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among the blind people of Islam. He knew how powerful could be the presence of the consecrated host and of the priest completely devoted to the service of his Master and ready to sacrifice himself to the last drop of his blood among these peoples in accomplishing the object of his sublime love. This purpose finds expression in each letter of the hermit " Evangelisation is not in words, but in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, the offering of the divine Sacrifice, prayer, penance, the practice of the evangelical virtues, charity, a brotherly and universal charity, sharing even to the last mouthful of bread with every poor person, every guest, every unknown, and receiving everything human, whether good or bad, as a well-loved brother. . . The apostolate through goodness is the best of all."
Not the Spectacular A deep preparation was needed for so perfect an existence, so severe a training. Canon Jean Dermine in his Spiritual life of Pere de Foucauld has revealed the spirit which went to make this interior formation. The central characteristic of this priest of the solitudes is to be found in his ardent desire to imitate the hidden life of Our Lord through binding himself as closely as possible to his Divine Model through the bonds of love. And this love would attain the supreme expression in a perpetual adoration. What did he wish above all to imitate? Not the spectacular nature of the work of Christ, nor his preaching, but that which was deepest in the heart of the Son of God. He would practise " the virtues which force the will to stand up to itself, which crucify the flesh, the spirit which empties the soul of itself, and of the world, and which delivers it to God without reserve
or return upon itself." It is this silent assent to the height of humility and charity which Canon Dermine has tried to describe. Pere de Foucauld reached this sublime region in a tremendous serenity of soul, clearing a path for himself in the midst of the sacrifices and trials which God reserves to His best loved children.
His conclusion this writer underlines in the basic lesson of that spiritual life: " the spirit of holy childhood with its extreme candour and its total abandonment to the hands of the father."
A Christ in the Sahara All of this we find in the correspondence of Pere de Foucauld, and more especially in his letters to Henry de Castries, the most recent of which have only just appeared. On June 23, 1901, in writing from the Monastery of Our Lady of the Snow, he already says to his friend as though prophetically: " I have just been ordained priest and J am taking steps to carry on in the Sahara the hidden life of Jesus a Nazareth, not in order to preach, but to live in solitude and poverty the humble work of Jesus, while also trying to do good to souls, not through any words, but by prayer, the Holy Sacrifice, penance and the practice of charity."
Emerging from the night of the world he understands that it is a prayer and through prayer that the true light is to be found. Prayer, perseverance, imitation of Christ, "in doing these three things we must infallibly enter into that full day which makes us exclaim with David 'Nox illuminatio mea in delicis meis,' for Jesus has promised that he who conies to Him will not be turned away."
Through this way of poverty and love Charles de Foucauld regained that one and only sense of happiness which he had bast in the excesses of his youth and which he Was finding again, as St. Augustine had, in Truth and the gift of self. " All is sweets ness for me, I see all in the light of the immense peace of God, His infinite joy, of the immutable glory of the blessed and ever still Trinity . . to be on the march or in my hermitage, this makes no difference, for my eyes and heart remain above in that immense peace, in. that beautiful still ness of above . . ."
Apart from the books of Canon Dermine and the letters to Henry de Castries, I should like to refer to that lay hermit, Claude-Morris Robert, who has recently found the traces of Pere de Foucauld in the hoggar. This book is an admirable witness to the remembrance of the man he loved and admired, and it shows the stages which the author had to go through in order to understand the sublime significance of the work of Pere de Foucauld. Though I am not able to dwell upon this work of sincerity and generosity, I must not omit what it reveals about those who carried on that mission undertaken alone. The sower died in his field, slain and betrayed by those he loved-, he was not able to see the wheat growing, but now along the way which he had opened others are going forward with the same will to devote and offer them-, selves.
This is the first time that we learn of the brotherhood of El-Abiod where the Brothers of the Sacred Heart live the rule established by the saintly hermit, though slightly softened. And the rule which is analogous to that of the Carthusians and Trappists is the severest that exists.
The apostles of charity and of example, these Brothers are Arabs among Arabs. Their community—there are about a dozen of them--under the authority of Mgr. Noulet, Prefect Apostolic of the Sahara, dwells in a convent built in the style of maraboutic sepulchres. And these new solitaries, whose example the little Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus will doubtless follow one day, are the advance guard, the budding of a congregation "which is not
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