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Differences in Charterhouses
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It's the one same Carthusian Culture and Life!

There is very little different between the Charterhouses. The cuisine, of course, has a cultural flavor based on the country the Charterhouse is located in. Other then that, the Carthusian Life is the Carthusian Life, and it is basically the same everywhere it goes. Quite often, Carthusian communities are composed of monks from other Charterhouses of diverse nationalities, united together in living the one Carthusian Life, so the internal customs of a community just cannot have room for large variations.  As mentioned at the beginning in a charterhouse in France you will get the French Bread and watered "Vin Ordinaire" wine with your meals for a drink, and in the American, your going to get a Loaf of Whole Wheat Bread and Apple Cider or Milk with your meals, and whatever are the local foodstuffs and supplies.  Beyond things of that nature, there are not going to be large differences.


The Order has very deliberately maintained itself to be international and ready to accommodate any Carthusian from whatever charterhouse anywhere else he or she needs to be sent. Maintaining the Choral Office and Mass in Latin facilitates this international flexibility. Since the vow of Stability is to the Order, theoretically one can be sent under Obedience at a moment's notice anywhere the Order needs you to go. There cannot be large variations of the basic life and observance from place to place because of this.  They are fixed by the Statutes, and carefully monitored and regulated by the Canonical Visitors and the General Chapters, and need to be maintained by a certain uniformity to preserve the integrity of the of the Carthusian Life and observance. 


While each culture has its own unique mentality and orientation that slightly colors the life of a charterhouse, Carthusian Life itself is a type of eremitical monastic culture or counter culture and takes precedence over being French, American, English, Croat, Korean, Spanish, etc.  A Carthusian has to become and be a Carthusian, leaving his/her secular cultural baggage behind, become re-acculturated to the eremitic Carthusian culture, and largely sacrifices her/his secular and ethnic culture for the sake of following Christ in the Desert as a Carthusian. This is also why specifically monastic hermits differ from just devout religious solitaries.  The sacrifice of ones secularity and secular culture is a demand of monastic and eremitic conversion of life.  A devout religious solitary doesn't necessarily have to embrace that. One who embraces monasticism must and necessarily does.   The more radical the form of monastic or eremitic life, the more radical the conversion of life to that monastic or eremitic culture.

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