Lilian Mary Louvaine Latham (nee Silcox)
7th September 1915 - 1st October 1998
I have never spent any time in a monastery or convent...though I would dearly like to. But for an experience which allows one to have a hint of what it might be like, I thoroughly recommend to you two DVDs which I have watched over the last year - both of which instil a sense of immense peace in their watching.
Firstly, the earlier film 'Into Great Silence', directed by Philip Groning, which spans a year in the monastery of the Grand Chatreuse in France. With virtually no dialogue, it is exquisite. The quality of light is mesmerising, the images like a series of Dutch Old Masters*, it is a film which may be savoured all in one watching as a personal silent retreat. That experience would be very intense, however, and it may also be 'dipped into' to find a small haven of stillness and peace in any busy day. It is beautifully reviewed here by Frederic and Anne Mary Brussat at their wonderfully comprehensive 'Spirituality and Practice' site,
The second film, No Greater Love, directed by Michael Whyte, was made much closer to home, in the monastery of the Most Holy Trinity in Notting Hill, London. More dialogue this time, giving more of an insight into how the Carmelite nuns who live there view their enclosed lives. Again, it will provide an oasis of contemplation if you leave it in your DVD player. There are also some compelling images in this film...that of the aged nun in her coffin, crowned with roses was one of the most beautiful images I have seen in a very long time.
Try to track down these two films - they are worth seeking and worth waiting for, and well worth returning to over and over again. Like all the best films, each watching reveals something you will have never noticed before.