Monday, October 06, 2008

O Bonitas!

Image of St. Bruno from Parkminster Charterhouse, Sussex
My dear readers, while I don't want to see this blog become a computerised liturgical calendar, I can't help but post about the wonderful saint the Church celebrates today, St. Bruno.

St. Bruno felt the call within his heart to solitary life, not even the life of a monk in community, but rather, the life of a hermit. So, with six companions, he was given a plot of land by the Bishop of Grenoble, and began the anchorite life. The plot of land given by the bishop was at the top of a beautiful mountain, upon finding the secluded paradise St. Bruno exclaimed "O Bonitas". The life they lived, cloistered from the world, was very strict, and, amazingly, hasn't changed since its foundation. It is because of this that a Pope once said of the Carthusians "They have never been reformed, because they have never been deformed".

The Carthusians live as a sign of God's love amongst us, unlike other religious orders they don't engage in any apostolates but pray ceaselessly for the world. They live "alone with The Alone", pouring out their prayers and sacrifices for everyone, even those are aren't aware of their existence. In fact, great effort is made to keep their sanctity to themselves, they shirk worldly honours (even canonisation, their saints are canonised through popular acclaim, rather than by the Pope).
A little story shows this, a carthusian died, so two lay brother dug a grave, as they were doing so, their spade struct something, and when it was examined it was covered with blood. They dug up the body of this incorrupt monk and hurried to the prior for direction. The prior gave a simple reply "Rebury this incorrupt brother of ours, there are many saints in our order, some known to us, all known to God."

Let us give thanks to God today for the life of St. Bruno, and the order he founded. Let us pray that they continue their silent witness of prayer and the love of God.

2 comments:

Victoria said...

Let us not forget that the Carthusians produce Chartreuse - that splendid liquor.

Because my birthday is on 6th October I drink a toast to St Bruno with Chartreuse every year.

Hermit in the World said...

Charteuse is wonderful, but potent.

I went to a Carthusian monastery in Spain where they sold Carthusian everything, from little statuettes to the elixir for health, and they had a fine stock of Chartreuse!

Happy belated birthday anyway!