Monastic architecture tries to capture a truth about divinity and expresses it in the way it is built. For the early Cistercians, this truth was marked by a certain vastness of space as if you were being enveloped entirely by a mysterious yet welcoming presence. They used proportion to convey a sense of harmony as if the very walls resonated with an unheard of ethereal music. The simplicity of line devoid of ornamentation directs the gaze forward and lifts the eyes upward towards that place where only God can touch the soul and no one else. In many early Cistercian abbey churches, you would find a round oculus, a symbol of approaching divine perfection. Others may have three arched windows representing the Trinity. Another characteristic of the early Cistercian architecture was light representing divine illumination.
On this blog you will periodically find articles, links to pertinent websites, reflections, homilies, and images that express our monastic Cistercian life.