Intimately connected with the life of the Church during a crucial moment in her history, these writings (bound in one volume for the first time) lie at the heart of great changes troubling the West just after AD 1000. Priestly and episcopal offices were tied to family fortunes and land holdings, and immorality among laity and monastics alike had become a scandal to faithful Christians in Europe. The final break between Latin and Greek-speaking Christian worlds came less than a century later. But as often happens in desperate times, a light, in this case the founding of the Monastery of Camaldoli, illumined and sought to restore the mission of the Church in the West. Following the tradition of their fathers (Ss. Romuald and Peter Damian among others), the Camaldolese have been quietly at the work of prayer for a millennium, encouraged by these spiritual writings. Included are St. Bruno-Boniface's Life of the Five Hermit Brothers
, St. Peter Damien's Life of Blessed Romuald
, Dominus Vobiscum
, a theological exposition of the Church as Communion, and the Constitutions
and Rule of Blessed Rudolf
. 267 pp.
An Eighth Day View:
"Behold, I will allure her, and will lead her into the wilderness: and I will speak to her heart." Hosea 2:14 After a thousand years and in a new world, this volume assembles, for the first time in any language, all the key foundational writings of the oldest eremitic order of the Western Church. The earliest of these, Saint Bruno-Boniface's The Life of the Five Hermit Brothers, doubles as one of the most important documents of early Polish history. The two most celebrated works of "the Monitor of Popes," Doctor of the Church Saint Peter Damian, are included: The Life of Blessed Romuald and Dominus Vobiscum. The latter has a theme particularly dear to contemporary theologians: the Church as communion. Finally, the earliest statutes of the Order, namely the Constitutions and Rule of Blessed Rudolf, premiere here in English. The Jacob's ladder (Gen. 28:12) in the background of the painting of Saint Romuald by Sacchi on the front cover was inspired by the account related on page 236. In the collect for the liturgy of Saint Romuald's Day, we pray that we may deny ourselves in order to follow Christ in the way of the cross, and so go up with Him into the glory of the Kingdom. May reading this book renew your inner strength to make that same ascent "with wings as the eagles" (Isa. 40:31).