Friday, February 10, 2012

February 10 – Alone in a Quiet Room

Perhaps you have heard of monastic orders that practice an almost absolute silence . . . you heard right!

The Carthusian monks and nuns dwell in silence and solitude all week long, taking their meals alone and praying the Divine Office alone in their cells, at least until the Vespers Office at 4:00. They see one another at Mass and on Sundays when they take a three hour walk together and have a communal meeting in the evening.

Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? A day alone and undisturbed! Then the next day comes, and the next, and the next, and the next.

We know that this kind of solitude is not the Lord’s will for us. We have families and obligations and relationships that He has given. At the same time, however, we would do well to consider the words of Blaise Pascal:

All human evil comes from a single cause, man's inability to sit still in a quiet room.

While the Carthusians are not the Order after which we can model ourselves, we can learn from them. Their motto is “In the name of all, we remain in the Presence of the living God.” We might adopt a similar motto, with a big difference, and one at least as meaningful . . . “For the sake of the Lord and His good pleasure, we never leave His Presence.”

Would others like to suggest a Cor Unum motto? Let’s see what we think, and how we think of ourselves here in this monastery of the heart.

"Sometimes Alone"
Abbatial Photo

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