“… it is very important that individuals, desiring to advance in recollection and perfection, take care into whose hands they entrust themselves, for the disciple will become like the master, and as is the father so will be the son. Let them realize that for this journey, especially its most sublime parts (and even for the intermediate parts), they will hardly find a guide accomplished as to all their needs, for besides being learned and discreet, a director should have experience. Although the foundation for guiding a soul to spirit is knowledge and discretion…” (St. John of the Cross O.C.D., The living flame of love, stanza 3, n° 30, OCD editions, Rome 2010.)
Like the Carthusians the Hermit of Saint Bruno has no external apostolate and dedicates himself to prayer, which is unceasing, which rises like incense from the altar of his heart. Prayer of adoration, praise and intercession through the Divine Office by which the Church prays through his voice. The prayer of Christ. The prayer of an intimate union with Our Lord, dwelling in his heart. The ‘ineffable sighs of the Holy Spirit too deep for words – which expresses the profound aspirations of men and their suffering, and indeed of the whole creation’.
The Hermit of Saint Bruno pray’s always for those who never pray; he pray’s for those who have done you wrong; he pray’s for those who sin every hour and every day of their lives; he pray’s for all sorts and conditions of men, no matter what their colour, no matter what their creed; he pray’s that God will remove all doubt and all scepticism from the world, in the hope that He will open all human eyes to the path of faith and salvation. Such is the supreme obedience of the Hermit of Saint Bruno. He therefore ‘remains seated in his cell in the hope that it will teach him everything‘ just as Abbot Moses has counselled.
From the very beginnings the Hermit of Saint Bruno set out to pursue this spirituality by making himself utterly free for God (vacare Deo) in solitude. For this and under the guidance of The Rt. Rev. John Jukes O.F.M. Conv., Auxiliary Bishop of Southwark and with a Trappist Spiritual Director, and the writings of the Church Fathers as a guide has developped a distinct spirituality in the sense that his Rule of Life is aimed not so much at dictating the content of spiritual theology but to lay the foundations of a way of life under which the Hermit of Saint Bruno could resolutely free himself for God alone by sitting diligently in his cell (a small bungalow). With the consent of his Bishop the Hermit of Saint Bruno left the world in order to know it more profoundly by gaining distance from it and by reordering both knowledge and love of God and neighbor in a way someone distracted by mundane responsibilities and attractions could not. This in turn required him to establish a way of life that dealt rationally and authentically with the temptations to leave the cell and the obstacles to living joyously within it.
That said, there is absolutely no reason why what has been learned by him cannot be shared with others through telematic means for the benefit of all of mankind in the hope that they too will find the occasional time to contemplate ‘in a room within their home in the hope that it will teach them what they need’.
Spiritual direction is widespread within Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy and Judaic religions: normally a person with wisdom and spiritual discernment, but not exclusively a priest or consecrated in general, provides counsel to a person who wishes to make a journey of faith and discovery of God’s volition within their own life. The spiritual guide aims to discern, understand what the Holy Spirit, through the situations of life, spiritual insights fruit of prayer, reading and meditation on the Bible, tells the person that is being accompanied. The spiritual father or spiritual director may provide advice, give indications of life and prayer, resolving doubts in matters of faith and morals without replacing the choices and decisions for the person that is being accompanied.
To aid other we have attached various articles written by Fr. Ugo-Maria Erem. Dioc., and others to aid as a telematic accompaniment for the person undertaking their spiritual journey. Additionally we have prepared a list of of books downloadable in pdf. format or on Internet Archive of books that will help as a guide in your spiritual journey. We hope you will find them of use.
Articles by Dom. Ugo-Maria: