THE LIFE OF THE CARTHUSIAN MONKS
Carthusian monks' Order - a hermitic religious Order founded in 1084 by St. Brunone of Colony, at Chartreuse ( near Grenoble). St. Brunone did not make any Rules, however in 1127, Guigo du Chastel, Prior of the Great Chartreuse dictated the Rules. Based on these Rules, the Statute was formed and approved in 1176 by Alexander III. The following modifications and additions received subsequent approvals, the last of which were approved by Pious XI in 1924.
The order spread quickly in Europe; in total 282 Chartreuse, were founded. The Carthusian monks live a hermitic life of prayers and work (study and manual jobs). They wear a rough cowl of white wool, with a leather belt and hooded scapular . The monasteries are autonomous but depend on the General Chapter, which gathers every two years and it is composed of the Father General (Prior of the Great Chartreuse) and eight Priors and Rectors from various Chartreuse. The Counsel is the supreme authority of the order, it mantains discipline and elects the Prior to the individuals communities when necessary.
Witness of Love
Here is acquired that eye from whose serene look of love the Bridegroom is stricken and through which, if without stain and pure, God is seen.(St. Bruno)
In front of Love, only love
Called from Christ, Bruno's child, inflamed with divine Love, leaves the world in search of eternity. Becomes a song of love only for the glory of God, that is his life.
The Spirit whispers in him a continuous murmuring: To seek God more ardently, to find Him more quickly, and more fully to unite with Him. This is his promise of alliance with the Beloved. He follows in the steps of the first monks of Egypt,with them, the same desire: constant prayer, the same life: hide oneself in God, the same grace: the union with the Beloved.
On the shortest way, through which he hastens, a light guides his steps: Jesus Christ. He is the one who nourishes him each day with his Word, a gift of his Heart. He is the one who conforms him to the Mystery of his hidden life of Nazareth or of the Judean desert. Long and hard is the journey to the Promised Land, arid the roads where the Spirit pushes him. But, one day, the desert is light.
At the center of his soul, in the depth of his heart a secret sanctuary opens… Here the source, the living water! Here his Friend, he is waiting for him. Oh Presence of Love, that transforms him in presence of love, In order that he becomes one with you! Now his only occupation is to love you; He prays, he reads, and he works: but only loves you. In the depth of his heart, calm and unified, all absorbed in you, oh Love. Like a bird that glides at the breath of your grace, Father, his soul is abandonment in your hands.
He already enjoys some of your incomparable splendour. Already he lives a mystery that only the blessed in heavens discover in his fullness. This trip toward God, the child of Bruno lives in loneliness and silence. It is his precious part in the Bride of Christ.
Contempt of others? No, loneliness of a heart completely spellbound, taken from the beauty of the Beloved. Love attracts him totally to himself. How to resist him? Refusal to communicate? No, the silence of a life already full of the Word, towards which he is all outstretched to listen to. The presence of Love is his only Word, beyond any other word. Why disturb Love?
A lamp, two flames
Always look for, in every thing, to unite with the Beloved. How rich is this vocation! Such a wealth can flow in only one river?
Two are the walks leading to the same end, different, but complementary, for the graces they carry. Developing the charisma entrusted by the Spirit to Bruno, they allow him to reach all his fullness. Thus two flames burn on the same lamp. How much bigger his splendour!
Uniting with Jesus, lonely in the desert of Judah the monks from the cloister stay in the quiet of their hermitages, called to give themselves, in the silence of theirs hearts, to the adoration of the Intimate.
Clothed with the grace of the priesthood, in an Eucharist celebrated in loneliness with Him, they offer each day their life in the one of Christ the Savior to the glory of the Father, for the salvation of the world.
Uniting with Jesus, child of the carpenter of Nazareth, the brothers attend the daily activities of life in their monastery, called to give themselves, in the joy of work, to the intimacy of his contemplation.
Clothed with the grace of service, their work offered in loneliness with Him, they participate the entire man, the entire creation, in Christ the Savior, to the glory of the Father, for the salvation of the world.
In the one and in the others, a same love, ardent of their Love! Unite them tightly...
In the one and in the others, a same fervour for the prayer and the loneliness! In the respect of the differences… But also being two, they are one.
The walk of the Alliance
The fire of love for God does not fires up in one day, a flower to grow needs the song of time the walk of the Alliance, needs few stops, up to the eternal "yes"
A first meeting with you, Lord, in loneliness and in silence, in one or more retreats in the monastery. The months of postulation with the community, the abandonment from the world and from oneself, to the contemplation of your Face.
Up to be clothed with compunction and the desire of you, to dilate our own liberty in your endless liberty, discovering your sweetness in the years of novitiate in the docility of love.
The first gift of the entire being to your goodness, to cover oneself with a suit of praise: the temporary profession, a donation of love in the humblest things; Easter of the dead to oneself, they live again in you, oh Beloved. The time of conclusion comes, the long march of desire reaches the door of your heart…
Here the "yes" of total union: the monastic solemn profession,
here the Amen that drags the soul in this great Mystery: your eternal Covenant with the Church, oh Christ.
Life can be submerged in this heart and palpitates in him: the Spirit, in the desert, has stripped him of everything, now, he is free to be yours.
The Covenant is concluded, but our walk to be more yours is not finished: always leave behind the appearance of things and the deception of the ephemeral desires to take refuge in the heart of the Eternity in an Easter without end, become the Child, turned entirely to the Father in the incessant exchange of the Spirit, praise of glory to the One Trinity.
In the bosom of the family
The child of Bruno doesn't complete his interior pilgrimage alone. His abode is in the bosom of a true family: a small community received by the heart of God, where the charity reigns, in the shade of Mary, the Virgin Mother.
In the community the Prior is the first to serve his brothers; sacrament of Christ, he listens to their voices, together with the voice of the Spirit, he discerns the desire of Love on them, reveals the goodness with which the Father loves them.
Three times a day assemble the children of Bruno in church. Therefore they are one heart to love! One voice to praise! The heart and the voice of the Church in front of the Father.
In distance, the fire
The Carthusian monks, neither saints neither superman. But sinners, in search of his Face, set on fire by God. Their poverty? A bond with which they attract the mercy of the Father, on the world. Their existence? A channel of grace, for grace, in favor of all. Carried by the Church, they carry her without rest on their elevated arms on their prayer, and the world with her.... They carry all in their heart. They are near to us. No, the intimacy with Love doesn't shut oneself up, but opens the spirit, dilate the heart up to embrace the whole world, all creatures. In distance, the fire that consume resplendent: Love! And Love is a brazier.
To answer the appeal of the Beloved, the children of Bruno have left the world. But they did not escape from the world. Separate from everybody, they are united to all, in depth, intensely. They reach you in the invisible. They suffer your sufferings. They hope in your expectations. Nothing of human is extraneous to them. They offer their lives for you. For you their trials. They participate in Christ to the great work of Redemption. Brothers of every creature...Toward the shining transfiguration of Love, in the joy of the Spirit, is oriented the entire life of the children of Bruno. Listen to, listen to, they in a world that walk away from God, they declare in silence:
"Your thirst for happiness that everybody has, only He could placate! They in silence proclaim:
"God is only Love, Love, Love, font of each love! Love so great that could fill a heart completely! Love so great that only to him they could offer theirs lives forever. Always"!
In an imprisoned world of profit and efficiency, they choose to abstain from each visible activity. To sing better, immensity of Goodness! To praise you better, Gratuitousness of Love, and your centrality!
Yes, we outwardly have chosen to separate us from you, but to run toward Love, to burn of his life, carrying you with us, to warm you up to his flame, to make you shine of HIM, of his Light.