Download e-book for kindle: A Time to Keep Silence by Patrick Leigh Fermor
By Patrick Leigh Fermor
Whereas nonetheless undefined, Patrick Leigh Fermor made his manner throughout Europe, as acknowledged in his vintage memoirs, A Time of Gifts and Between the Woods and the Water. in the course of global 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 few 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, a good 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. eventually, 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 commute magazine, besides the fact that, this pretty brief e-book is a meditation at the that means of silence and solitude for contemporary lifestyles. Leigh Fermor writes, “In the seclusion of a cell—an lifestyles whose quietness is just different via the silent nutrition, the solemnity of formality, and lengthy solitary walks within the woods—the afflicted waters of the brain develop nonetheless and transparent, and lots more and plenty 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 nation of peace that's unthought of within the traditional world.”
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The first bell was already ringing for Vespers, and I went down to the cloisters and watched the monks assemble in silence for their processional entrance. They had put on, over their habits and scapulars, black cowls: flowing gowns with hoods into which those of their ordinary habits fitted, and so voluminous that the wearers appeared to glide rather than walk. Their hands were invisibly joined, like those of mandarins, in the folds of their sleeves, and the stooped faces, deep in the tunnel of their pointed hoods, were almost completely hidden.
They travel, teach, preach, convert, organise, plan, heal and nurse; and the material results they achieve make them, if not automatically admirable, at least comprehensible to the Time-Spirit. They get results; they deliver the goods. But what (the Time-Spirit asks) what good do the rest do, immured in monasteries far from all contact with the world? The answer is—if the truth of the Christian religion and the efficacy of prayer are both dismissed as baseless—no more than any other human beings who lead a good life, make (for they support themselves) no economic demands on the community, harm no one and respect their neighbours.
A monk extinguished the candles, the hoods went up, the Abbot intoned the opening verse of Sext and, still on the same note, the response came booming back…. Since the collapse and spoliation of the great Gothic church, its purpose has been fulfilled by the seventeenth-century chapter-house. Here nothing breaks the simplicity of white stone vaults and walls, nothing but the altar, a tall crucifix, the carved wooden stalls and the emblazoned throne of the Abbot. This severity gives immense emphasis to the splendour of the Mass and the austerity of the offices between which it is bracketed; but the lowness of the vaults is said to impair the effects of the Gregorian plain-song for which the Abbey is famous.
A Time to Keep Silence by Patrick Leigh Fermor