What are our customs?
Quies remains the thread of all carthusian life, so
practicing/perfecting/adapting personal customs conducive to Quies
is our lifelong purification journey; as well as it is in a
Charterhouse, and always perfectible by the Holy Spirit. To help
log, identify and experience customs, under which one could come to
live more fully within the spirit of Saint Bruno, while living in
the open world; our page Horarium
soberly initiates this process: to list, experience and document
discretely a framework of the customs for a future lay association
that would obtain official support from the Carthusian Order. We are
thus proposed to participate by experimenting/transmitting our customs,
through the forums and
discussion groups or contact, in view
of completing this essential joint process, to help us
together, serve: Quies.
Customs, values, and ideas, that could be
applied for a SBPCLC, within our duty of state
- We are here in an early stage process of personal and
collegial discernment of customs, while experiencing
varied and evolving life obligations and challenges.
- Each of us adapts, and shares, a
robust sum of practices from the following suggestions, an evolving
"personal recipe", experienced in view of achieving actual
permanent personal balance towards Quies.
- What is very good for one could be inapplicable for another.
What is good now could be changed under different circumstances.
- The exterior and interior challenges, in the open
world, with the help of grace and appropriate customs, develop
providentially the necessary poverty of spirit and humility, to
become guided by an ever purified intent to adhere to God's
loving designs, and to the peace following; through our
developing conscience, communion and participation in God's
love, for all of us. - "Therefore, be attentive; when you
want something, never do it on your own, but pray to Me that
my Will may do it in you. In fact, that same thing, if you do
it yourself, sounds bad, gives of human; but if my Will does
it, it sounds good, it harmonizes with Heaven, it is sustained
by a divine grace and power, it is the Creator that operates
in the creature, its fragrance is divine; and rising
everywhere, it embraces everyone with one single embrace, in
such a way that all feel the good of the operating of the
Creator in the creature." source
virginity | Redemption
| Mary | Holy
Spirit | Balance
- CLC officials will provide, at the disposal of their
members, a few essential elements to help in the development
of this prayer (texts, life of St. Bruno, order history, excerpts
of the Statutes of the Order) Gd2.
- Individual customs and eventual Lay Contemplative statutes,
should be naturally strongly resourced from the Statutes of
the Carthusian Order itself.
- The Statutes of the Carthusian Order are "statutes" and not
a "rule", more of a blueprint for a way of living a
contemplative life, and much of it could be surely
adapted to fit our lay life "in the open world." They should
be used as our strong reference basis, of the
Carthusian Order, for our adapting, experiencing of our
individual lay horarium, and our eventual
collective Lay Contemplative statutes.
- Begin by the page How to get started.
- Spirituality is something to be experienced, it cannot be
- The Quies 5
step commitment to following the 11 guidelines is the door
to access the spirituality, beginning with
living step 1, then … the other steps one by one founded on
the deepening of the practice of its previous steps. There
will be progressively developed a community
structure for fraternal exchanges, and there are often many
informal exchanges being done daily. But the life of the
Charism of Saint Bruno remains a personal solitary endeavor
– although collegially shared, managed, and developed.
It is projected to be a Lay Faithful Association, and is a
beautiful and simple spirituality to propose progressively
through the example of living it, its simplicity and its
balance; to any parishioner, to any friend, to
- As an early inspiration for the preparation of our
members, it is recommended that one make customarily
Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort's Total Consecration to
Jesus through Mary
with a 33-day period of spiritual preparation.
(You might want to refer also to the Treatise
of The True Devotion to Mary by Saint
Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort ).
- Some of the challenges could consist of, for example:
human balance in ecclesial discernment; solitude in community;
sobriety in duty of state; develop continual prayer of the
heart in the open world; wholly abandoning
our human wills to follow God's Will; ecumenism of the heart;
having the patience to understand, to truly love;
prayerful collegial participatory governing; walk
together perseveringly and supportively the
path of Quies; live Quies in the open world;
understanding that Mary is Christ's mother, and is our mother,
to obtain for us all graces; listen to follow peace;
follow peace to serve; serve as did Christ, serve in Christ; follow the
Quies SBPCLC 5 steps.
