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Margarita Maria Isabella V.

Saulog Ph 103 - F
143660 September 25, 2017
A Call For Response

You are at Gods disposal alone, in solitude and in stillness, in an everlasting

prayer and a joyful penitence. Philip Grnings Into the Great Silence shows us the

intimate personal lives of the Carthusian monks of the Grand Chartreuse. Here, we are

given a glimpse into their quiet and simple lifestyle dedicated to serving God in solitude

and silence. Filmed with no sound effects, no artificial lighting, and no spoken

commentary, we are treated to the raw images and sounds that depict the rhythm of

monastic life. The opening quotation of this paragraph was mentioned during the

initiation ceremony of a new monk, and it is this statement that sums up their purpose

and response to Gods call. This film also shows the stark contrast between how we live

our lives and how they live theirs. In todays fast-paced lifestyle, we must remember that

we have a call to respond to Gods call. And like the Carthusian monks, it is with this call

that we make the choice to commit ourselves to God to do good and seek a relationship

with Him.

Throughout the film, we are shown images of simple everyday tasks these monks

perform. At first, it took a lot of patience for me to watch the film, but at some point, I

began to see the contemplative nature of it. Through the silence of the film, I began to

reflect in solitude and in some way, I took part in their lifestyle as well even for just 3

hours. This allowed me to see why they might be living such lives and what their ultimate

purpose is within their brotherhood. In a discussion the monks had, they mentioned, Our

entire life, the whole liturgy, and everything ceremonial are symbols. When we abolish

the signs, we lose our orientation. Instead, we should search for their meaning the signs

are not to be questioned, we are. Although they were referring to a certain tradition they

have of washing their hands before a ceremony, I believe this can be applied to lifes
purpose as well. Mans whole life is symbolic of God and the grace He bestowed on us.

Abolishing God from our lives would mean our dissemblance a loss of our humanness.

Therefore, we must look for the meaning of Gods presence in our lives in order to find

our purpose and response to His call. It is not God that we must question, rather it is our

purpose for living are we going to make the choice to commit to God?

The Carthusian monks devoted themselves to a life for God. Through this unique

lifestyle, they have responded to Gods call through a never-ending desire for a

relationship with Him. In God, they trust and commit their lives and believe that they will

find Him by giving their whole self to Him until death. We have no guarantee of what lies

beyond the end of our lives. However, our commitment and trust in God should be enough

for us to let go of our fear of death and the uncertainty of life. As the blind monk said in

the film, Why be afraid of death? It is the fate of all humans. The closer one brings oneself

to God, the happier one is. One should not fear death. On the contrary! For us, it is a great

joy to find a Father once again. Their point of reference is God and because of this, there

is a semblance through which God will reveal Himself. In a world that has lost all sense of

God, this film serves as a reminder that He is the reason for our human nature. If we

choose to disregard this thought, we ourselves become dehumanized and ultimately fall

into sin. We lose our relationship with God and thus, lose our reason to live.

Answering Gods call opens up our soul to the goodness and grace of the Lord. It is

the path in which we do good and enjoy our lives with God always in mind. Our

relationship with Him is what allows us to be human. Through this relationship, God

reveals Himself to us and we gain an understanding of who we are. We dont need to be

certain about everything for there are some things that just cannot be quantified. Just as

we cant question Gods existence, we cannot put our own lives into question as well.

Instead we respond to lifes call and find meaning through God.