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ClemensBruno

Carthusian Monkhood

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ClemensBruno
I am curious if there are any former Carthusian aspirants, postulants, novices, and monks in this phorum who would be willing to provide me with their perspective and advice on becoming a Carthusian.

Some background: I just discovered and joined this phorum today. God has been calling me to the contemplative life since before my teenage years. Throughout primary education, high school, college, and my professional career, I have been reluctant to answer in the affirmative. Until early this year, responding to his call has been a deep, constant, and private struggle for me. When I finally said, "Yes, Lord," while on a long retreat several months ago, I have been aware of a profound inner sense of peace that had been absent previously for years, unbeknownst to me.

Since then, I have been working toward a graceful transition to life as a Trappist, the Order I long assumed to be in my future. But, then, a few weeks ago, I "discovered" the Carthusians online whose purpose and practices align almost perfectly with my own expectations and predilections for a life of prayer.

I have spent the past few weeks scouring the internet for all things Carthusian, and have now exhausted all virtual resources. I have already begun correspondence with a charterhouse about my vocation. However, I have a few lingering questions for any ex-Carthusian willing to oblige me, such as: On the rare occasions that require verbal communication, is Latin the preferred language in all charterhouses worldwide?

With gratitude for your attention to my cause,
Your Brother in Christ

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brandelynmarie

:welcome: Praying for you & your intentions...hopefully someone on here has some answers for you. :)

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miserere55

Hi Clemens Bruno,  Welcome to Phatmass/VS!  I am not a Carthusian, but I had a chaplain/spiritual director that had been a Carthusian at the Grande Chartreuse in France.  He is now a diocesan priest in the USA, but always speaks lovingly and teary-eyed about his time as a carthusian.  He loved it and told many stories of life there. Its an extremely penitential life and a truly solitary one.  Good luck. 

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Anselm

ClemensBruno,

 

I live very close to the UK's only Charterhouse and go to Mass in the extern chapel there most Sundays. I am hoping to join a Benedictine house before too long (in fact I am going to visit again tomorrow) and, though that life is very different to that of the Carthusians, I have a most profound respect for their life. It is the vocation that I wish I had!

 

May I ask, which country are you in? Do please reply by private message if you would prefer.

 

Anselm

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ClemensBruno
Thank you, brandelynmarie and miserere55. I certainly would be grateful for your prayers on my behalf.

Anselm, I am in the US. As you may well know, there are only 17 charterhouses for Carthusian monks worldwide. It seems reasonable--even necessary--that each of the 17 would house an international community, hence my initial question above. If Latin is used as the common tongue, then being sent to one of the 14 charterhouses in non-English-speaking countries would seem less daunting of a challenge for me.

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maximillion

As far as I am aware the inhabitants of each house speak the common language of the country they are in.

In 'Into Great Silence' (get it if you have not seen the DVD already) the monks spoke French, German and English. Latin seems to be confined to the Liturgy.

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VeniJesuAmorMi

Praying that you will soon find where Our Lord has made a place for you.

 

If you haven't seen it already, or want to see it again, Here is the link to "Into Great Silence." It was put on five months ago, but mostly the other ones that have been put on YouTube before I couldn't find, so it may get taken off soon I'm not really sure.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqU18nKiVss

 

 

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ClemensBruno
VeniJesuAmorMi, I would be grateful for your prayers. Thank you!!

maximillion and TheresaThoma, thank you for recommending Philip Gröning's film Into Great Silence. I have watched/studied the film several times already. Somehow, I conveniently forgot when I wrote my initial post that the monks communicated in French. So...good point, maximillion!

I also know about, but have yet to read, the book An Infinity of Little Hours (2006) by Nancy Klein Maguire, which I anticipate to be richly informative.

In retrospect, I may be giving this language concern of mine too much weight and allowing it to distract and delay me.

I still wish to connect, however, with any ex-Carthusians out there who may oblige me with their experience.

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Julie de Sales

I also know about, but have yet to read, the book An Infinity of Little Hours (2006) by Nancy Klein Maguire, which I anticipate to be richly informative.

 

I wish you all the best in your discernment process! :) I read this book and it was interesting and funny sometimes. It gives a good perspective about the carthusian life and the difficulties that can arise.

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Anselm

Interestingly, Dom Leo in the book is actually DOm Cyril, who is the monk who says the weekly Mass in the extern chapel.

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PhuturePriest
They're not Carthusian, but have you heard of the Carmelite Monks in Wyoming? They are the only Carmelite Monks in the entire world (The rest being Carmelite Friars), and they live cloistered and in separate little huts. Some of the brothers choose to live as hermits, and the brothers travel up the mountain every three days (I think) to give them their food and other necessities.

By the way, my birthday is the Feast Day of Saint Bruno! Edited by FuturePriest387

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ClemensBruno
Anselm,
Thank you for that bit of info. So far, I have only read the Introduction and a few pages of Chapter 1 of An Infinity of Little Hours. Knowing my predilections, I decided to wait for an obligation-free day or two because I can tell that it would be challenging for me to read it casually and intermittently as my schedule permits. It's the kind of book that will draw me in and keep me occupied until I finish it.

Maguire mentions in her Intro that names have been changed in keeping with Carthusian anonymity, one of the aspects that has drawn me to the Carthusians.


Julie de Sales,
Thank you for your encouragement and kind comments. I truly appreciate treading them.


Pia Jesu,
Thank you for your prayer. I will check out the review you mentioned after I finish reading the book.


Father Cute Face,
Yes, I have done a bit of research on the Carmelite Monks in Wyoming, which is essentially a new order founded a mere decade (or two?) ago. The many photos I've found online show the Wyoming monks beaming with happiness. All the monks seem youthful (under 35), maybe a consequence of their continual joy. And they have big plans for an impressive neo-Gothic monastery.

I'm sure the image they project to the outside world is enticing to many who feel a call to contemplative life, not to mention necessary advertising for such a young order. My older brother--who pushed his vocation before he found his true call to married life--seemed to be gripped by pangs of regret when I shared with what I found online... I'm exaggerating here a bit, but not by much.

I, however, do not feel drawn to the Carmelite Monk order in Wyoming. On the contrary, I feel somewhat repelled by the tone of their online presence. I am keeping the details of my reasons private because it has all to do with me, and does not reflect any actual flaw of the order. Suffice it to say that "it's not my cup of tea." But I do applaud the good effects of their existence in the world.

What about you, Father Cute Face? (I know: you're really FuturePriest387, but Father Cute Face is ROFL!!) Could your vocation be for the contemplative life?

How blessed you are to have been born on the Feast Day of St. Bruno! My birthday is on the founding day of the Cistercians.


--Your brother in Christ

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