By Patrick Leigh Fermor

ISBN-10: 1590172442

ISBN-13: 9781590172445

Whereas nonetheless undefined, Patrick Leigh Fermor made his means throughout Europe, as mentioned in his vintage memoirs, A Time of Gifts and Between the Woods and the Water. in the course of international struggle II, he fought with neighborhood partisans opposed to the Nazi occupiers of Crete. yet in A Time to maintain Silence, Leigh Fermor writes a couple of extra inward trip, describing his numerous sojourns in a few of Europe’s oldest and such a lot venerable monasteries. He remains on the Abbey of St. Wandrille, a superb repository of artwork and studying; at Solesmes, recognized for its revival of Gregorian chant; and at the deeply ascetic Trappist monastery of los angeles Grande Trappe, the place clergymen take a vow of silence. ultimately, he visits the rock monasteries of Cappadocia, hewn from the stony spires of a moonlike panorama, the place he seeks a few hint of the lifetime of the earliest Christian anchorites.

More than a historical past or shuttle magazine, in spite of the fact that, this pretty brief booklet is a meditation at the that means of silence and solitude for contemporary existence. Leigh Fermor writes, “In the seclusion of a cell—an life whose quietness is simply different by way of the silent food, the solemnity of formality, and lengthy solitary walks within the woods—the stricken waters of the brain develop nonetheless and transparent, and masses that's hidden away and all that clouds it floats to the skin and will be skimmed away; and after a time one reaches a country of peace that's unthought of within the traditional world.”

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Other by-products of their life were the beautiful buildings in which I was living, and the unparalleled calm that prevailed there. At St. Wandrille I was inhabiting at last a tower of solid ivory, and I, not the monks, was the escapist. For my hosts, the Abbey was a springboard into eternity; for me a retiring place to write a book and spring more effectively back into the maelstrom. Strange that the same habitat should prove favourable to ambitions so glaringly opposed. Conventual High Mass was at ten every morning, immediately after Tierce.

I have seen a number of monasteries in the interim: La Pierre qui Vire, St. Benoît-sur-Loire, Fossanova, Trisulti, Monte Olivetto, Subiaco, the ruins of Monte Cassino, the Charterhouses of Pavia and Jerez, Guadalupe and Yuste, Beuron, Gottweig and Melk, The Merced of Cuzco, Santa Catalina at Arequipa in Peru, the familiar monasteries of Greece and those very early Arabic- and Aramaic-speaking foundations among the canyons near Damascus. But these were a part of wider travels. The only ones where, at wide intervals, I have made sojourns like the ones I have tried to describe have been at St.

This has been the experience of monks and nuns. It is not belief but the disciplines of the monastic life that produce in practitioners what Christians call “faith,” an apprehension of the transcendent reality of God. Doubtless, the monks that Leigh Fermor met did accept the essential doctrines of the Church and were convinced that their prayer was efficacious. But, even though he did not share these beliefs, Leigh Fermor discovered that the monastic regime changed him. When he first arrived in the abbey, he felt deeply depressed by his strange surroundings and could not sleep in his cell.

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