By Patrick Leigh Fermor
Whereas nonetheless undefined, Patrick Leigh Fermor made his approach throughout Europe, as stated in his vintage memoirs, A Time of Gifts and Between the Woods and the Water. in the course of international warfare 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 outstanding repository of paintings 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 background or shuttle magazine, despite the fact that, this pretty brief e-book 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 barely diversified by means of the silent foodstuff, the solemnity of formality, and lengthy solitary walks within the woods—the bothered 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 usual world.”
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Additional info for A Time to Keep Silence
Gradually I found that without the distraction of constant conversation, the words on the page began to speak directly to my inner self. I sympathize with Leigh Fermor, when he remarked one day to the Abbot what a blessed relief it was to refrain from talking all day long. ” Our world is even more noisy than it was in the 1950s, when Leigh Fermor wrote this book: piped music and mobile phones jangle ceaselessly, and silence and solitude are shunned as alien and unnatural. We expect instant communication and seek knowledge at the click of a mouse.
Instead they sent them on pilgrimage, which, under the aegis of Cluny, became a hugely popular activity. While they traveled to their holy destination—to Rome, Compostella, or a local shrine—laymen and laywomen had to live for a time like monks. The pilgrims turned their backs on their normal lives and lived a communal life; they prayed together; the hardships of the journey were a form of asceticism; they were celibate for the duration of the pilgrimage and were forbidden to fight or bear arms.
The vows embracing poverty, chastity and obedience were destined to smite from these men all fetters that chained them to the world, to free them for action, for the worship of God and the practice of prayer; for the pursuit, in short, of sanctity. Worship found its main expression, of course, in the Mass; but the offices of the seven canonical hours that follow the Night Office of Matins—Lauds, Prime, Tierce, Sext, Nones, Vespers and Compline, a cycle that begins in the small hours of the night and finishes after sunset—kept, and keep the monks on parade, as it were, with an almost military rigour.
A Time to Keep Silence by Patrick Leigh Fermor