The Carthusian Order

Typical day of a carthusian nun

Feasts and spatiamentum : a communion

Solitary life, whether in cell or in the obedience, protects and nourishes in our hearts the fire of divine love. This love unites us as the members of the same body.

This is a permanent reality; but we express it more visibly on Sundays and Solemnities, when gatherings are more frequent. We have a meal together in our refectory after Sext.

Réfectoire

The offices of Terce, Sext, and None are sung in church.

In addition, we come together for a colloquium. This latter is a friendly meeting in which, beginning with a text of Scripture, we have rather deep exchanges and we try to incorporate the fruit of these discussions into our lives.

Once a week we have another sisterly exchange in the form of a walk called ‘spatiamentum’ lasting about three hours, during the course of which each one is able to talk in turn with the others. Through these walks, souls are knitted together, the interior life flourishes, mutual affection is bolstered, and life in solitude is fortified.

Spaciement Spaciement

200 meters from the monastery is a hermitage sheltering a few Carthusian monks who share in our liturgical life. The priests (or priest) celebrate the Eucharist and administer the other Sacraments. Like the converse sisters, the brothers fulfill their vocation of prayer while guaranteeing that the needs of the house will be met.

The communion we share does not embrace merely the members of the same Charterhouse, but all the sons and daughters of St. Bruno. It even extends to the Church visible and invisible.

Choosing a life of solitude does not mean deserting the human family. Union with God, if authentic, does not shut us on ourselves; rather it opens our spirit and expands our heart to embrace the entire world and the mystery of Christ’s Redemption.

Separated from all, we are united to all; and it is in the name of all that we remain in the presence of the living God. Solitary prayer is the part that God and the Church have entrusted to us; it is our co-operation in the unceasing work of Christ:

« My Father always works and I myself also work » (John 5:17)

Because we are members of his body, our prayer is His; our silence announces the Good News, our watch, His coming.

To be turned exclusively to the One Who is expands the heart and makes it capable of bearing in God the aspirations of the world.

© 1998-2018 The Carthusian Order • Contact us