Links of interest & resources…

Summary of The Power of Silence: Against the Dictatorship of Noise by Robert Cardinal Sarah

In a time when technology penetrates our lives in so many ways and materialism exerts such a powerful influence over us, Cardinal Robert Sarah presents a bold book about the strength of silence. The modern world generates so much noise, he says, that seeking moments of silence has become both harder and more necessary than ever before.

Silence is the indispensable doorway to the divine, explains the cardinal in this profound conversation with Nicolas Diat. Within the hushed and hallowed walls of the La Grande Chartreux, the famous Carthusian monastery in the French Alps, Cardinal Sarah addresses the following questions: Can those who do not know silence ever attain truth, beauty, or love?  Do not wisdom, artistic vision, and devotion spring from silence, where the voice of God is heard in the depths of the human heart?

After the international success of God or Nothing, Cardinal Sarah seeks to restore to silence its place of honor and importance. “Silence is more important than any other human work,” he says, “for it expresses God. The true revolution comes from silence; it leads us toward God and others so as to place ourselves humbly and generously at their service.”

The Prodigal Catholic Blog

The Power of Silence: Against the Dictatorship of Noise by 
Robert Cardinal Sarah with Nicolas Diat, Translated by Michael J. 
Miller, Ignatius Press, 2016.

This book arose from Cardinal Sarah’s silent friendship with Brother Vincent, a young Carthusian monk who was stricken with multiple sclerosis and accepted God’s silent will.

One sentence summary of the book:

Man must make a choice: God or nothing, silence or noise (67).

Chapter 1: Silence Versus the World’s Noise

Silence is “the most important human work” (54) and the best way to encounter the silent God, Who waits for us in the “silent temple” of our hearts (22-3). Sarah admits that seeking God in silence is man’s most difficult task but also “man’s greatest freedom” (86).

“Man must make a choice: God or nothing, silence or noise” (67).

Without silence, God disappears in the noise. And this noise becomes all the more obsessive…

View original post 2,559 more words

A Night at La Grande Chartreuse

Please click on the link below to read the article.

A night at La Grande Chartreuse

Extract of article:

“The legend on the left is painted on the door of every cell occupied by a monk of the silent Order of Carthusians. To pray always for those who never pray; to pray for those who have done you wrong; to pray for those who sin every hour of their lives; to pray for all sorts and conditions of men, no matter what their colour, no matter what their creed; to pray that God will remove doubt and scepticism from the world, and open all human eyes to the way of faith and salvation. Such is the chief duty of the Chartreux. That the lives of these men is a continual prayer would seem to be an undoubted fact; but they are more than that — they are lives of silence under exceptional circumstances.”

Continue reading “A Night at La Grande Chartreuse”

Father Emil Kapaun Servant of God


Father Emil J. Kapaun was born in Pilsen, Kansas in 1916. He attended Kenrick Seminary from 1936 until his graduation in 1940. Bishop Christian Winkelmann ordained Father Kapaun as a Roman Catholic priest for the Diocese of Wichita on June 9, 1940. After serving in the Pilsen, KS area for a time, Father Kapaun joined the U.S. Army as a military chaplain. In 1950, Father Kapaun was ordered to Korea where he was later captured and held in a prison camp near Pyoktong, North Korea. During his seven months in captivity, Father Kapaun ministered to his fellow POWs in ordinary and extraordinary ways. Father Kapaun died on May 23, 1951 at the prison camp.
Father Kapaun was known for his ordinary and extraordinary holiness and remembered for his humility, bravery, constancy, love, and kindness. He serves as an inspiration to the seminarians at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary.
In 1993, Father Kapaun was named a “Servant of God” by the Roman Catholic Church, the first step toward possible canonization. The Vatican is now examining possible miracles attributed to the intercession of Father Kapaun. He is also be considered for the designation of “martyr.”


On April 11, 2013, Father John Horn, S.J., President-Rector of Kenrick-Glennon Seminary, announced that the new recreation center on the seminary campus would be named The Father Emil Kapaun Student Center. This building contains lounge areas for the Theology and College seminarians, a bookstore, and a large workout facility. The naming of the Kapaun Center recognizes the ordinary yet extraordinary holiness of one of the seminary’s most distinguished alumni.


