The monks of Citeaux today have composed a Prayer for Vocations, to ask God through the intercession of Saint Bernard, to call upon men and women of our world today and find a ready willingness to follow the Gospel through monastic life. As monks of New Clairvaux, we make this our special prayer throughout the coming year as we join the rest of our Cistercian brothers and sisters in honoring the memory of our most celebrated Cistercian monk and abbot, Saint Bernard of Clairvaux. The icon shows Bernard dressed in the white Cistercian cowl with a copy of the Rule of Benedict on his right arm and a scroll with a verse from the Song of Songs (1:13) on his left hand. He is situated in the valley between two mountain ranges. On the top right corner is, of course, the Blessed Mother Mary with the Christ-child.
Most gracious Father, in setting up the New Monastery our fathers followed the poor Christ into the desert.
Thus, they lived the Gospel by rediscovering the Rule of Saint Benedict in its purity.
You gave Bernard of Fontaine the ability to make this new life attractive and appealing to others,
in the joy of the Holy Spirit.
Grant that we today, after their example, may live our charism deeply in a spirit of peace, unity, humility,
and above all, in the charity which surpasses all other gifts.
May men and women of our time be newly called to follow the Gospel in monastic life,
in the service of the Church's mission, and in a world forgetful of you.
Remember Lord, Citeaux, where Bernard arrived with his companions. May the brothers there continue to live in the enthusiastic and generative spirit of the founders.
Remember all who live the Cistercian charism.
Remember all Cistercian communities, those which are aging and those newly-born, in all parts of the world, north and south, east and west. Let them not lose courage in times of trial, but turn to her whom Bernard called the
Star of the Sea.
Holy Father, from whom we have already received so much, grant us again your blessing that our communities may grow in numbers, but above all in grace and in wisdom, to your glory who are blessed for ever and ever. Amen.