In the heart of the desert, the place of testing and purification of faith, the Father leads men along the journey of self-emptying that is opposed to all the logic of having, of success and of illusory happiness. Guigo the Carthusian encouraged all who wanted to live according to the ideal of St Bruno to “follow the example of Christ poor [to] … have a share in his riches” (Sur la vie solitaire, n. 6). This self-emptying passes through a radical break with the world, which is not contempt for the world, but an orientation given to one’s life for the constant seeking of the only Good: “You have seduced me, Lord, and I have let myself be seduced” (Jer 20,7). Blessed is the Church who can use the Carthusian witness of total availability to the Spirit and a life totally dedicated to Christ!
3. From a letter to his Carthusian sons by Saint Bruno, in the Liturgy of the Hours today:
From the frequent and pleasant reports of our most blessed brother, I know of your reasoned and truly praiseworthy discipline, carried out with unwavering rigor. Since I have heard of your holy love and constant pursuit of honesty and virtue, my spirit rejoices in the Lord. I rejoice and am drawn to praise and give thanks to God, and still I long to love him. I rejoice, as I should, in the growing fruits of your strength, and yet I grieve and grow ashamed that I lie idle and senseless in the mire of my sins.Therefore rejoice my dearest brothers, because you are so 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 harbor. 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.
Therefore, my brothers, you should consider it certain and well-established that whoever partakes of this desirable good, should he in any way lose it, will grieve to his death, if he has any regard or concern for the salvation of his soul.
My dearest lay brothers, of you I say: My soul magnifies the Lord. For I have learned of the generosity of his mercy toward you from the report of your prior and dearest father; he rejoices and takes great pride in you. And let us rejoice that since you are unacquainted with the knowledge of letters, almighty God will inscribe in your hearts with his finger not only his love but also the knowledge of his holy law. 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.