the staircase - abbey

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the staircase



In a Monastery flutters an atmosphere of quiet and of silence, but it is anything but a place of rest. The ardent thirst of God isn't satisfied only by the daily meditation (ruminatio) of the Bible and of the Fathers of the Church, or by the songs and the perfume of incense of the solemn liturgical functions. Each monk owes to attempt - at Benedict's school - to climb, one at the time, 12 steps of a very difficult staircase: the one of victory over oneself.
The climate of silence of a Monastery doesn't exclude that, in the daily duties (porter, librarian, apiarist, studious, binder, cook, renovator of ancient books, gardener…) he must communicate with the others: so much more if we consider the common times (meals in refectory, prayers in common, recreations…). Well, in each of us there is a natural disposition to assert oneself in front of the others. Also when we do something good, there is in us - not rarely - a secluded desire to be appreciated for what we do, even to feel a sense of disappointment if we don't see signs of thankfulness in whom we have benefited.

"Among  pagans it is the kings who lord it over them, and those who have authority over them are given the title Benefactor. This must not happen with you. No;, the greatest among you must behave as if he were the youngest, the leader as if he werw the one who serves. For who is the greater: the one at table or the one who serves? The oneat table, surely. Yet here am I among you as one who serves !"(Lk 22,25)

In man there is the thin temptation to want to be the "benefactor", that is managing his own life & happiness of others, because nobody of us loves simply to serve. Learn instead to serve, that is to live for others, trying - while forgetting oneself - gratification (satisfaction… joy) of others, it requires a constant internal struggle. But it is in this way, according to the words of Jesus, we discover God in others people, and exactly that God that we are looking for!

"I tell you solemnly, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it for me!"(Mt 25,40)

Such internal struggle is what makes us "run the way of the divine commandments, with dilated heart by the indescribable sweetness of love"
. (Dilatato corde inenarrabili dilectionis dulcedine curritur via mandatorum Dei). (Prologue of the Rule).

Postal Address:
Abbazia S. Maria di Finalpia
17024 Finale Ligure Pia (SV) Italy
Telephone +39 019 602 301  Fax: +39 019 604 9940
updated 23 June 2024
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