Tuesday, June 19, 2007

St. Romuald

Founder of the Camaldolese Order

This feast does not attain even the level of a memorial but you will find it in your parish misselette and certainly in your breviary. For most people Romuald would fall into the class of the rather obscure and arcane. But to those of us who aspire to contemplative monastic life, he is an iconic figure as founder of a cenobitic order of hermits living according to the Benedictine tradition. In his communities, members spent a large part of their day working and praying in the silence and solitude of individual hermitages and attached gardens. They came together for some communal recitation of the Liturgy of the Hours and some meals. His foundations pre-date St. Bruno and his establishment of the Carthusians. He did not leave an exhaustive rule but is known for his "Brief Rule" appearing below.

Sit in your cell as in paradise.
Put the whole world behind you and forge it.
Watch your thoughts like a good fisherman watching for fish.
The path you must follow is in the Psalms; never leave it.
If you have just come to the monastery, and in spite of your good will,
you cannot accomplish what you want,
then take every opportunity to sing the Psalms in your heart
and understand them in your mind.
And if your mind wanders as you read,
do not give up;
hurry back and apply your mind to the words once more.
Realize above all that you are in God's presence,
and stand there with an attitude of one who stand before the emperor.
Empty yourself completely and sit waiting,
content with the grace of God,
like a chick who tastes nothing and eats nothing
but what his mother gives him.

No comments: