A biogrpahical account of the three months the author spent in Parkminster, the only Carthusian monastery in England. He witnessed a lifestyle as austere as Thomas Merton's Trappists. The Carthusians live alone in a two-up, two-down cell, meeting the others only during the offices which are sung seven times a day. Written as a journal, this book records Skinners impressions of the visit, focusing on both the inner and outer experience.
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'A Portrait of the Carthusians'
For a short period one summer, John Skinner stayed at the English Carthusian monastery at Parkminster in Sussex. The Carthusians are said to be the toughest monastic order in Christendom. John Skinner had tried a religious vocation himself with the Jesuits, but left as a young man for the world of commerce and marriage.
Parkminster houses twenty monks from all over the world but was designed for three times that number. Dilapidated as it is, English Heritage believes it to be the finest example of a monastery working to a medieval pattern anywhere in the United Kingdom.
Despite the monks' fascinating cosmopolitan backgrounds, John Skinner found their 900-year-old lifestyle to be little disturbed by the twentieth century. Each lives as a hermit, meeting the others in church for two of the eight offices and Eucharist, but otherwise eating, working and praying alone. His first concern is to confront God. Once in His Presence, then prayer for and about the world flows as a matter of course.
As Skinner forces himself out of bed at midnight for three hours of prayer, he enters an ancient pattern of worship which unites members of religious orders worldwide. In his own words: "Here I found something rare and special, a core desire to perform each day's tasks, both work and prayer, as simply and as perfectly as possible."About the Author:
John Skinner, a former journalist, soon turned to childen’s bookselling. He founded the Red House, with its hugely successful children’s book club, as well as the puffin Club for Penguins. He is married with four adult children.
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Book Description Fount, 1995. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110006278736
Book Description Fount, 1995. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0006278736