- The Carthusians consecrate their lives entirely to prayer
and seeking God in the secret of their hearts. | Flee
distraction; search only God1
- Be careful to follow the discrete creative immanent
renewed calls of divine peace, in an internal
(discerning) spirit of prayer.
- The objective is to adjust practices favoring our
continual union of heart and will, in God.
- In doubt, do at the moment, within our
duty of state, what is best conducive to a spirit of peace,
quies, prayer or union with God, as that is the vocation of the
- A spirit of healthy balance between: sleep, food,
physical work, study, silent prayer, community, solitude, and
the duties of state.
- Prefer God always, fleeing distraction, within duty
- Communial charismatic participation to the SBPCLC
discretely sharing the responsibilities
and workload together: organization, progression, development
and well-being of the community; study groups, technical help,
meetings, translations, research, documentation, redaction,
proof reading, reports, accounting, legal research,
visitations, direction and sacred listening, moderators, board
membership; participation to the forums,
groups meetings and video conferencing and
regular small group contacts.
- Silence (for prayer, mediation, lectio divina) in a
place of solitude if possible.
The preference for 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, within
our duty of state, helped by prayer and leisurely reading, flow
into that "quies" or "rest" of the soul in God. A simple and
joyful state of rest, full of God, that leads to feel, in some
way, the beauty of eternal life, in all.
- Customs: Just
as was at the beginning of the Order, the Carthusians
have continued to adjust their observances by customs,
admitting nothing that was first proven and sanctioned
by experience. The various adaptations have
also focused most often on very accessory details.
Carthusian life, completely remote from the outside
world, stands above contingencies and, broadly,
remains the same.
- Simplicity: The
most characteristic feature of the spiritual
physiognomy of Saint Bruno is simplicity,
understood in the sense of unity, and lack of
complication in the soul, loving only God. To an acute
degree, Saint Bruno felt the nostalgia of the divine;
he has traveled in this world, relieved of all that
clutters, going straight to the point, his only desire
fixed on God. The simplicity of his spiritual sight,
the unity of his life, his complete detachment, his
contempt of all earthly things, inspired Bruno's
funeral roller enrollment no.126 from the Monastery of
St. Vaast d'Arras: "Sic Pater, o Bruno, capis Unum
captus ab Uno " which could be translated: "Taken
by the One, o Father Bruno, now you are holding the
One". And the monk Gaubert of Saint Quentin in
Beauvais, said of Bruno that : "he was the only
man of his time who had renounced the world" (Title
- Prayer of the
- Recite an Ave Maria:
to be recited kneeling each time upon entering back to our "cell"
[apartment/office/oratory] from the outside "world" so to speak,
at a designated special place at the entry, where an icon or
statue of Mary is installed, has been blessed (by a priest)
eventually, and is venerated as the Mother of our cell/soul Life
The Carthusians customarily recite a silent, solitary, Ave
Maria, kneeling, in a room named the "Ave Maria", before
entering their cubiculum; uniting and consecrating all their
activities and time to Mary; or pray there together with their
host before engaging in any conversation, or entering anothers
cubiculum, when they are visiting. "Whenever we enter the
cell from the cloister, we kneel and say an Ave Maria before
the statue of Our Lady in the Ave Maria. After saying
it, we stand make the sign of the Cross and a slight bow"
Initiation into the Carthusian Life pg 104
- Know that the carthusian customary salutation is: "Praised
be Jesus Christ!" response "Now and forever".
- The carthusian Sign of the Cross: in making the Sign
of the Cross, whether upon oneself or things, the thumb and the
first two fingers are fully extended, and the remaining two
fingers are bent upon the palm of the hand. The Sign of the
Cross of the Carthusians, is made reverently, slowly, with
majesty; their gesture describing a uniquely large cross,
from forehead, to waist, with their hands brushing the outside
of each shoulder, left to right shoulder. It is important to
make it well.
- Food (discretionary): meatless2
when possible3, fish, eggs,
- We should practice mortification of the flesh not merely
out of obedience to the Statutes, but primarily to be freed
from the tendencies of our lower nature and enabled to
follow the Lord more readily and cheerfully. Carthusian
Statutes Chapter 7 no 3
- In accordance with the practice introduced by our first
Fathers and ever since observed with remarkable zeal, we
exclude all eating and taking of meat from our way of life.
