A week and a half ago I was standing looking over Venford Reservoir on Dartmoor. As I surveyed the beautiful scene I was reminded of a comment made by Jean-Baptiste Chautard (a Cistercian abbot who died around 1935) in Soul of the Apostolate. In this beautiful book he speaks of how important it is as a Christian to develop the interior life. He uses the analogy of becoming a “living reservoir of the Holy Ghost”, in contrast with merely being a channel of the Holy Spirit. Venford reservoir looked very deep and wide as I leant on the bridge – I longed to have that kind of inner resource to see me through this spiritual journey. My approach is to commit to regular times of unspoken, silent prayer. It is so enriching and is vital for building the dam to hold this reservoir of the love of God in the silence.
On returning home, suitably inspired, I ‘googled’ to see if I could find out more about Dom Chautard and came across the writings of Fr. Ernest Larkin. I will try and figure out how to upload the particular pdf in which he writes about the Soul of the Apostolate, but for now here is the link.
I also learnt that Larkin finished a book just before he died and his life’s passion is summed up here in the product description for the book:
Product Description: Contemplative Prayer for Today: Christian Meditation gathers some of Fr. Larkin’s earlier scholarship and relates it to his own journey into Centering Prayer and Christian Meditation. He dialogues the spiritual heritage of Mount Carmel with these other contemporary ‘wisdoms of the Desert.’ He has helpful advice for those new to contemplation and reveals hidden depths for those on the way. This work is the swan-song of a life dedicated to God. Fr Larkin died soon after its completion. He felt that there was no greater service one could do than lead people to an encounter with God in their own hearts. This book is his legacy to us and shows the wisdom and love to which he is now fully united. He leaves us a rich inheritance.
Yes! I’m inspired – may this be my legacy too. Better keep building that dam!