son, from Your joint ecstasy, leaps forth the strong flame of love, the Holy Spirit. You alone, O adorable Trinity, are the interior life, perfect, superabundant, and infinite. Goodness unlimited, You desire to spread this, Your own inner life, everywhere outside Yourself. You speak: and Your works spring forth out of nothingness, to declare Your perfections and to sing Your glory. Between You and the dust quickened by Your breath, there is a deep abyss: and this, Your Holy Spirit wishes to bridge. Thus He will find a way of satisfying His immense need to love, to give Himself. And therefore He calls forth, from Your bosom, the decree that we become divine. Wonder of wonders! This clay, fashioned by Your hands, will have the power to be deified, and share in Your eternal happiness. Your Word offers Himself for the fulfillment of this work. And He is made flesh, that we may become gods. And yet, O Word, Thou hast not left the bosom of Thy Father. It is there that Thy essential life subsists, and it is from this source that the marvels of Thy apostolate are to flow. O Jesus, Emmanuel, Thou dost hand over to Thy apostles Thy Gospel, Thy Cross, Thy Eucharist, and gives them the mission to go forth and beget for Thy Father, sons of adoption. And then Thou dost return, ascending, to Thy Father. Thine, henceforth, O Holy Spirit, is the care of sanctifying and directing the Mystical Body of the God-man. Thou deignest to take unto Thyself fellow-workers, in Thy function of bringing, from the Head, divine life into the members. Burning with Pentecostal fires, they will go forth to sow broadcast in the minds of all, the word that enlightens, and in all hearts the grace that enkindles. Thus will they impart to men that divine life of which Thou art the fullness.

O Divine Fire, stir up in all those who have part in Thy apostolate, the flames that transformed those fortunate retreat ants in the Upper Room. Then they will be no longer mere preachers of dogma or moral theology, but men living to transfuse the Blood of God into the souls of men. Spirit of Light, imprint upon their minds, in characters that can never be erased, this truth: that their apostolate will be successful only in the measure that they themselves live that supernatural inner life of which Thou are the sovereign PRINCIPLE and Jesus Christ the SOURCE. O infinite Charity, make their wills burn with thirst for the interior life. Penetrate and flood their hearts with Thy sweetness and strength, and show them that, even here on this earth, there is no real happiness except in this life of imitation and sharing in Thine own life and in that of the Heart of Jesus in the bosom of the Father of all mercy and all kindness.

O Mary Immaculate, Queen of the apostles, deign to bless these simple pages. Grant that all who read them may really understand that, if it please God to use their activity as an ordinary instrument of His Providence, in pouring out His heavenly riches upon the souls of men, this activity, if it is to produce any results, will have to participate, somehow, in the nature of the Divine Act as Thou didst behold it in the bosom of God when He, to Whom we owe the power of calling thee our Mother, became incarnate in the virginal womb.”

 

And elsewhere, “The professor who has no interior life imagines he has done all that is required of him if he keeps within the limits of the program of his examination. But if he is a man of prayer some word will now and again slip out, not only from his lips but from his heart: some sentiment or other will show itself in his expression, some significant gesture will escape him, yes, the mere way he makes the sign of the Cross, or says a prayer before or after class – even a class in mathematics! – may have a more profound influence on his students that a whole sermon.”

 

Read it! 🙂

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