"Give me, O Lord, the comfort of my wilderness: a solitary heart and frequent communing with you. As long as you are with me, O my God, I shall not be alone; but if you leave me, woe to him that is alone; for if I fall asleep, there will be no one to keep me warm; if I fall down, there will be nobody to pick me up." ~ from a prayer by William of Saint Thierry, 12th-century Cistercian monk.
"If you have fled away to remain in solitude, continue to stay there; wait there for the One who will save you 'from pusillanimity of spirit and the storm'. However much the storm of battles may assail you, however much you may feel the lack even of sustenance in the desert, do not because of pusillanimity of spirit return in mind to Egypt. The desert will feed you more abundantly with manna, that is, the bread of angels, than Egpyt with its fleshpots.
The monks at the Abbey of Our Lady of New Clairvaux are facing what seems like a new horizon both in the visible exterior of the monastery and the not-so-visible places of what is called the "monastic enclosure." Surely anyone who drives onto our property now will immediately notice the new landscape and wayfinding signs of the abbey property. It reminds me a bit like the Cistercian abbeys I've visited in France with usually a long, scenic driveway before arriving at the abbey gatehouse, then roads that diverge onto to the other monastery buildings.