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When Silence Speaks: The Spiritual Way of the Carthusian Order by Tim Peeters
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Darton Longman And Todd Ltd (August 27, 2015)

Carthusians essentially live a praying hermit life as a supporting community. They have differing callings within the one community – the ‘brothers’ having more of a community life and working to enable and support the hermit life of the ‘fathers’ who spend the majority of their day in their town-house-like unit. Three times a day, all gather for common prayer in the church.

Those who have been long and regular on this website know of my passion for the Carthusians, and for the way that their particular spirituality can help us on our own spiritual journey beyond the walls. Here is yet another book bringing their lifestyle and spirituality into our everyday lives. What I found particular to this book is the way that it is so full of lengthy quotations. Some may find that irritating – certainly a lot of these would be available elsewhere (online), if you know where to look (and the quotes are clearly sourced). But I found them a delight to have them put together in this manner. Read slowly, they provide much food for chewing over.

Here is the life of St Bruno, the Carthusian Statutes, and the particular spiritual way of the order. All complete with photos. I think the book should be read in conjunction with the masterpiece Into Great Silence.

The author, Fr Tim Peeters, is a priest of the Archdiocese of Mechelen-Brussels. This book is the result of his Master’s thesis on the history of the Carthusians, and of his meeting with different Carthusian monks. The original Dutch version of this book rightly received the award for Religious Book of the Year in Belgium. I highly recommend it.

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