Thought for the Day – 6 October – The Memorial of St Bruno (c 1030-1101)
St. Bruno was one of the most exceptional scholars, teachers, prayer warriors of his time:
“…a prudent man whose word was rich in meaning.” I think the key was the gift of great humility.
The Order founded by Bruno — the Carthusians — is one of the strictest in the Church. Carthusians follow the Rule of St Benedict but accord it a most austere interpretation, there is perpetual silence and complete abstinence from flesh meat (only bread, legumes and water are taken for nourishment). Bruno sought to revive the ancient eremitical (hermit) way of life. His Order enjoys the distinction of never becoming unfaithful to the spirit of its founder, never needing a reform.
Bruno and his friends built an oratory with small individual cells at a distance from each other. They met for Matins and Vespers each day and spent the rest of the time in solitude, eating together only on great feasts. Their chief work was copying manuscripts.
Hearing of Bruno’s holiness, the pope called for his assistance in Rome. When the pope had to flee Rome, Bruno pulled up stakes again and after refusing a bishopric, spent his last years in the wilderness of Calabria.
Silence in the Statutes:
What divine exultation
The solitude and silence of the desert
Hold in store for those who love it!
(Saint Bruno to Raoul)
Bruno was never formally canonised, because the Carthusians were averse to all occasions of publicity. However, Pope Clement X extended his feast to the whole Church in 1674.
“Rejoice, my dearest brothers, because you are blessed and because of the bountiful hand of God’s grace upon you.
Rejoice, because you have escaped the various dangers and shipwrecks of the stormy world.
Rejoice because you have reached the quiet and safe anchorage of a secret harbour. Many wish to come into this port and many make great efforts to do so, yet do not achieve it. Indeed many, after reaching it, have been thrust out, since it was not granted them from above.
By your work you show what you love and what you know.
When you observe true obedience with prudence and enthusiasm, it is clear that you wisely pick the most delightful and nourishing fruit of divine Scripture.”
from a letter by Saint Bruno to the Carthusians
May we mirror Bruno’s quest for holiness and unity with God.