St. Bruno

Friends in Christ, today is the Feast of St. Bruno. St. Bruno was born near Cologne, Germany about 1030. As a young man, he was ordained a priest, and because of his great mind, was invited to be a professor of theology. His reputation for wisdom and intelligence spread far and wide.
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As his life become one of honor and prestige, he slowly drifted into a life of comfort and ease. One day, he found himself with some friends in a garden, speaking of the vanity and false ambitions of the world, and on the joys of eternal life. He was strongly affected by this, and they agreed then and there to forsake the world.
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They found a location in France near the alps, perfect for their needs: well into the mountains, with high craggy rocks, and covered with snow almost the whole year around. They built there a small chapel, surrounded by little cells in which to live in solitude. And so began a new religious order called the Carthusians.
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No woman nor any hunters nor fishermen were allowed to go there. The monks came together twice a day to pray, otherwise they prayed and worked in their cells.
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Blessed Peter of Cluny wrote: their dress is poorer than other monks; their clothes are so rough, that the very sight is frightening. They wear hair shirts next to their skin and fast almost perpetually. They never eat meat, but only bread, beans, and water. Water is supplied by a pipe, and food is cooked by each one in his own cell; Cheese and eggs are allowed on Sundays and Thursdays. but on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, they take only bread and water. They eat only once a day. For these hermits, they spend their time praying, reading and doing manual work.
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Now some might think that a Carthusian hermit might be melancholy, or sad, or harsh,. but St. Bruno has been described as having a real joyfulness about him.
As he died, he was surrounded by his brother monks; he made a confession publicly of his sins, and recited the Creed. St. Bruno has never been formally declared a saint – he is a saint by popular acclaim.
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The Carthusians today are the only Religious Order to have never needed reform in the Church. They have never slackened on the rule in any way after nearly 1000 years.
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We are not monks, but perhaps we can be inspired by St. Bruno, to bring some quiet time into our life, or at least 30 minutes a day, for a little ‘oasis,’ – time to speak, and listen to God.

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