A Benedictine Soul: Biography, Letters, and Spiritual Writings of Dom Pius De Hemptinne

A Benedictine Soul: Biography, Letters, and Spiritual Writings of Dom Pius De Hemptinne

The Cenacle Press at Silverstream Priory

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Holy Trinity, Whom I wish to love with all my heart, with all my strength and with all my mind, I beg Thee to look upon this little Note-book and consider it as being an “Appendix of my heart”; into it I shall pour out all the overflowings of my soul and shall note down all my most intense desires. May these lines be, before Thee, like a prayer forever for all who are dear to me. This Note-book then,  is Thine own— “God’s Notebook”—and the first prayer in it is: “My God I love Thee.”

With these words, a young monk Began his spiritual journal. In the first entry, dated September 24, 1900, he writes: “If Thou wilt give me the time I would like to hold a long conversation with Thee—but I cannot. Read, then, in my heart and be assured that I wish to unite myself to Thee.”

A Benedictine Soul gives us a precious glimpse into the life and “secret communings” with God of Dom Pius de Hemptinne, a monk of the Abbey of Maredsous who died in 1907 at the age of twenty-seven. Containing a biographical sketch of Dom Pius’ life along with some of his selected writings, this book is a master class in what it means to love God with the innocence of the pure in heart. In these pages, one will behold love for God blossoming without hindrance in a soul. Dom Pius is graced to pour forth ardor without sentimentality, intensity without heaviness, and innocence without naivety.

Born into a large family of the Belgian aristocracy, Dom Pius was brought up in an atmosphere of fervent faith and service to the Church. Dom Pius’ biography shows that he was taught to love by both his natural and his spiritual family, and that both family life and celibate life can be animated with the love of Christ.

A true son of St. Benedict as well as a living fruit of the spiritual teaching of Blessed Columba Marmion, his prior and teacher, Dom Pius teaches us that no act of obedience is too small to be the kindling for our love for the Father, a teaching reminiscent of St. Thérèse’s Little Way. This book teaches Christians in every state of life what it is to be a soul that is “strong in loving."

The reflections and letters of Dom Pius reveal to us a young monk who, formed into the spirituality of adoption by Blessed Columba Marmion, became, at a young age, a contemplative soul who, as Blessed Columba writes, was a “beautiful, virgin soul” having “splendid qualities of heart and mind.” In the Communion of Saints, saints help others to become saints. May Dom Pius’ life and words, once more in print, help to guide and nourish contemplative souls to live fully their filial adoption, to live wholly in sinu Patris. — Mother Maria Regina of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, F.L.M., Foundress and Superior of the Filiae Laboris Mariae


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