Nov 11 – Martyrdom

Our November Conversation Groups invited us to reflect upon and share our thoughts on martyrdom from a monastic perspective. We were given quotes from the desert father Abba Macarius, our Cistercian father Saint Bernard, the cloistered Carmelite Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, and Pope Francis to stimulate our reflection. During our conversations we shared how the stories of martyrs personally influence us and how our life today is a way of martyrdom. Our seven brothers martyred at Our Lady of Atlas in Tibhirine, Algeria featured prominently in the sharing as well as the North American martyrs. Many shared the realities of community life as a form of martyrdom, especially when in light of the fact that “martyr” means witness, testimony, the act of testifying.

Our Lady of Atlas Martyrs

Conversation Groups (CG)

The purpose of the CGs is to provide a forum where the brothers “come together to listen to the Spirit speaking through one another,” to foster skills of good communication that will promote mutual understanding and trust (Gdlns 2), and to provide the superior with the data he needs for taking decisions with foresight and fairness by the brothers humbly and honestly expressing their views (RB 3)