Good and meek eyes

We have been in quarantine for four weeks already in our monastery at Sant’Anselmo. The new situation is challenging for us, like for everybody during the Corona pandemic. However, all monks are still healthy, and that makes us grateful and humble.

Every day I learn something new. For example, I noticed that in a crisis like this things surface that we can hide in normal times. Usually, there are many ways of avoiding in a community. Now this is no longer possible. We are – one could say – naked. On one hand, new parts of us appear–new creativity, spontaneity, a sense of responsibility, a readiness to selfless giving and support. On the other hand, our weaknesses that we do not want others to see, lie bare. I believe every relationship has secrets and that does not destroy it. Maybe in contrary. Now, however, we are together continuously, and are left uncovered. We see ourselves as we are, more aware of our bad habits–emotions erupt, perhaps from ancient tensions that were latent, but with which we could deal. In a situation of stress, it becomes more difficult.

What are the remedies? It helps me to remind myself that God is looking at us with his good and mild eyes. This is what I am also supposed to do: be good with myself, good and patient and meek. But also, be good and patient with my neighbors–To not judge them, to be merciful with them, to forgive them for how they are.

In paradise, we were naked in God’s eyes, but we did not notice it. When we let us be looked at by him, in these days, we can discover a new and good way to treat each other.

Lord, look at me. If I don’t like to see myself, look at me. If I don’t like to see the others, look at them. Your heart is so much bigger than ours. Cleanse me during this time, make my heart wider, my eyes milder and my faith deeper. Forgive me as I forgive my neighbors.

8 thoughts on “Good and meek eyes

  1. Fr. Mauritius good hearing from you. Your thoughts are right on point. Prayers needed. Mass has been shut down in NC since middle March. Read a thing from the Trappists in Massachusetts everyday called diary from the cloister. They have placed the virus and us getting through this crazy ordeal under the care of Mother Mary. Hope and prayers

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  2. Father Mauritius;Thank you so much for your thoughtful and discerning comments. You and your words are always a gift for me. I was registered for your retreat a few weeks ago, and as with all social engagements and contacts that have been canceled or that we cannot do, this is all offered as a very small sacrifice. ;I am still discerning how I will have changed when this is all over. I would be living in ignorance or denial if I did not hope I would be changed. I have been an oblate in training or an oblate for 15 years.  But I have learned more about what stability , obedience and conversion might mean in these last weeks, than ever before. My interaction with family is less frequent but more intense. One of my son has three boys in Catholic grade school. My daughter in law is now holding class for them from 8:30 -1:30 everyday, and has them in their school uniforms.  Tomorrow ( Holy Thursday ) I am a facetime guest lecturer , discussing the Tridiuum with them. This is a blessing that would not have occurred under normal circumstances;You are in my prayers always, and I look forward to seeing you soon;God bless you always and may your Easter may holy and joyful;Rich Herink

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  3. Dear cousin! So good to read your words of comfort and know that you are well. You are in our thoughts and prayers. Joanne, morten, emma and soren moesswilde

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  4. Lieber Mauritius, Schön, von Dir zu hören und zu wissen, dass es Euch trotz Quarantäne gut geht. Ich wäre Ostern in MS zur Einkehr gewesen, mein Kraftort. Aber natürlich ist jetzt alles anders. Und umso wunderbarer ist es, dass der EaK ein online Angebot hat. Und so mache ich jetzt meine Einkehr zuhause, in Gedanken verbunden mit den anderen “Pilgern”. Zusammen mit den Live Streams der Gebetszeiten und Gottesdienste ist das ein wahres Geschenk. Es gibt trotz Krise so viel Schönes und Gutes zu entdecken. D A N K E. Hab auch Du eine segensreiche Kar- und Osterzeit. Bleib gesund. Viel PAX, Kathrin

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  5. P. Mauritius, grazie mille per questo articolo. Un’esperienza molto umana. Congratulazioni per l’istituzione del Sacerdozio, grazie per il tuo ministero sacerdotale. Mi fa piacere di sapere che stanno tutti bene a Sant” Anselmo. Buona Pasqua Risurrezione. Un abbraccio e le mie preghiere, P. Víctor de Luna, L.C.

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  6. Fr. Mauritius – So good to “hear” your voice and to think of our God whose love is so much wider and better than ours. I am happy to know you are well and healthy, along with your fellow monks there at Sant Anselmo. We are all learning many lessons through this shelter-in-place experience. I have been confronted with fear and am realizing that I can be rebellious about this fear if I trust in the ultimate love of God. I can also “reach” out to others during this time and show them how God’s love interrupts the fear that might claim our hearts. Stay safe and stay healthy. I look forward to seeing you at SBC for your next retreat there. Blessings. Charlotte Liggett

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  7. Thank you for this post – I really like the thought that God is looking at me with “good and mild eyes.” I look at myself with eyes of judgment. You remind me to remember that He sees me with eyes that are free of condemnation. I remember a prayer that Macrina Wiederkehr shared at a retreat at St. Benedict’s Center in Schuyler… “Lord, help me believe the truth about myself… no matter how beautiful it is.” When I look at the world with good and mild eyes, I see the beauty of His creation all around me, and in everyone. Perhaps the beauty rests in the eyes of he/she who is doing the looking. I can trust His eyes! And ask Him to give me eyes that will see as He does.

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