Exterior solitude creates the propitious atmosphere for a more perfect solitude to be developed, the interior solitude.
- What is this interior solitude?
- It is a spiritual process through which memory, intellect and will progressively die to every interest and complacence for things. God begins, instead, to be felt as the only one who can satisfy the deep realms of the spirit. It is only when the Carthusian discovers, bathed in admiration, that only God satisfies him that he begins to really be a true contemplative. Feeling that only God can satisfy him produces such a feeling of interior freedom and joy that it is difficult to express it in words.
- It seems to me that you are speaking about your own experience.
- I wish I was!
- Is this contemplative experience something typical of the Charterhouse and restricted to it?
- It is a spiritual process that we find already described in the spirituality of the Fathers of the Desert, such as Evagrio and, in general, in the Christian mystics of all ages.
- How do you Carthusians resume it?
- I think that this whole process could be summed up in a word that was well beloved by Saint Bruno and by the first Carthusians: "quies", that is to say, stillness or spiritual peacefulness.
- If I have understood you correctly, you mean that all this Carthusian atmosphere leads to…
- The ambiance of solitude, the absence of any disturbing noise and of worldly desires and images, the quiet and calm attention of the mind to God, helped by prayer and leisurely reading, flow into that "quies" or "rest" of the soul in God. A simple and joyful rest, full of God, that leads the monk to feel, in some way, the beauty of eternal life.
- Which degree of contemplation would this be?
- Let's say that "quies" or "quietude" is the coveted goal of Carthusians. source pdfExternal link  |  The Joy of being a Carthusian External link

Carthusian Statutes

Scripture and Tradition
Silence and solitude




The Will of God: Fiat

Quies/Fiat - spiritual virginity

Quies - means to an end - obedience/Fiat


Journey of purification up to full configuration with Christ
Acquisition of the Holy Spirit




The goal : Contemplation

« ...Discover the immensity (breadth) of love. »   Statutes 35.1 External link

The only goal of the Carthusian way is CONTEMPLATION, by the power of the Spirit, living as unceasingly as possible in the light of the love of God for us, made manifest in Christ.
This implies a purity of heart, or charity : « Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. » (Mt 5:8)
Monastic tradition also calls this goal pure and continuous prayer.

The fruits of contemplation are : liberty, peace, and joy. O Bonitas ! O Goodness, was the cry which issued from the heart of St. Bruno. But the unification of the heart and the entrance into the contemplative rest (Quies) assume a long journey, which our Statutes describe as such :

«Whoever perseveres without defiance in the cell and lets himself be taught by it tends to make his entire existence a single and continual prayer. But he may not enter into this rest without going through the test of a difficult battle. It is the austerities to which he applies himself as someone close to the Cross, or the visits of God, coming to test him like gold in the fire. Thus purified by patience, fed and strengthened by studied meditation of Scripture, introduced by the grace of the Holy Spirit in the recesses of his heart, he will thus be able to, not only serve God, but adhere to him.» Statutes 3.2 External

All monastic life thus consists of this journey towards the heart and all the meaning of our life is oriented towards this end. It helps the monk unite his life to charity, introducing it to the depths of his heart.

Truthfully, it is not this end which distinguishes us from other contemplative monks (Trappist, Benedictines, etc.), but the borrowed path, of which the essential characteristics are :
The carthusian way http://www.quies.org/external_link.png
What is Quies ?
The Quies SBPCLC 5 steps commitment to the 11 guidelines