Br. Christopher comment on God's Will: One question almost every Christian faces is- "When making my life decisions, how can I know that I am doing God’s Will and not my own?" Good question! This is certainly one of the fears that can cause us to hesitate, delay and get stuck in making a committed decision about our future path in life.
In this Year of St. Joseph, Fr. Placid explores St. Joseph in the medieval Cistercian tradition: "Saint Aelred of Rievaulx, was a 12-century Cistercian abbot who wrote sermons and treatises in the north of England. He uses Joseph as an example of a mature monk in several ways. midiveal Cistercian tradition: "Saint Aelred of Rievaulx, was a 12-century Cistercian abbot who wrote sermons and treatises in the north of England. He uses Joseph as an example of a mature monk in several ways.
Fr. Paul Mark Schwan shares on the journey home: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. This ancient proverb served as my mantra as I made the arduous 4000-mile journey by car, from California to North Dakota, to spend a week with my aging parents, ages 97 and 94, respectively. While it is our Trappist-Cistercian practice that our families visit us here at the monastery, when health issues and age prevent them visiting we go to visit them.
Br. Christopher shares on Trappist silence: Although it is not as all pervasive as in the old days, silence is still a major value in Trappist monasteries. Perhaps nothing is more counter cultural in our times, in which constant communication in the great virtue. Some people fear silence, others consider it useless. St. Benedict in his Rule tells us that the monk should cultivate silence at all times. Recently I came across an old pamphlet by the Monks of New Clairvaux with some advice about how do so:
Fr. Thomas shares on Christ’s Three Births: “Abbot Denis Farkasfalvy, O. Cist., concludes his book, The Marian Mystery, with the teaching of Isaac of Stella regarding Mary as Mother of the Church, a teaching found in Isaac’s first sermon on the Assumption. (Isaac: c 1100- c 1170, an English cleric who became a Cistercian abbot.) In this sermon Isaac speaks of three ways to view Christ’s birth.
Br. Christopher offers a reflection on the Little Things, part two: "As human beings we are limited, able to perceive and receive experience sequentially, one experience at a time. God, Our Father, is UN-limited, knowing completely, minutely, and personally EVERY THING, ALL the Time. This is because God is Completely Present, capable of complete attention to each thing as if it were the only thing he created.
Br. Christopher continues our series on the question “What is one thing you have learned in the monastery?”
Br. Luis concludes our series on ‘One Thing I Learned in the Monastery’: “One of the coolest things that I’ve learned in the monastery is how to drive a tractor. Over my years here, I’ve become a farmer, and tractors have become nearly a daily part of my life here in the monastery. I’m from the city, so I never imagined myself acquiring these kinds of skills.
Father Placid continues our series on ‘What is One Thing you have Learned in the Monastery?’ “The one thing I have learned in the monastery is how to track my thoughts: this has been the staple of what is the day-to-day normal practice of the monk, starting with the monastic tradition of the Monks of the Egyptian Desert. I have learned to deal often with thoughts that are emotive in character in reacting to situations. These thoughts or ‘adverse impressions’ can arise from a situation that reminds me of a similar one from the past. They are usually negative and have adverse effects on my
A monk of New Clairvaux comments on The Spirit of Mary: “Cistercians are known for devotion to Mary. They know that of all human persons Our Lady most completely corresponded with the Spirit of Her Son. As our Constitutions state, “Each community of the Order and all the monks are dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother and Symbol of the Church in the order of faith, love and perfect union with Christ” (Const.
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