The drawing power of God the Father


The Father, who from now on touches us by his drawing power from within, will never again let us go.

Just as the prophets have proclaimed, we too have become his pupils, and he continually proceeds to touch us with his infinite gentleness.

Even the word "gentleness" is saying too much. For no human word is even remotely adequate to convey correctly this mysterious touch of the Father. Any description is either too strong or too weak but in the most basic modesty it is real in the strongest sense of the word: it is pregnant with a reality which surpasses everything else, the only reality worth yearning for with love and patience, the only reality to which we can, without qualification, surrender ourselves in all humility and simplicity.

"Unless drawn by the Father. . . " It is impossible for us to recognize Jesus or to hear his voice, still less to follow or proclaim him, unless the Father draws us to him. All our solemn declarations and protests, all the word-mongering in which we indulge with such pleasure, means very little by comparison with the drawing power which issues from the Father in the depths of our heart. All the commotion we create often takes far too much time and is usually accompanied by far too much noise, so that we can hardly sufficiently take note of that drawing power itself. All those false sounds on the surface of things only weaken our inner sensitivity which prompts us all individually to discover that the hour in which we can be taught by God himself has dawned. Then all other things lose their acute urgency; then we do well to remain very quiet, open to the touch of the Father which will undoubtedly take us on to the right road.




Father André Louf, OCSO. "The drawing power of God the Father." excerpt from Mercy in Weakness (Cistercian Publications, 1998).

Cistercian Publications is now being distributed by Liturgical Press.

Originally preached to his monks at the abbey of Mont-des-Cats in northern France, the homilies contained in Mercy in Weakness draw on years of lectio divina and reflection, and concentrate on the theme of God's mercy in reaching out to humankind. The words of Jesus revealed in the gospels are central to his message and he shows how we must allow these words to transform us, inspiring praise and bearing witness to others.

Excerpt provided by permission of Liturgical Press.


Father André Louf, OCSO (1929-2010) was a Trappist monk of Mont-des-Cats and a prominent theologian and retreat master. Born in 1929 in Leuven, Belgium he entered the monastery in 1947 and was elected abbot in 1963, a ministry he exercised for 34 years. Upon retirement in 1997 he lived as a hermit and served for a while as a chaplain to a group of nuns in the south of France. Famously he was the author of the 2004 meditations of the Way of the Cross at the invitation of Pope John Paul II. Father André Louf, OCSO is the author of Mercy in Weakness, The Cistercian Way, Grace Can Do More, Tuning in to Grace, and The Way of Humility.

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