President Obama posthumously awarded Father Emil Kapaun the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry in April 2013. Father Kapaun received the Medal for his extraordinary heroism. An official replica of Father Kapaun’s Medal of Honor is on display in the Father Emil Kapaun Student Center on the seminary campus. The seminary is grateful to the First Catholic Slovak Ladies Association coordinated the donation and installation of the Display Medal.



• Official Fr. Kapaun website:
Fr. Kapaun page from The Wichita Eagle


We have 7 holy cards to give away, and 3 booklets “the story of Father Emil J. Kapaun” Chaplain, United States Army “Servant of God” we will sent the booklets and holy cards on a first come first served basis.  Simply provide you name and address and email to the  the Hermitage by completing the contact form below.

Bl. Teresa of St. Augustine and Companions (OCD), Virgins and Martyrs (m)

Source: Bl. Teresa of St. Augustine and Companions (OCD), Virgins and Martyrs (m)

These were a community of sixteen Discalced Carmelite nuns from the monastery of the Incarnation at Compiégne in France. When the full terror of the French Revolution began, they offered themselves as sacrificial victims to beg God for peace for the Church and for their country.

Arrested and imprisoned on the 24th June 1794, they continued to share their joy and their faith with others. Condemned to death for their loyalty to the Church, to their religious vows and for their devotion to the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, they were guillotined in Paris on 17th July 1794 whilst singing hymns and after having renewed their vows to their prioress, Teresa of St. Augustine. They were beatified by Saint Pius X on 13th May 1906.


Unless you are clued-in on the Carmelite martyrs, Blessed Teresa of St Augustine and Companions — (d. 1794), also known as the Martyrs of Compiegne, are commemorated today as Virgins and Martyrs. These nuns are the subjects of the opera by François Poulenc, Dialogues of the Carmelites, for which Georges Bernanos provided the libretto.

The 1790 a decree of the new French Republic suppressed all religious communities, except for those engaged in teaching and nursing. You had show the government you were a utilitarian entity that did something for the common good.

July 1794 saw sixteen nuns were arrested on the charge of continuing their illicit way of life. The nuns were "enemies of the people by conspiring against its  sovereign rule." On July 17, 1794, the nuns were taken to the place of execution, all the while singing the Salve Regina and the Te Deum and reciting the prayers for the dying.

Mother Teresa of St. Augustine and companions were beatified in 1906, the first martyrs of the French revolution. The believed what they said: "We are the victims of the age, and we ought to sacrifice ourselves to obtain its return to God."

It's important to give the names of the martyrs so as not to forget their history:

  • Madeleine-Claudine Ledoine (Mother Teresa of St. Augustine), prioress, born in Paris, September 22, 1752, professed 16 or May 17, 1775;
  • Marie-Anne (or Antoinette) Brideau (Mother St. Louis), sub-prioress, born at Belfort, December 7, 1752, professed September 3, 1771;
  • Marie-Anne Piedcourt (Sister of Jesus Crucified), choir-nun, born 1715, professed 1737; on mounting the scaffold she said "I forgive you as heartily as I wish God to forgive me";
  • Anne-Marie-Madeleine Thouret (Sister Charlotte of the Resurrection), sacristan, born at Mouy, September 16, 1715, professed August 19, 1740, twice sub-prioress in 1764 and 1778. Her portrait is reproduced opposite p. 2 of Miss Willson's work cited below;
  • Marie-Antoniette or Anne Hanisset (Sister Teresa of the Holy Heart of Mary), born at Rheims in 1740 or 1742, professed in 1764;
  • Marie-Francoise Gabrielle de Croissy (Mother Henriette of Jesus), born in Paris, June 18, 1745, professed February 22, 1764, prioress from 1779 to 1785;
  • Marie-Gabrielle Trezel (Sister Teresa of St. Ignatius), choir-nun, born at Compiegne, April 4, 1743, professed December 12, 1771;
  • Rose-Chretien de la Neuville (Sister Julia Louisa of Jesus), widow, choir-nun born at Loreau (or Evreux), in 1741, professed probably in 1777;
  • Anne Petras (Sister Mary Henrietta of Providence), choir-nun, born at Cajarc (Lot), June 17, 1760, professed October 22, 1786.
  • Concerning Sister Euphrasia of the Immaculate Conception accounts vary. Miss Willson says that her name was Marie Claude Cyprienne Brard, and that she was born May 12, 1736; Pierre, that her name was Catherine Charlotte Brard, and that she was born September 7, 1736. She was born at Bourth, and professed in 1757;
  • Marie-Genevieve Meunier (Sister Constance), novice, born May 28, 1765, or 1766, at St. Denis, received the habit December 16, 1788. She mounted the scaffold singing "Laudate Dominum."

