June 2, 2011

May 21st is a very, special day in our lives as Cistercians. The anniversary of our seven monks who were kidnapped and assassinated in Algeria. Jesus, they are never far from my mind and heart since we have seen the movie 'Of Gods and Men' which tells the story of their life at Our Lady of Atlas, Tibhirine, their struggle to come to a decision as to stay in Tibhirine or leave due to the many assassinations which were occurring and coming closer to their own monastery. Watching the movie I felt so much part of their life as they were our very own, living the simple life of work, prayer, hospitality, study, lectio and all that makes our life so beautiful when lived to the fullest. Help me to live my life to the fullest, as they did. They were so human, with all the qualities of any human heart and yet in the end they could say their 'Fiat' to the God whom they loved. Jesus, you know how Christophe has become a special friend to me. The words he wrote about crucified love are always before me in my room so daily I can look at them and be reminded that my life is and must be lived for others. "Jesus", he wrote, "draw me into the JOY of crucified love." May that JOY continue to be at the heart of my life as a Cistercian. I think it is! Thank you.

Sister Gabriella