“A man who prays lives out the mystery of existence, and a man who does not pray scarcely exists.” Thus writes St. Charbel Makhlouf (1828–1898), a Maronite monk and priest from Lebanon whose reputation for sanctity spread widely during his life, and whose heavenly intercession has worked countless miracles after his death. St. Charbel’s homilies and proverbs are reminiscent of the sayings of the Desert Fathers: simple, homespun, and direct, yet shining and profound.
This holy monk speaks from a reservoir of silence about the fundamentals of the Faith and targets the temptations facing all Christians today: the flight from suffering, excessive attachment to comforts, pride over accomplishments, complacency, factiousness, substituting talk for action, fear of proclaiming the truth in an age of hostile unbelief. Alert to the reality of spiritual warfare, St. Charbel calls each one of us to hold fast to the Cross, “the center of the universe and the key to heaven,” and defy the devil who seeks our ruin. This collection of some of the most beautiful words spoken by St. Charbel is augmented by a short biography that will bring him to the attention of those who have not yet made his acquaintance or profited from his wisdom.