"Into Great Silence" on EWTN! [Carthusian Monks]



Step into the riveting silence of Philip Groning’s stunning new documentary on the spirituality of Carthusian monks. Filmed without narration and very little dialogue at the Monastery of the Grand Chartreuse in France, Mr. Groning captures the brimming vitality of monastic life and the overpowering sound of God. (U.S. airing only)
Sun 10/26/08 9:00 PM ET & 6 PM PT
Thu 10/30/08 2:30 PM ET & 11:30 AM PT



About 9/10 months ago; our Fr. had spoken about this, in one of his homily’s.
I bought the 2 disc. set & watched.
It was well worth watching ! :slight_smile:
Seeing it has had a direct (& positive) impact, on my life !


A wonderful documentary, although I must say that I almost fell asleep a couple of times during the first two hours :smiley:
But, when I finished watching it, I really felt enriched and filled with true joy and hope. The last minutes of the film are beautiful to watch, they really point out the strength of Silence.


Thanks for the reminder!


I do plan to watch it. I may have to DVR it …

However, could you elaborate on the positive impact it had on your life?

We are on the spirituality forum, ya know! :smiley: :thumbsup:




The silence of communities like the Carthusians is often needed by many of us. We’re are often to ready to pounce on the Church and the world at every perceived infraction. Here is a religioius order that has proven that silence, penance and prayer is much more powerful than all of our complaining, combating and finger pointing. There is a great deal to be learned here about the spiritual life.


JR :slight_smile:


I saw this last night and was quite moved. I agree that this documentary puts a peaceful blanket of silent mountain snow over all the bickerings.


I think that one of the most beautiful messages that the Carthusians send to the Church is the power of prayer, penance and discipline. All too often on these threads we get caught up in conflicts over different situations in the Church.

The Carthusians are a very interesting example of another way to live. They are not ignorant of what is happening in the world or the Church. Yet, they never speak of it. I once visited the Carthusian foundation in Spain. I asked the retreat master about some of the issues in the Church such as the SSPX and the changes in the liturgy, etc. I wanted to know what the Carthusians thought of these things from their silent perspective. His ansswer was most inspiring.

He said, “We do not worry about those things, because it is not our vocation to worry about them. God calls every person to a different role in the Church. Our role is not to solve the Church’s problems through engagement. We respond through prayer and by laying down our lives. We are called to do what Christ did, to lose ourselves so that the Church may be reborn.”

On the third day of my retreat we spoke of other things happening in the world, such as abortion. He said, “Abortion is the greatest enemy of the Gospel in the modern world. But the Carthusian engages in prayer and lowliness for every abortion in the world. Christ has promised us that when our self-denial is perfected this horrible sin will be erradicated.”

It was interesting to see such faith in the power of prayer, self-denial and silence as a means to transform the world. I was also impressed by how they understand their vocation not to engage in these debates as an example for others.

They do not live this life for themselves, but in the hope that others will see their prayer and their silence and take note. They are completely convinced that every Catholic who sees them or hears of them will learn something about the power of prayer, self-denial and silence and will put it into practice in their daily lives according to their circumstances.

They live for us as a community of brothers who prays for us and with us, but also as an example of what we should aspire to be, totally united to God and dependent on God’s goodness.

I hope that everyone who sees this film will take something of their life and apply it to themselves. I know that what I have learned has helped me a great deal, especially in maintaining a sense of peace despite the conflicts around me.


JR :slight_smile:


yeah i tivo ed it and watched it this afternoon, it was great if anyone has an ascetic bent it definitely shows you how its done. i hope it will encourage the practice of small mortifications, simple living, and prayer. you dont have to be a monk to make these things a part of your life, they can be practiced anywhere and they are such effective means of grace.


I loved reading all of your thoughts on this film. :slight_smile:

I don’t have EWTN, so I didn’t get to watch, however I think I’m just going to buy a copy, based on all the wonderful insights and recommendations. :thumbsup:


While we did not watch it on EWTN, we bought it as soon as we could on DVD.

WATCHING it is a retreat in itself!


I was thinking the same thing.

It also made me want to really clean my house up and throw away some stuff. :rolleyes:

I have it on the DVR and haven’t watched all of it…it’s like 3 hours long!

God bless.


I love this movie too–
but it is a retreat, you have to dial down into the rythym. Turn off the lights and watch it with a glass of water in hand, no popcorn! Then go to bed and sleep so you can dream of it.


I just realized how profound this is and wanted to comment. It truly is a strong faith that acknowledges prayer as the strongest weapon. It’s so profound that I hardly know what else to say!

I was just sitting here thinking, “What can we do to convert former Christians back from Islam?” Then I realized, “Only God can effect the change in their hearts.” That only leaves prayer as the solution!

Wow! :heaven:


This is why St. Francis said “Preach always. But only when necessary, use words.” He was greatly influenced by monastic life.

It was interesting, because St. Bruno who founded the Carthusians, wanted a way of life that was very simple. His entire mindset was focussed on one thing only, to praise God.

He did not want to fight heretics. He did not want to save souls. He did not want to feed the hungry. He did not even want to celebrate the sacraments, even though he was a priest. He wanted to praise God.

He called his life a useless life. He said that living a useless life was the path to salvation. Nonetheless, his brothes have saved many souls by laying down their lives.

Unlike other Benedictines, the Carthusians (who are Benedictines too) never ran universities or translated scripture or did any of the other great things tha their Benedictine brothers did. The simply lived a life of praise.

Yet, the Church has referred to their form of life as the highest calling.

Yes, as someone said, this can be lived outside the cloister. There are domestic hermits who live this life with the approval of the Church.

The Trappists, Benedictines and Franciscans have them.


JR :slight_smile:


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