Official website of the Anne Guigné’s Friends Association

Anne, a model for the contemplative?

At the beginning of the year 2000, a Benedictine nun received an unusual religious name when she took the veil : Sister Anne de Guigné. When questioned by a member of the Association about the choice of this patronage she answered in the following text which has, in fact, been published in the September 2013 number of the Letter of Anne de Guigné’s Friends. We do not need to add that she prays with perseverance for Anne’s beatification.

 

In 2002, I received the name, Sister Anne de Guigné, together with the Benedictine habit. You have asked me why I chose this patronage for my monastic life. In order to answer, I must explain rapidly how I have known Anne de Guigné.

When I was patrol leader in the scout movement, my guides expressed the desire to have a patron saint, a model whose footsteps we could follow. One of the guides suggested Anne de Guigné and told us about her; we were immediately and unanimously convinced.

Choosing Anne’s name as my name in religion was first of all to maintain a link with the scout movement which had played such an important part in my vocation in preparing me by its ideal to enter the “school of service to God” which all Saint Benedict’s monasteries are.

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The principal motive of the patronage, however, consisted in what had filled us all with enthusiasm: Anne’s conversion. At last we were being told about a child of about our age who had originally been very difficult and unruly and had managed to change! This was for us a source of great hope!

The saints often give the impression of having been born with a halo and virtue is sometimes described as easy to achieve, pleasant and delectable.

Anne, on the other hand, unveiled for us a hard battle from the beginning to accept God’s grace and to renounce. “Do you think it is amusing never to do what one wants?” What a touching admission! However she persevered and we are comforted by the dilation of her soul and the profound happiness which were the fruits of her generous struggle for Jesus to be everything in her.

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Saint Benedict says the same thing: “As we advance in the right direction with faith, our heart dilates and we start to run along the path of God’s commandments with the ineffable joy of love.” (prologue to Saint Benedict’s rule)

Anne is indeed very close to the Benedictine ideal. I find in her very simple life luminous examples of humility, charity, obedience, inner life, zeal for God’s glory and love of the liturgy.

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Anne is also a marvelous guide who introduces us into the spirit of childhood. “A monk is a child who sings and plays” a great father abbot once said. So, let us play like children in the presence of God and His angels, and let us follow the rule of the game which is the divine pleasure and let us love our heavenly Father and trust Him in every way. “Why worry since God is there?”

 

“I want everything to go well.
I am going to see that everything goes well,
I can make everything go well,
I know how to make everything go well,
And you will see for yourself that everything will go well.”
(Words of Our Lord to Julian of Norwich).

 

All we are asked to do is to believe!