Tuesday, June 19, 2012

St. Romuald

June 19 is the feast day of St. Romuald, the founder of the Order of Camaldoli.  Paula Huston is an oblate of the New Camaldoli Hermitage in Big Sur, California.  Her experience with the Camaldolese monks inspired her to apply their simple, contemplative practices to her own life, the fruit of which is her book, The Holy Way. St. Romuald's biography can be found at Catholic Online, part of which can read below.  

St. Romuald
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St. Romuald was born at Ravenna about the year 956. In spite of an infinite desire for virtue and sanctity, his early life was wasted in the service of the world and its pleasures. Then one day, obliged by his father, Sergius, to be present at a duel fought by him, he beheld him slay his adversary. The crime made such an impression upon him that he determined to expiate it for forty days, as though it were entirely his own. For this purpose he retired to a Benedictine monastery of St. Apollinare, near Ravenna, where he became Abbot. After founding several monasteries, he laid the foundations of the austere Order of Camaldoli in Tuscany. Like all the saints, he fought a lifelong battle against the assaults of devils and men.   After a long life of merit, he died in the monastery of Castro, which he founded in Marquisate of Ancona. His death occurred on June 19, about the year 1027.

St. Romuald's Brief Rule For Camaldolese Monks

Sit in your cell as in paradise. Put the whole world behind you and forget it. Watch your thoughts like a good fisherman watching for fish. The path you must follow is in the Psalms — never leave it.
If you have just come to the monastery, and in spite of your good will you cannot accomplish what you want, take every opportunity you can to sing the Psalms in your heart and to understand them with your mind.
And if your mind wanders as you read, do not give up; hurry back and apply your mind to the words once more.
Realize above all that you are in God's presence, and stand there with the attitude of one who stands before the emperor.
Empty yourself completely and sit waiting, content with the grace of God, like the chick who tastes nothing and eats nothing but what his mother brings him.

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