A Time to Keep Silence by Patrick Leigh Fermor

By Patrick Leigh Fermor

Whereas nonetheless undefined, Patrick Leigh Fermor made his approach throughout Europe, as mentioned in his vintage memoirs, A Time of Gifts and Between the Woods and the Water. in the course of global conflict 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 a number of sojourns in a few of Europe’s oldest and so much venerable monasteries. He remains on the Abbey of St. Wandrille, an excellent 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 priests 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 heritage or shuttle magazine, despite the fact that, this gorgeous brief ebook is a meditation at the which means of silence and solitude for contemporary lifestyles. Leigh Fermor writes, “In the seclusion of a cell—an life whose quietness is simply different via the silent foodstuff, 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 outside and will be skimmed away; and after a time one reaches a kingdom of peace that's unthought of within the usual world.”

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Qui è Maccario, qui è Romoaldo, qui son li frati miei, che dentro ai chiostri fermar li piedi e tennero il cor saldo. DANTE: Paradiso XXII, 46–51 To every thing there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven… …a time to keep silence and a time to speak. Ecclesiastes: III, 1 & 7 To my mother AUTHOR’S INTRODUCTION AS THE reader may gather from occasional hints in the following pages, I was hindered by several disabilities from sharing to the utmost all the advantages a stranger may gain from monastic sojourns.

Even today, people often feel affronted by the lifestyle of monks and nuns, which challenges so many of our more secular values and seems inhuman, inhumane, and joyless. Instead of seeking wealth, comfort, and material success, monks opt for poverty and do not even own their own toothbrushes. Their voluntary celibacy and renunciation of intimacy seem to violate basic human instincts in a world that lays such emphasis on family values. And, hardest of all, perhaps—though this is something Leigh Fermor does not explore—they give up their freedom and personal autonomy, vowing obedience to their superiors in a way that is repugnant to the independent ethos of modernity.

The father librarian gave me a key and his permission to take as many books as I liked to my cell. Like all monastic libraries it possessed a number of volumes that had been placed on the index because they offended against theological orthodoxy; and a number, considered damaging to the peace of monastic life, were locked up in a depository known as the Enfer. On various occasions, following up trains of enquiry, I asked for books from both sources, and obtained them without difficulty. [2] As, gradually, I found myself talking to them, I was surprised by the conversation of the monks with whom I came in contact.

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