06 May 2010

Hugh's Enraptured Vision

This is how Hugh de Miromars describes the wonderful part played by Our Lady in his choice of the monastery where he received the Carthusian habit.

‘With good reason I had taken fright at the thought of a life in which honours, riches and pleasures combined only too well their attractions to render life easy and pleasant for me. Enlightened, however, by a ray of the eternal mercy, I determined to bid a last farewell to the world, and to withdraw to the desert of the Chartreuse, and embrace the austere Rule of the sons of Saint Bruno. The only question was which monastery I should choose as the blessed refuge of my soul, enamoured forever of the only lasting good? At the time, I thought of the Charterhouse of Montrieux, of which I knew nothing more than the reputation for sanctity enjoyed by the community. I did not even know where it was.

‘That was as far as I had got in my reflections, when one night I dreamed that I had to choose my bride. I found myself transported to a valley surrounded by high mountains. A spring gushed forth at my feet. It was there I awaited her to whom I was to be united for life. Long did I wait, but all to no purpose. Impatient at the delay, I began to pace up and down, thinking I would go away, when suddenly I found myself in the presence of a Lady whose modestly veiled countenance shone bright with nobility and beauty. I knew it to be Our Blessed Lady. She was not more than average height: her complexion was as pure as alabaster. Raising my right arm, she deigned to rest it on her shoulder; then her gentle glance penetrated to the very depths of my enraptured eyes. Beloved, she said, will you refuse me? As one distraught, I cried out: No, no, my Queen, a thousand times, No: I will not refuse you. At these words, the vision faded’.

On visiting the Charterhouse of Montrieux some time later, Hugh found exactly that same scene of which Mary had shown him a glimpse. Needless to say, he was not long in entering the House of God, to be united to the chosen Bride of his heart (Le Couteulx: Annales Ordinis Cartusiensis, Vol. IV, Monttreuil-sur-Mer, p. 94).

In our life of prayer and penance, O Mary, be to us our beloved companion, our support, our consolation and our strength.