The word "cloister" speaks of total consecration. Those who enter a traditional physical cloister make a tangible break from the world. Compromise does not fit well in a cloister, nor does lukewarmness, nor does complacency. The cloistered life is absolute.
"If the cloister is in a man's heart, it is immaterial whether the building is actually there. The cloister in a man's heart means only this: God and the soul." (from Warriors of God by Walter Nigg, NY, Alfred A. Knopf, 1959, p. 13)
"Most people cannot leave the world in a bodily sense, but every follower of Christ who is serious
"Thank God, there still remains one sanctuary, the sacredness of which no earthly power may violate… it is the sanctuary of the human heart. It needs no fixed place for its confines, no stated time for the opening of its gates, no particular hour of silence for its prayer. A thought, a word, a moment of reflection, and by faith and by love, the soul is within the blessed refuge, and the gates are closed on the confusion of life with all its noise and tumult. It is secure against the bitterness and the pain of persecution, or hardship or trial, or hurt of body, or wound of earthly pride, or failure of worldly ambition, for there she is inviolable, sacred, impregnable in the fortress of her own spirit. 'Entering into solitude,’ we sometimes call the seeking of this sanctuary. But it is not entering into a lonely solitude. It is hearkening to the alluring accents and appeal of a Voice that will never, in time, be stilled, but will ever sound gently in the hearing of them that love: ‘come apart with Me and rest awhile!” (from The Living Pyx of Jesus, compiled by a Religious, Pelligrini and Co, Australia, 1941, p.101)
I shared the following video only a few months ago, but I am re-posting it because
(1) I think it fits
(2) for me it reveals the absolutely unwordable essence of The Cloistered Heart.
I would go so far as to say that this video captures the Cloistered Heart exactly as I first knew it, as I have always felt it in the depths of my spirit.
A writing teacher once said: "poetry shows; it does not tell."
This video, according to those guidelines, is poetry of the Cloistered Heart.
Come and see.