Advent Book Club 2017: Unearthly Beauty by Magdalen Smith Day 3: Charles de Foucauld

The contemplative in action.

Contemplative because his life was grounded in silent prayerful adoration of the Other (simply gazing in his mind’s eye on the Other), the Being who gives us all being, the I AM.

In action because, rooted in and energised by and informed by those hours of silent adoration  he lived simply alongside the touareg, a nomadic desert people, sharing their lifestyle and their work.

He then founded a religious Order to encourage others to do likewise – live in a community exactly as others in that community live in terms of environment, housing, labour but with one crucial difference. Members of the Order ground all that they do and are in hours of silent adoration of the I AM, the One who loves us into being. They are then able to draw on the deep wells of that love in order to reach out to those whose lives they share.

Not preaching the gospel – rather, living the gospel. Being Love to all those with whom they come into contact as Jesus did before them because they, as he was, are in tune with I AM.

So for us – the more in tune we are with I AM, the more we also can say I AM without self-judgement or self-criticism. We can then reach out to others and affirm to them that YOU ARE.

We do not know the name of God – the I AM – but as we too spend time in adoration we see His face turned in love towards us, we know ever more surely Her arms cradling us, steadying us. In that security we can then turn our faces outward and look in love on, reach out our arms to all whom we meet and offer them that same unconditional love.

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