In addition to the above, three lay sisters suffered and two tourieres.

The lay sisters are:

  • Angelique Roussel (Sister Mary of the Holy Ghost), lay sister, born at Fresnes, August 4, 1742, professed May 14, 1769;
  • Marie Dufour (Sister St. Martha), lay sister, born at Beaune, 1 or October 2, 1742, entered the community in 1772;
  • Julie or Juliette Vero-lot (Sister St. Francis Xavier), lay sister, born at Laignes or Lignieres, January 11, 1764, professed January 12, 1789.

The two tourieres, who were not Carmelites at all, but merely servants of the nunnery were:

Catherine and Teresa Soiron, born respectively on February 2, 1742 and January 23, 1748 at Compiegne, both of whom had been in the service of the community since 1772.

The miracles proved during the process of beatification were:

The cure of Sister Clare of St. Joseph, a Carmelite lay sister of New Orleans, when on the point of death from cancer, in June, 1897;

The cure of the Abbe Roussarie, of the seminary at Brive, when at the point of death, March 7, 1897;

The cure of Sister St. Martha of St. Joseph, a Carmelite lay sister of Vans, of tuberculosis and an abcess in the right leg, December 1, 1897;

The cure of Sister St. Michael, a Franciscan of Montmorillon, April 9, 1898.

“Gott Allein” – by Brother Hans Jakob Bürger.

Gott Allein: ​​Book of revelations, prayers, and contemplations in the tradition of the Carthusians – The Marian Office of the Carthusians By Bro. Hans Jakob Burger.

The Carthusians are perhaps the most mysterious order of the Catholic Church. Forget the rest of the world, they live day and night for God alone.

With “Gott Allein”, for the first time, there is an extensive book of devotions, prayers, and studies in the tradition of the Carthusians. The most important part of the book is the Marian Office. Among the carthusians in the Latin language, “Gott Allein” also offers a German translation. Thus also the modern prayers have access to the spiritual treasure of the Carthusians.

In a second part the reader finds writings by the great medieval Carthusian Ludolf of Saxony. Furthermore, extracts from the records of the Swiss Carthusian Anton Jans, who died too late, and another monk from the Carthusian monastery, La Valsainte, appear.

The Carthusians from France and the Marienau write in Germany about the prayers of detachment and simplicity. In conclusion, “Gott Allein” also offers unpublished texts of an unnamed contemporary carthusian.


Currently an English version is being edited and we will bring you news of when it becomes available.

Available from our Hermitage website 








Father Andrew SDC

Father Andrew SDC ( Henry Hardy) one of the three founders of the Society of the Divine Compassion (SDC), the first Anglican society of male Franciscans – was a popular religious writer.

Father Andrew SDC

Prayers from Father Andrew.
Edited by Kathleen E. Burne.
London: A.R. Mowbray, 1950. [PDF digitized by Wayne Kempton, 2012]


Carthusian Spirituality

Carthusian Spirituality

To the praise of the glory of God, Christ, the Father’s Word, has through the Holy Spirit, from the beginning chosen certain men, whom he willed to lead into solitude and unite to himself in intimate love. (Prologue of the statutes of the Carthusian Order.)


Union with God in intimate love is the aim of every Christian life; what singles out the Carthusians is that they strive more directly toward this goal (cf. St 10:1: rectius). The entire life in Charterhouse is geared to this, that “we may the more ardently seek, the more quickly find, the more perfectly possess God himself in the depths of our souls; and thus, with the Lord’s help, we may be enabled to attain to the perfection of love – which is the aim of our Profession and of the whole monastic life – and through it, to obtain beatitude eternal”(St 1,4). To attain ‘the one necessary thing’, the Carthusians developed their own characteristic way of life marked essentially by solitude and silence.

About the importance of contemplation as the ultimate goal of a human being, a Carthusian wrote, in a letter to Thomas Merton : “Most men find their balance in life through action or creation. A totally contemplative life demands a special grace and a special faithfulness. It also requires a maturity, a richness of soul not often found among the converts. At least this seems to be the case from our experience. But to contemplate, in the first sense of the word, i.e. to gaze upon God while staying immobile, repose and purity being both the condition and the result of such a gaze, is truly speaking the real life, the eternal life for which we have been created.”

