A letter of St Bruno to his sons the Carthusians
|My spirit rejoices in the Lord|
Knowing from the frequent and welcome accounts of our blessed brother Landowin the unremitting rigour of your well-considered and truly praiseworthy way of life, and hearing of your holy love and unceasing zeal for what is perfect and good, my spirit rejoices in the Lord. Truly I rejoice and am led to praise and thank the Lord, and yet I sigh bitterly. I rejoice indeed, as is right, for the growth of the fruits of your virtues, but I lament and am ashamed that I lie inert and torpid in the filth of my sins.
Rejoice then, my dear brothers, for your blessed lot and for God’s abundant gift of grace to you. Rejoice that you have escaped the manifold perils and shipwrecks of this storm-tossed world. Rejoice that you have reached a safe and tranquil anchorage in that inner harbour which many desire to reach and many make efforts to reach yet never attain. Many too, after reaching the goal, have been excluded since it was not given them from above.
Therefore, my brothers, be certain and convinced that if anyone experiences this desirable good and then loses it, no matter how, he will never cease to regret it if he retains any regard or care for his soul’s salvation.
As for you, my beloved lay brothers, I say: ‘My soul magnifies the Lord’, for I see the greatness of his mercy to you according to the report of your loving prior and father, who boasts much about you and rejoices. We too rejoice since, though you are unlettered men, yet the mighty God writes on your hearts with his finger not only his love but a knowledge of his holy law. You show by your actions what you love and what you know. For when you practise true obedience with all care and zeal, it is clear that you read wisely the sweet and life-giving fruit of divine scripture.