The Carthusian Order

Typical day of a carthusian nun

Eucharist and solitude

This cleaving of the nun to Christ is re-enforced in the celebration of the Eucharist to which the sound of the bell invites us at 8.15.

The conventual liturgy is chanted for the most part. Our own rendition of Gregorian chant is one element of the patrimony of our Order which we have kept from the beginning because it fosters interiority and spiritual sobriety. The rite of our liturgy was adapted to the directives of the Second Vatican Council.

The Eucharist sacrifice is the center and high point of our life, the manna for our spiritual journey in the desert, which brings us through Christ to the Father. The desert is the cell to which we return after Mass.

Vesperal

Alone with God

From the office of Terce until Vespers at 4.00 p.m. the nuns of the cloister usually do not leave their cells. And the converse sisters, when their duties do not call them to be outside the cell, always return to it ‘as to a very sure and tranquil haven.’ Both, once within, the door being closed and all care and preoccupations left without, abide peacefully under the gaze of God and pray to the Father in secret.

Our Lord made himself the foremost and most vivid example of our vocation when He retired alone to the desert and gave himself to prayer. In the same way, just as His Passion was approaching, He left even his Apostles to pray alone. The road is long, however, and the paths parched and barren that lead back to the Source.

Our solitude, like Jesus’, is not only that of the body and heart, but also of all that could be an obstacle to our face to face encounter with God. That is why we seek to content ourselves with what is strictly necessary, preferring to follow Christ in his poverty, and by this poverty to be enriched. We keep abstinence once a week, on Fridays or on the eve of liturgical feasts to prepare ourselves for the coming of Our Lord.

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