Oblate Program at Belmont Abbey, NC

What we are



The “Song of Songs” is a beautiful book of erotic poetry, describing what many find
hard to accept, longings infinite, emotions strong, our beauty alluring
to the eternal, which is presented or revealed to us as a love sick suitor running after the beloved.

Each human an object of desire by the infinite, perhaps the commandment to love ourselves is something needing more thought and meditation, needing to take deep root so that one day when we look at one another we will see with God’s eyes, loving the deep mystery of ourselves and that of those with whom we come in contact with.

Can we truly hate that which the infinite longs for? Perhaps being made in the image of God means that we are each infinitely beautiful, worthy, for if in God’s image made,
then beauty is what we are, for God sees into the depths, we the surface only.

To love one self is perhaps the hardest thing of all, when that hard thing not done, then
the hatred and contempt of others are the easiest evil to fall into. For we live in a world of mirrors, seeing our feared reflection in others, either too bright, leading to false worship and hope in another, or too dark, leading to an increasing cycle of pain, death and ever deepening hatred passed on from generation to generation.

Allowing God’s tender erotic touch to heal, makes the wounded one by such a touch an incarnation of compassion and forgiveness, flowing from a heart filled with love of God and the also for the gift of who one is in God’s sight. Leading to see who all are, in the eyes of the Beloved One.

Humility is reality, to see clearly, accept with patience in some instances and to rejoice
in thankfulness in others. To mourn when needed but to never despair,
leading to empathy for self and others with whom we travel this life,
slowly becoming God’s work of art.

For we are desired by the infinite, eternal, that which has no form, but filled with
love stronger than death that will seek us out until we surrender
to love’s desire.

Br. Mark Dohle, OCSO
Holy Spirit Monastery


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