The greatness of God

September 6, 2009




When St Therese of Lisieux was looking back over her life she told how it was her father’s custom, when she was quite a small child, to take her out before she went to bed to show her the stars. He told her the names of the planets, how they were grouped and how far they were believed to be, and how everything in the sky was the work of God’s hands. Reflecting in later life on these occasions she judges that they marked her for the beginning of her prayer life. She was not conscious of setting her mind to pray, and there was no set form to her prayer, but in retrospect she thinks that the majesty of God so impressed itself upon her little-girl mind as to evoke a response which must have been prayer. Awe and wonder. The greatness of God. No preoccupations with the worthless self, no particular awareness that prayer is going on.” Dom Hubert van Zeller, The Monastic Way, 2006: 145.

DOWNSIDE ABBEY_smDom Hubert van Zeller (1905–1984) was born in Egypt and entered Downside Abbey at the age of nineteen. He briefly left Downside to try his vocation with the Carthusians. A talented sculptor as well as a writer, his artworks adorn churches in Britain (many works can be seen at Downside abbey) and the United States. He was a friend of the great Catholic writers Msgr. Ronald Knox and Evelyn Waugh, and is the author of Holiness: A Guide for Beginners, Holiness for Housewives, and Spirit of Penance, Path to God.  


Clone of StThereseLittle2

Illustration by A Hora, London, 2009.


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