Posted by Eugene Donovan on 31st Oct 2016
Sadly, there are many people who believe that hermits and monks are continually engaged in vocal prayers of supplication. As well, many people believe that anyone who chooses solitude is deficient or insane.This book is a true gem for understanding the nature of the hermit and the meaning of disappearance. The author, identified only as a Camaldolese hermit, is a very balanced, discerning, and intelligent individual who presents the joy and the struggle experienced by those with such a vocation. Just as the above quotation by Jeremiah reveals only one part of the prophetic call, the eremitic life is depicted in all its aspects, including the possibility of serious temptations to leave the hermitage even after final profession. It is a very honest portrayal with its center being disappearance as a violent act.
Thomas Merton wrote that monasteries and hermitages are powerhouses of prayer. We are fortunate to have them at such a crucial point of history. This book examines how the hermit hidden in his cell and known only to his confreres and to God is also in a position to influence the church and even the world. The book is vital for Camaldolese hermits, for those with a potential eremitic vocation, and for lay people to understand the radical act of their disappearance. Most of all, it reveals how leaving the world and the hermit lifestyle is grounded in the deepest possible love.
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