He withdrew to a wild and lonely place in the mountains

St Bruno

Celebrated on October 6th


A priest. , founder of the Carthusians. , born in Cologne in 1033 to a noble family, he studied at the cathedral school in Rheims where he was ordained priest and later taught theology for 18 years. When he criticised his archbishop, who obtained his see through simony, he was discharged from his office at the school.

In 1084 with six companions, he withdrew to the Grande Chartreuse, a wild and lonely place in the mountains near Grenoble. They built a small church and little huts to live in, entering into that combination of solitary and communal living that characterises Carthusian life to this day.

After six years, however, Pope Urban II, one of Bruno’s former students, asked him to go to Rome to be his advisor. Bruno found it very difficult to leave his community but served the Pope well. He was later allowed to establish another foundation in Calabria.

He never saw his brethren in France again but kept in touch with them by letter - one of which survives. There is also a long letter to an old friend in which he speaks of the rest and refreshment brought to the spirit through natural beauty, He wrote: “Only those who have experienced it can know the benefit and delight to be had from the quietness and solitude of a hermitage.”

St Bruno died in 1101. The Carthusians came to England in 1173. By the late Middle Ages there were nine houses here. Several Carthusian monks were executed for their faith during the Reformation. Three are among the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales. There is a Charterhouse, founded in the 19th century in Sussex.

(from ICN)


This is the only religious community that has not had a need for a reform.


I think of Jesus - doing the opposite -
He withdrew to the crowds -
more than into the solitude of the mountains.
I would LOVE to be more like a monk -
and devote more time to spiritual things -
I mean, how absolutely wonderful that would be…
But oh by the sweet of my brow to go into the world.

As a side note,
They say our enemies - are the ones we should love the most.
Those who bear us ill will - without cause.
They - are our best friends !
They’re sharp eyes, cold voices, unkind hearts.
They - try us. ( esp our patience and humility)

And we should look - to what’s good - in them.
They all have traces of God in them.

But wow, I’d rather a monk life - lol


Several times during my life Ive wanted to be a monk. Recently I asked a monastery about the possibility but they told me that I’m too old. I would now be a liability to them, not contribute to the community but be a burden on their resources. I understand of course.

Perhaps I should have told them that I’m capable of many things, I can cook porridge, peel potatoes, weed vegetable patches, paint and decorate, hang doors, build small brick walls, park cars, wash windows, repair sandals, tie dye habits…all sorts.

Their loss.
Correction, it’s both our losses :disappointed:

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Actually Scripture tells us of the times when Christ withdrew from the crowds, taking a few disciples or going to be alone. The Four Gospels all give witness to Christ’s need for times of solitude, where he could pray. A retreat is important for all of us at times.


What came to mind for me was Jesus in the desert, not withdrawing by any means, but looking for a fight! I think in the current crisis Catholics need more of that kind of spirituality than retreating into the mountains.


Rising very early before dawn, he left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed. (Mark 1:35)

Jesus was a birder. :sunglasses:

Has anyone seen Into Great Silence? It’s a documentary on Carthusian monastery in the French Alps. Here’s a little excerpt.:


Here’s the whole film


Thanks @tad .

I’ve bookmarked the video to watch later .

If Jesus needed silence for his personal , warm and intimate realtionship with his Abba , I’m sure I do in a noisy , busy envrionment .

The Catechism speaks of “a battle of prayer” .

" In the battle of prayer, we must face in ourselves and around us erroneous notions of prayer . Some people view prayer as a simple psychological activity, others as an effort of concentration to reach a mental void. Still others reduce prayer to ritual words and postures. Many Christians unconsciously regard prayer as an occupation that is incompatible with all the other things they have to do: they “don’t have the time.” Those who seek God by prayer are quickly discouraged because they do not know that prayer comes also from the HOLY SPIRIT and not from themselves alone ."

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