Contemplative life requires a continual conversion. Each day anew a Carthusian monk tries to make himself transparent for God, to give himself to God with open hands, and with a mind free of worries and concerns. He thus keeps himself in a state of spiritual virginity.

In the interior and exterior silence of his solitude, the monk lives for God, and for God alone. The members of other monastic Orders also seek God in silence or solitude, but for Carthusians silence and solitude are the principal means to find Him. Inner silence – poverty in spirit – creates the empty space necessary to experience God’s presence in our heart, which transcends all words. “Let him make a practice of resorting, from time to time, to a tranquil listening of the heart, that allows God to enter through all its doors and passages.” (St 4,2)

Solitude and silence help the Carthusian monk ‘in a special way’ to become aware of a great mystery that is present in every Christian (St. 2:2). The whole of Carthusian life helps the monks to live in God’s presence: liturgy, work, study, community; everything is done in a climate of solitude and silence.


“Since our Order is totally dedicated to contemplation, it is our duty to maintain strictly our separation from the world; hence, we are freed from all pastoral ministry – no matter how urgent the need for active apostolate is – so that we may fulfill our special role in the Mystical Body of Christ” (St 3,9).


Carthusians have no special prayer method or technique; the only way is Jesus Christ. In the contemplative life it is not so much what we do but what God does in us. Our task is only to purify our longing of all that is not God, to seek “that purity of heart, to which alone is it promised to see God” (St 6,4).

The holy liberty is characteristic of our vocation. The Order’s rule prescribes few prayers or devotional exercises other than the sacred liturgy, so that each – under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and with the help of the superior or spiritual director – may freely choose which means suits him to best attain the goal. On the other hand, whatever might hinder him or prove unprofitable, needs to be let go off, however good and holy it might be in itself.

The Statutes impose a strict observance, within which one is free to follow any Catholic spirituality, as has been done in the past with the Desert Fathers (Egypt, 4th century), Rhineland Mystics, Devotio Moderna, Saint Ignatius, Saint John of the Cross, Saint Theresa, Saint Francis of Sales, and others.


The greatest hindrance in the search for God is without any doubt one’s own will. We attempt to renounce our self-will with the help of the vow of obedience. Obedience comes from a Latin word which means ‘to listen’. Over the years a life of obedience brings about a thorough emptying of oneself, which enables us to open ourselves to the working of the Holy Spirit with simplicity and trust. At the same time, this relieves us from all kinds of unrest and distress.


Our life takes place in the darkness and light of Faith. In solitude, we enter the depths of our Faith, which we have received from the Church. With time, the darkness of Faith changes into the light of Faith. We do not see what we believe, although the content of Faith becomes to us so present that we can live from it. When we let the Holy Spirit lead us, He will make us understand the depth and splendor of that, which lives in our hearts.


What distinguishes the life of a Carthusian is not his works or his accomplishments, it is what God does in him, as he abandons himself to His Love. A Carthusian vocation is a work of God.

« Nil tibi laboriosus est quam non laborare,
id est contemnere omnia unde labores oriuntur,
universa scilicet mutabilia »
(Meditationes Guigonis, Meditatio L)

(There is no more urgent task for thee than to be without tasks, that is to leave off all changing reality, from which all tasks emerge. The Meditations of Guigo Ist)


Here strong men can return into themselves as much as they wish, and abide there; here they can with eager earnestness cultivate the seeds of virtue, and with gladness eat of the fruits of paradise.

Here is acquired that eye, by whose serene gaze the Spouse is wounded with love; that eye, pure and clean, by which God is seen.

Here the solitary is occupied in busy leisure, and at rest in tranquil activity.

Here God rewards his athletes with the longed-for prize: peace that the world does not know, and joy in the Holy Spirit. (St 6,16 – from Bruno’s letter to Raoul)

“vivo autem, jam non ego, qui eram secundum legem, sed vivit in me Christus, id est, vivo ego ipse factus Christus per conformitatem: et per hanc partem habemus operari bonum.” (sanctus Bruno, Expositio in epistolam ad Galatas, Cap. II)

8 January: Open Heart, Open Mind, I: Judging according to God.

A reflection from Fr Andrew SDC 1869-1946. Fr Andrew was a pioneering Anglican Franciscan in the East End of London; more of his reflections will appear during the year. Whereas the world judges pe…

Source: 8 January: Open Heart, Open Mind, I: Judging according to God.