Cloistered Monks


#1

Hello Everyone. Just a random question about cloistered monks. I believe the specific order I am talking about is the Camaldolese? The ones that maintain absolute silence except for their weekly walk. How do they maintain silence at all times? Are they ever at peace with that?


#2

The Cistercians and Carthusians also maintain silence - with the Cistericans having their own sign language and the Carthusians being effectively hermits in community!

Anybody choosing to enter a cloistered order with a rule of silence would need to be at peace with that way of life prior to entering the community and certainly prior to their initial profession.


#3

I believe you're talking about the Carthusians. There's a documentary about them called Into Great Silence that will give you a glimpse of their way of life.


#4

Great question. My mom talks about how they had "silent Days" at her Catholic school
in the 60's and you couldn't talk the whole day. She said that was hard enough.

If there is a sign language though; isn't that communicating anyways albeit non verbally?

Mary.


#5

That's great. How I'd like to join one of these orders. Silence so underrated nowadays!

[quote="SuscipeMeDomine, post:3, topic:337405"]
I believe you're talking about the Carthusians. There's a documentary about them called Into Great Silence that will give you a glimpse of their way of life.

[/quote]

I will look for this movie :thumbsup:


#6

I SO agree!!! It is as though the modern world insists that every waking moment of everyday be filled with noise, chatter and fuss. Everybody talking and nobody listening!


#7

[quote="Cartesian, post:5, topic:337405"]
That's great. How I'd like to join one of these orders. Silence so underrated nowadays!

I will look for this movie :thumbsup:

[/quote]

Why don't you join? :)


#8

[quote="MaryT777, post:4, topic:337405"]
Great question. My mom talks about how they had "silent Days" at her Catholic school
in the 60's and you couldn't talk the whole day. She said that was hard enough.

If there is a sign language though; isn't that communicating anyways albeit non verbally?

Mary.

[/quote]

of course it is communicating!

I can only speak of my experiences of the Trappists in Oregon. I first knew of them before Vatican 2, and they were a lot stricter then if I understand the last 40 or 50 years or so.

However, they still maintain silence. The have about a half day of work and the rest in prayer. Work no longer consists of making benches for churches (the demand fell off, so they had to shift gears). They make fruit cakes; they store wine for the local wineries in a bonded warehouse; they do book binding; they run a retreat center, and they also have enough land that they are involved in some forestry work. After all, they don't exactly go out on the street corners and beg to support the abbey.

And with work comes a certain amount of necessary "communication". My understanding is that they keep it pretty much to a minimum; they all have bought into a lifestyle of prayer and contemplation. But communication is necessary and sometimes vital, and occasionally critical.

And one of them was a Jesuit before entering the Trappists...


#9

[quote="MaryT777, post:4, topic:337405"]
If there is a sign language though; isn't that communicating anyways albeit non verbally?

Mary.

[/quote]

Silence serves two roles in this sort of setting: 1) To allow the individual to maintain a prayerful state, 2) To allow those around the individual to maintain a prayerful state.

Sometimes, however, prayer must be interrupted to deal with something that's necessary for the community. Sign language is used so that, even though the individual's prayer is interrupted, he will not interrupt the prayer of everyone around him. Granted, he'll interrupt the person he's communicating with, but it's understand that this is required to get the necessary work done.


#10

yes you are thinking of the Carthusians not the Camaldolese, although the Camaldolese are a fine order. Aside from the movie already mentioned you might also want to read An Infinity of Little Hours, which follows some men who entered the charterhouse in England,


#11

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