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I am privileged to have made a retreat at New Camaldoli Hermitage – I went specially to the area to do so as part of a longer trip. And I am an Associate of New Zealand’s Cistercian monastery – Cistercian Associates try to live in a manner similar to Camaldolese oblates mentioned in this video.

The video speaks for itself. I would add the wonderful Brief Rule of St Romuald – the founder of the Camaldolese branch of the Benedictine tradition:

Sit in your cell as in paradise.
Put the whole world behind you and forget it.
Watch your thoughts like a good fisherman watching for fish.
The path you must follow is in the Psalms – never leave it.

If you have just come to the monastery,
and in spite of your good will you cannot accomplish what you want,
take every opportunity you can to sing the Psalms in your heart
and to understand them with your mind.

And if your mind wanders as you read, do not give up;
hurry back and apply your mind to the words once more.

Realise above all that you are in God’s presence,
and stand there with the attitude of one who stands
before the emperor.

Empty yourself completely and sit waiting,
content with the grace of God,
like the chick who tastes nothing and eats nothing
but what his mother brings him.

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