Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Sabbatical Leave

Sab-bat-i-cal (se-bat'i-k'l), adj. [Sabbatic + -al] 1. of or suited to the Sabbath. 2. bringing a period of rest that recurs in regular cycles: as a sabbatical year.
sabbatical year, 2. a year or a half year of absence for study, rest, or travel

I've made my bed at Abbey Style Home for the last five years
but it's time to take a sabbatical. It will be refreshing.


 I'm taking flight to explore another horizon that,
while it fits my philosophy and abbey aesthetic,
I will be able to examine the theme more freely.

I will continue to follow you, my dear blog friends, from my new blog HERE.
I hope you'll join me!


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Living in the Light

And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind came an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire.
After the fire came a whisper...
 I Kings  19: 11-13

Behold the silence...
it allows the Lord to speak to us.

My first intention, while viewing Into Great Silence, was to listen but I soon found myself looking at the visual work of the photographer's camera. It was such a pleasure to be allowed inside this private world of prayer and song to witness the silence that the Carthusian order creates to make way for the voice of God. Every frame of Philip Groenig's documentary introducing us to the Grand Chartreuse monastery is filled with beauty and order.
 And light.

sunlight streaming into the mail room

light patterns shifting through the solitary cells,
 creating welcome surfaces for reading, eating, and washing

Although, the film has a sound track, Roger Ebert's movie review points out that these sounds are quite in contrast to the noisy and violent ones we encounter in most films and in our everyday lives. These are the sounds of the natural rhythms of age-old routines being carried out~~the hand-sawing of firewood, scissors snipping white wool for a new cassock, fires crackling in cell stoves, rain falling on tiled rooftops, chimes ringing, barbers' shears buzzing over monks' heads, or the rhythm of a kitchen monk's knife blade as it cuts through green vegetables.

Each monk contributes physical labor to the community's upkeep. After all, someone has to feed the cats, prepare and deliver meals (it looked like room service with plates of food passed through small openings into cells). Others are responsible for cutting firewood, laundering clothes, tailoring robes, repairing shoes, and cleaning floors.

a monk coaxes garden beds into the sunlight by removing snow

 St. Bruno prescribes recreation and conversation for residents in order to create a sense of family life. "Our delicate natures can be refreshed and renewed by the charms and beauties of woods and countryside." After a communal midday meal taken in silence on Sundays, the brothers happily hurry outdoors for brilliant walks in the sunshine, group gatherings on a hilltop for discussions. Occasionally, in winter, laughter rings out over the side of the mountain as they ski down the slopes on handmade snowshoes..

It was a lovely visit.
I watched the film twice.
Thank you, Netflix.