Below are some remote hyperlinks to texts that Carthusians have made their own. I do not manage the pages these links take you to. If you notice that the links become outdated, or you come across other relevant links, I would be grateful if you would let me know. The links do not lead to the best literature found in Carthusian monasteries, but to the best of what I could find on the Net. Comments within the list are not my work but of the creator of the respective page. The book list is not my own work either, though I have edited it.
Most of the following reviews are written and submitted by Warren Farah and Dave Allison of Eighth Day Books. Warren is serving as book editor for The Christian Activist, and owns Eighth Day Books. All the books below can be ordered by calling him at (800) 841-2541. These books can also be ordered from Light & Life Publishing by calling (612) 925-3888.
The Desert Fathers, by Helen Waddell.
This is the classic Western translation of the sayings of the Desert Fathers, which have played a crucial role in the formation of Christian spirituality, and which historically led countless men and women into the desert in a quest for the knowledge of God and the satisfaction of His will. These athletes of God left teachings framed by the simplest of words, yet understandable only by the wisest, whose wisdom is born of humility. 209 pp. paper $13.95
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A collection of five short tales of the sinful person who repents. Included are the biblical Mary Magdalene and later elaborations of her tradition, St. Mary of Egypt, an image of repentance in the Lenten liturgical tradition, and three stories of penitent harlots from the Vita Patrum. Sister Benedicta provides introductions and critical notes for these stories, which together form a thoughtful study of early Christian metanoia. 113 pp. paper $13.95
Beginning To Pray, by Archbishop Anthony Bloom.
A Russian diplomat's son, a doctor and member of the French resistance, an Orthodox monk and later Archbishop of the Russian Orthodox Church in England, Bloom also happens to be a modern guide to the spiritual life. He gently warns the reader of this book, "The realm of God is dangerous. You must enter into it and not just seek information about it .. the day when God is absent, when He IS silent--that is the beginning of prayer." 114 pp. paper $5.95.
The Path Of Prayer By Saint Theophan The Recluse.
Daily prayer as a way of spiritual growth by one of the great Elders of the Russian Church. Perhaps the first full and clear explanation of how to use daily prayer as a path of spiritual development, written during the last times of classical Russian monasticism, by Saint Theophan the Recluse (b.1815, d. 1894), scholar, Bishop, hermit and staretz, one of the inspired teachers of the Eastern Church: With a selection of prayers by the early fathers of the church chosen to aid the reader who wants to put the ideas of this book into practice. This small book is mighty in spiritual wisdom. Pocket book $7.95.
Penthos: The Doctrine of Compunction in the Christian East, by Irenee Hausherr.
"Blessed are those who mourn..." In meditating on this Beatitude, the Desert Fathers often spoke of its connection with sorrow for sin, and their own experience of what came to be called the "gift of tears." They were insistent that entering into Christian joy was inseparable from this primary experience of compunction. Irenee Hausherr has traced this recurrent theme through the first millennium of the monastic tradition and made it accessible to those outside the monastic calling. In the almost half century since it was first published, and to the modern mind set constantly immersed in the language of "self-esteem" and "self-fulfilment," Penthos is a jarring reminder of a pristine practice of self-knowledge and repentance. 200 pp. paper $11.95
The Name of Jesus, by Irenee Hausherr.
Hausherr has shown himself both in this work and in his earlier, closely related book Penthos, to be one wholly concerned with the most intimate aspects of Christian spirituality. What he has accomplished here is not merely an investigation of the ways Christians have addressed Jesus from New Testament times down through the first millennium, nor simply a history of the Jesus Prayer (although he succeeds in both tasks admirably), but a relentless quest for the underlying orientation of Christian people toward their Lord. With a rare familiarity with countless Eastern and especially Syrian liturgical and monastic texts, Hausherr reveals the close connection between compunction, or sorrow for sin, and the desire to find methods of unceasing prayer. In the course of his investigation, he has much of importance to say about the essence of prayer, authentic piety and authentic holiness. 358 pp. paper $13.95.
The Lives of Simeon Stylites, translated by Robert Doran, foreword by Susan Ashbrook Harvey.
In the flood of Christian ascetics who left the world to seek God alone, Simeon chose a novel escape. He mounted a pillar. There he remained the rest of his life, a focus of pious pilgrimage. To him came supplicants with all kinds of problems: personal anguish, sickness and pain, infertility, sin, and social transgression. Public issues were mediated at his shrine and slaves manumitted. Whole villages sent delegations for advice when plagues or wild beasts threatened. Robert Doran, professor of religious studies at Amherst College, translates here the extant lives of Simeon a Greek account by his contemporary, Bishop Theodoret of Cyrrhus; one of unknown date by `Antonius'; and a third, written in Syriac. The awe and fascination both Greeks and Syrians felt for this stylite (pillar) saint give an insight into the Christian, and non-Christian world of the fifth century. 144 pp. paper $15.95
Not of This World: The Life and Teaching of Fr. Seraphim Rose, by Damascene Christensen.
Living as a monk in the mountains of northern California, Fr. Seraphim Rose broke the shackles of his times and penetrated into the heart of ancient, otherworldly Christian experience, reconnecting fragmented Western man with his lost roots and showing him the way of return of God. Today his name is known and loved by millions throughout the world, especially in Russia and Eastern Europe, where during the Communist era his writings were secretly distributed in thousands of typewritten copies. The book traces his passionate search for Truth and his spiritual and philosophical development, setting forth his message and offering a glimpse into the soul of a man not of this world. 1042 pp. paper $24.95 hard $29.95
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