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Liturgical Press

The Way of the Heart

The Spiritual Experience of André Louf

Charles Wright, Translated by Brian Kerns, OCSO

The Way of the Heart
The Way of the Heart

ISBN: 9780879073350, MW072P

Details: 344 pgs, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
Publication Date: 09/15/2024
Cistercian Publications
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Award-winning French author shares the biography and spiritual journey of Cistercian abbot Dom André Louf.

Based on a wide variety of interviews, printed sources, and Dom André Louf’s spiritual journal, The Way of the Heart narrates Louf’s spiritual journey from his childhood in Flanders through his becoming a monk in a Cistercian monastery, his ten years of retirement as a hermit in a Benedictine monastery in the south of France, and his death. During his career he struggled with conflicting vocational desires—sometimes wishing to serve as a pastor, academic, abbot, or to immerse himself in eremitic contemplation. That struggle is the leading thread through this biography, which portrays a man whose immense gifts pulled him in many directions, while always endeavoring to submit himself to God’s will.

Charles Wright is a French writer, journalist, and a former Jesuit novice. His earlier book, Le Chemin des Estives, narrates his journey through the Massif Central, in south-central France. That book won the fourth annual Prix de la liberté intérieure in 2021.

Brian Kerns, OCSO, is a monk at the Abbey of the Genesee in upper New York state. He spent five years at Genesee’s foundation of Novo Mundo in Parana, Brazil. For many years he worked in the libraries of Genesee and Novo Mundo. He has translated two previous works with Cistercian Publications: Dom Gabriel Sortais, an Amazing Abbot in Turbulent Times (2006), and the six volumes of Gregory the Great’s Moral Reflections on the Book of Job (2014–2017).

ISBN: 9780879073350, MW072P

Details: 344 pgs, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
Publication Date: 09/15/2024
Cistercian Publications

Reviews

"This eminently readable portrait presents Dom André Louf (1929—2010), a loving spiritual director, distinguished scholar, author, and translator, head of Collectanea Cisterciensia, and for thirty-five years the abbot of the Cistercian monastery of Mont—des—Cats. The winds of change were blowing through the Church during this period and Louf was a leader in the approach to the Eastern Orthodox and in the modernization of the Trappist order following Vatican II. Yet all his life Dom André longed for a life of solitude and prayer, and he spent the last twelve years of his life in a tiny hermitage attached to the monastery of Sainte—Lioba in Simiane. Thanks to the author’s abundant use of extracts from Louf’s personal journal, the reader walks this path with Dom André in a small way, to his own eternal benefit."
Jean Truax, Independent scholar

"This fascinating biography of André Louf gives evidence of a modern experience and language about an old Christian tradition of the individual’s searching and finding the divine presence in the human person—a modern mysticism. The book vividly describes Louf’s life-journey all the way from the superficial and social exterior through his interior desert and misery of self-knowledge in loneliness to the depth of his heart where he is embraced by the divine sweetness and mercy. This most relevant book shows Louf’s understanding that the human person fundamentally is a spiritual being in whom the divine light and life from Christ is found in the depth of the human heart."
Dr. Aage Rydstrøm-Poulsen, University of Greenland

"Charles Wright had substantially researched the life and works of Dom André Louf when one day he noticed three school notebooks negligently placed near a yellow folder in the archives of the Abbey of Mont-des-Cats: Dom André's spiritual journal, spanning the entire course of his monastic life, his most intimate dialogues with God. Excerpts from this journal have been inserted into the story of Dom André's life, a man so gifted in so many areas, any of which could have easily led to superficial 'success;' but it was only by repeatedly saying 'not my will' that he could access that hidden ground of the heart where the Spirit breathes so purely. Perhaps the essence of his vocation lay in his lifelong emotional peregrinations; perhaps the real gift he has left us today is revealing the way he dealt with them so honestly, consenting to be only the work of the Lord, built with the debris of the masterpieces of his own dreams."
Sr. Joanna Dunham, OCSO