Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Stat Crux

I have watched the documentary "Into Great Silence" last Friday evening, and when Saturday came, I became very Carthusian.

Not that I started waking up at 2am to pray, nor that I made myself a hermitage with the cubiculum at the second floor and the work area below.

Actually, I don't know how to write how, and I don't know either how a very simple yet striking film touched my innermost being. I started to value silence and solitude more. I admired their beauty. I was silenced. Solitude became sweet. Prayer became my earnest desire. The film is a virtual 3-hour recollection. It is simply amazing.

One realization I had: it is really through the grace of God that a man perseveres as a Carthusian hermit-monk. It is not a matter of one's physical strength, or mental abilities. It's all about the grace of God. If God calls you, He will give you all the graces necessary for you to stay. But man needs to cooperate; he must receive the graces. He must give his fiat.

I read the copy of the Carthusian Statutes. I printed a copy (please tell me if it's illegal, I'm ready to burn my copy if it is) after joining the International Fellowship of St Bruno almost two years ago. The first time I read it, I didn't understand it. I was like a preschooler trying to understand the Summa Theologica. So the copy stayed at my shelf until I took it out again last Monday. Now I am slowly understanding what I am reading. I am not done reading yet, I am slowly chewing every word of the Statutes.

Did I say "I understand?" I know I will never fully understand. It is only through experiencing the Carthusian life that one will fully understand the Carthusian spirituality (though I read that there's no really Carthusian spirituality), the Statutes and life. St Bruno said, "Only those who have experienced the solitude and silence of the wilderness can tell what benefit and divine joy they bring to those who love them". But we could try to acquire even a little part of that understanding, couldn't we?

I hope I'll have the opportunity to go to Transfiguration or Parkminster. The possibility is bleak I know, but after all it is not bad to hope! But really I am praying for that opportunity.

So this is not yet the review of the documentary. I have to watch it again. I want to see the details, even the minutest of them. I want to hear their silence again, and again, and again. Maybe in few days I'll publish my review.

By the way, I love the scene with the cats.

God bless you!

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