Statutes Chapter 7 no 5
and communion, according to ones particular
- Arrive some time (for example 30 minutes) before Mass to
adore Christ in the Blessed Sacrament.
- Study, lectio
divina, spiritual reading.
- Physical cardio activities, manual work (gardening,
walking, biking, climbing stairs, physically demanding services).
- The Carthusians spend 45 minutes morning and afternoon
in exerting physical activity cutting wood or gardening.
- Silent prayer
- The monks at CT customarily pray silent prayer from
4PM to 5PM. We could join, whenever possible,
together at that time through our own personal silent
- Other discretionary3 forms of prayer
- Liturgy of the hours - See
- Note: Carthusian Offices said in cell are recited out
loud, at least physically pronounced distinctly if
whispered; they are not simply read mentally.
Available for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch,
Android, Kindle Fire, Windows Phone 7, Blackberry, mobile
Diurnal Volume I Little
Hours of the Canonical Office - Office of the
Blessed Virgin - Penitential Psalms and Litany
of the Saints - Office of the Dead, Grande
- The Carthusian Conversi and Brothers offices:
Our Fathers and Hail Mary's that could be said in place of
the office at the particular hours.
- "The night Office is, in accordance with our ancient
practice, fairly long, though never beyond the limits of
discretion; in this way, the psalmody nourishes our
interior devotion and enables us to give ourselves in
addition, without fatigue or loss of interest, to secret
of the heart." Carthusian
Statutes Chapter 3 no 7
- Rosary |
Rosaire, quelques jalons historiques et spirituels
Life of Christ Rosary (Also Known as the Carthusian
Rosary) - Attributed to Saint Dominic of Prussia
- Carthusian Angelus First
Initiation into the Carthusian Life Pg 82
- The Carthusian Angelus is recited four times in the
day: at the end of the Night Office; in the morning
after Prime; at Midday; and in the evening before
- We say the Angelus wherever we are when the bell
rings. We say just three Hail Marys, taking the
venia before each one. If no Office follows the Angelus,
we then stand up and make the sign of the Cross".
(The Eucharist as Presence and Sacrament)
- The Jesus
- The Creed: every late of
the night, in cell at the end of the Office of
Lauds of Our Blessed Virgin Mary, about around
2:30 AM is always recited by Carthusians a choice
catholic creeds: The Athanasian Creed [QUICUNQUE
VULT] | The Apostle's Creed | The Nicene Creed.
This deep transforming contemplative prayer of our
like a constant heartbeat, is defining of the
heart of the Carthusian souls in Trinitarian life,
and of Saint Bruno's followers vocation of devoted
presence like the Seraphim before the revealed
God, in the Church for the world.
(Regularly on Sunday could be convenient; for many parishes
confession is scheduled on Saturday)
- Ex: Consuetudines 7.2 - Guigo I's instructions for Sundays:
"above all silence all week until Sunday
hour physical hike in mountains/woods) necessary to balance
psychologically and physically, get away from stress, relax the
tension as for an archers bow, Saint Bruno requires this to his
spiritual sons and daughters. A beneficial retreat, for SBPCLC,
while made in solitude. Of course this is to all be adapted
according to our lay life.
- Sunday and feasts; dedicate to sharing very special
recreational time, with our family and close ones. The
Carthusians share together in a recreation and more time spent
in community (a community meal) on Sundays and Feast days.
- Fridays, remember and honor specially the sufferings and
passion of Our Lord.
- One hour of Eucharistic adoration.
- Solitude and community
- The Carthusian life, although it should be considered
eremitical because of the prominence and greater dignity of
its eremitic element, is composed of solitary life and common
life. Although the Carthusians do not exercise any active
apostolate outside the cloister walls, they do exercise an
apostolate for the vocational retreatants and in the formation
of novices and counseling of the carthusian monks and nuns.
The SBPCLC life similarly, although it favors the prominence
and greater dignity of its eremitic element, is composed of
solitary life and common life.
- SBPCLC active apostolate
- Informal apostolate situations will regularly arise.
