Blog

Blog

Seeking God at this place of New Clairvaux, we are a community of Cistercian monks living the Rule of Saint Benedict. We witness God's love for the world according to the Gospel of Jesus Christ by a life of prayer, labor, and sustainable stewardship of our resources in a simplicity and openness to the signs of the times. Our monastery welcomes all people in the spirit of hospitality, and engages others in collaborative relationships.

Fr. Placid speaks on the nature of Melancholy: “In the Jane Austen novel ‘Persuasion’, Anne Elliot is introduced as having lost her bloom and suffering from being “depressed”. During the course of the book, as she come back into contact with Captain Wentworth, the mood around her gradually shifts away from a somber one to a hopeful one as misunderstandings are cleared away between the two of them. 

Br. Christopher offers an invitation:
Welcome to the Abbey of New Clairvaux!
Many comment that they feel a sense of peace and spiritual well-being when they enter the monastery grounds. The monastery is a place of faith, a center of prayer. 
In a world in which many of our contemporaries find life sad, without meaning, without hope, we invite you to share our joy! We invite you to Jesus, the source of our peace and joy. As millions have discovered, everyone who has had the happiness to come to know Him, love Him. 

 Fr. Paul Mark speaks on God’s Holy Angels:  “September 29, the feast of St. Michael and All Angels, holds a personal meaning for me.  It was this day, in 1981, that I was admitted into the novitiate and received the white habit of the Trappist-Cistercian novice, here at Vina.  Sts. Michael, Gabriel, Raphael and All the Angels became the patrons of my novitiate but also the patrons of my monastic vocation.

Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, are, unsurprisingly, Hebrew names.  Michael means “Who is like God?”, Gabriel “Strength of God”, and Raphael, “Medicine of God”.

Br. Peter Damian shares on creation and redemption:  “In his book ‘On Loving God’, Saint Bernard said, “In his first work He gave me myself; in his second work He gave me Himself; when He gave me Himself, he gave me back myself. Given and re-given, I owe myself twice over.” 

Fr. Mark's homily for the Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows: "A week ago, on Septermber 8, we celebrated the birth of the Blessed Virgin. Today we honor her as Our Lady of Sorrows. It is as if we were saying, “For this you were born.” In the reading from the book of Esther at Vigils this morning, Mordecai says to Esther, “perhaps it is for this that you have been brought into the king’s palace as queen, so that you can intercede with the king for your people in distress.”

Br. Christopher shares on Happiness:  “Question: If happiness is missing from your life, with what can you replace it?

Father Paul Mark speaks on Transitions: “The world and its enticements are passing away but whoever does the will of God remains forever”, 1 John 2:17.  The phrase “passing away” in Latin is transitus.  In English we get the word transition, meaning a change or passage from one state to another.  I would like to offer a reflection then on life transitions.  

Father Placid comments on care of the sick in the monastery: “Chapter 36 of the Rule of St. Benedict concerns the care of sick brothers. Saint Benedict orients most of the chapter toward those will be responsible for their care; that is, the abbot, the infirmarian and the attendants who serve them directly. However, there is a key phrase in the chapter directed to the ailing brothers themselves that deserves to be well noticed: “Let the sick on their part bear in mind that they are served out of honor for God, and let them not by their excessive demands distress anyone who serves them.” The rest of the chapter then goes on to remind the others to serve the sick as they would Christ (Matthew 25).

Brother Christopher comments on the Hidden Life of Jesus: “According the chronology of the Gospel of Saint John, the public ministry of Jesus took up only 3 of His 33 years on earth, thus 90% of His time in the flesh was taken up by His hidden life.  For many years I thought, how much patience it must have taken for Jesus to wait for the call of the Father to begin His public ministry, how eager He must have been to get things started! Then on further reflection, I thought, No.  Jesus had already begun His saving ministry.  His mission from the Father was to undo the DISOBEDIENCE of Adam by

Brother Christopher speaks on "Mighty Mercy":  I think that after “I love you”, the most beautiful words in any language are: “I’m sorry”.  “I’m Sorry” means: “I value you.  I hurt you, and because I value you so much I’m deeply sorry that you be harmed in anyway.  You are precious.”  “I’m Sorry” is healing.  When there is true reconciliation it restores relationships STRONGER than they were before.  One can say afterwards, “Now I know.  The relationship, our commitment to one another, has been tested and survived the trial.  I know my relationship with you is important to you, to have forg