Devoted to silence, prayer, and austere simplicity, the Carthusian monks guard their solitude jealously and rarely allow visitors to live with them. The author of this book, however, was privileged to spend four months with the Carthusian community in Calabria, Italy, the resting place of the founder of their order, Saint Bruno. The American priest followed the daily regimen of the monks and wrote to family and friends in order to share his experiences and insights. His engaging and informative letters are presented in this book along with professional four-color photographs provided by the monastery.
Report from Calabria describes and illustrates the distinctive features of the Carthusian way of life as they were encountered by the author. Historical background and excerpts from the writings of Saint Bruno round out the priest's experiences. The contemplative vocation—bracing and yet deeply human—comes alive in this vivid account of very little happening yet a lot going on.
"I am very moved to be able to read about the Carthusian monks in Calabria. It is heartening to share even a day with those holy men. They make me so grateful for the vocation I was given, but their lives are even more meaningful for those living in the midst of modern pain. To see them in the pages of this book eating, working, and praying in silence and solitude is just amazing. They are basically attempting to find God within the human conditions most human. Through them we see so clearly that we find God by accepting our lives as gifts from him and by appreciating our being born, in flesh and blood, in profound likeness to God himself, as fully revealed by the Second Person of the Trinity, who became man. The Report from Calabria could very well be a report from God himself telling us what we cry and anguish to know."
— Mother Dolores Hart, O.S.B, Author of The Ear of the Heart
"Report from Calabria is a beautiful book. The author's short sketches capture the silent rhythms of worship and contemplation at the heart of Carthusian life and the humanity of hidden lives in the cloister. The photographs show a world that few people get to see. Most importantly, this book points to the profundity of daring to enter a dialogue of silence with the heart of the Lord. Each one of us invited to know the Lord in silence. Report from Calabria is a guidebook to a beautiful place, and to the beauty of interior and silent communion with the Lord."
— Most Rev. James D. Conley, S.T.L., Bishop of Lincoln, Nebraska
"This book is a gem. The Carthusians have long captivated the imagination of the Catholic world: by their austerity, their silence, their seclusion, and their mysteriousness. Although they will never say so themselves, they've lived up to their motto: 'Never reformed because never deformed.' This book is an honest and stunningly beautiful view of the inside life of a Charterhouse. Through these pages you can feel the cold of the cell, smell the pasta in the midday meal, and sense the profound reverence of the Carthusian liturgy. This book will make you want to pray."
— Most Rev. Michael C. Barber, S.J., Bishop of Oakland
"The Carthusian life, typically so unknown and hidden, has found another privileged account. The anonymous priest-author enjoyed four months of full participation in Carthusian life in Calabria. The letters written during his monastic stay and collected here display an observant eye and sensitive insights for both external detail and for the rich depth of dedicated silence, solitude, and prayer that marks the Carthusian life. Anyone moved some years back by the extraordinary film Into the Great Silence will find in this book another fascinating appreciation for the daily self-giving of these hidden monks who live all for God."
— Fr. Donald Haggerty, Author, Contemplative Provocationsand The Contemplative Hunger