In the open world a SBPCLC will be necessarily involved in
various levels of exchanges with immediate family, neighbors,
co-workers, clients, strangers, in a common life duty of state
(apostolate) of service, or teaching. The values of the desert
fathers Saint Bruno charism, remain a solid foundational
reference for all spiritual development; and thus within our
implicit prayerful contemplative continual sacred listening,
of the signs of the times, and of all persons and situations,
and in the providential occasional or organized explicit
exchanges of life, there imposes itself the usefulness to
participate discretely at Providence's pace, in witnessing
lived and sometimes taught SBPCLC spirituality values, within
social interaction and notably graced consoling of the
afflictions of others.
- Some formal apostolate might be discerned as
opportune for some SBPCLC. As an example, for the year of the
Faith (2012-2013), a SBPCLC aspirant providentially began to
be be involved in leading a faith discussion group of 25-45
persons, once a month, in a retirement home, with the
permission and assistance/blessings of the priest, on the
subject of Faith. The group grew in its interest for this
subject, encouraged by the priest, and has been looking
forward/requesting to further meetings after the end of the
year of the Faith. Saint Bruno desert fathers spirituality implicitly
informs the structure of the counseling of the
informal exchanges and discussions by the SBPCLC aspirant, and
the participants are introduced somewhat experientially in the
carthusian charism. This project is consecrated to Mary
Immaculate. For more information about the schedule or
organization of this particular discussion group write to contact.
- Although a SBPCLC could thus eventually venture to witnessing,
informally or formally, of Saint Bruno desert fathers
spirituality; this can only be done rightly and discretely,
only from, and while acquiring, a timely first hand
personal experience through the SBPCLC Quies 5
steps, always remembering that: “Information is not
knowledge. The only source of knowledge is
experience.” Albert Einstein.
- One can discuss a task, but discussion will only
give an intellectual understanding of it. We must
experience the task first hand to "know" it; not
spend ourselves avoiding experience,
fleeing into speculative information; so we must go
out there, and do it, apply the 5 steps, and
gain priceless knowledge of Quies. In Latin,
‘to know’ is cognoscere; the etymology of
the word is ‘cum nascere’, which means ‘to be
born with’. So, information would transmit
communicable intellectual speculative theory; and practice
transforms us, making us One through experience
with otherwise humanly theoretically incommunicable
knowledge: ‘cum nascere’, which means
‘to be born with’. The Quies 5 steps communicable
information, based on the 11 guidelines, are a
blueprint of a proposed "praxis", or path of
rules to gain knowledge into specifically Saint
Bruno's own ecclesial charism, of Christocentric
contemplative desert fathers experience that
he, and his spiritual sons and daughters, identify
as the coveted goal of Quies.
group meetings and videoconferencing are proposed by the
Reverend Father in the 11 guidelines; this mode of exchange
needs however to be courageously tried, encouraged and
developed as it is less familiar and less technically user
friendly, could we say, than group in person meetings.
- Earplugs/noise reduction ear muffs, for noisy
- Spirit of obedience, in duty of state.
- Receive direction from, and pray for learned and holy
counselor(s), spiritual director and/or confessor(s).
- The grace and counseling humbly received in the
sacrament of confession, mysteriously provides from Christ,
dosed appropriate help to travel the important steps in our
- The Eucharist, prayer, examination of conscience, as well as suffering,
purified by the Holy Spirit, to the humble of heart: reveal,
strip, enlighten, free, unclutter progressively the path of
interior peace, which is the Life of God.
- Only God: God alone | God only |
Soli Deo | Deus solus | to be only in God’s
- Meatless: There have been some observed
physiological advantages for interior contemplative life to a
meatless diet; and there are probable health advantages, not
excluding though prudent individual medical
- When possible: remains a suggestion and
- Discretionary: Hesychasts
who are living as hermits might have a very rare
attendance at the Divine Liturgy (see the life of Saint
Seraphim of Sarov | see also: Getting
started FAQ) and might not recite the
Divine Office except by means of the Jesus Prayer (attested
practice on Mt Athos). In general, the Hesychast restricts his
external activities for the sake of his Hesychastic practice.
It is a question then for us, as Lay Faithful living in the
open world, of discerning every time what is more
appropriate for each, to "sit" interiorly and be One (monos)
with God, at the present moment, within our duty of
- Interior solitude (Quies): "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."