The Carthusians live a semi-eremetical life. Each choir monk lives in complete solitude and silence, joining with the other monks twice daily, for the night office and the conventual Mass. Each week they come together for Sunday Mass, a shared meal and a period of recreation (which involves talking to each other). Periodically their rule requires them to join in a day long cross-country hike outside the monastery.
Its an austere and demanding way of life and few are truly called to their unique vocation to prayer, solitude and silence. Nonetheless, their life together is a reminder of the one thing necessary, to create space and time and stillness in one's own life for the encounter with God.
On this feast of St. Bruno, the 11th century founder of the Carthusians, I'm grateful for their challenging example and reminded to continue to hold my friend and his companions in prayer.