Benedictine Justice

Benedictine Justice

Fr. Thomas shares on Benedictine Justice: "The monks gather day and night in the choir of our Monastic Church to chant and “render praise to our Creator for the judgments of his justice” (Rule of St. Benedict, Chapter 16).  I believe that with this verse, Benedict inserts the entire Opus Dei (Liturgy of the Hours) into the mystery of creation and its relationship with the Creator.  While parts of this chapter in Benedict’s Rule are based on and identical with a previous Rule called The Rule of the Master, the words “for the judgments of his justice” (super iudicia justitiae in the original Latin) are introduced by Benedict himself. 

What is this Benedictine ‘Justice’?  Fr. Terence Kardong, OSB, and Sr. Aquinata Brockmann, OSB, define this justice as a bond of fidelity between two persons. This is a different understanding of justice that what is commonly considered as being

fair and impartial in giving persons their respective due. Benedict sees justice as a bond of interpersonal fidelity between the Creator and us. 
Interpersonal fidelity initiates a very nuanced thought of giving praise that is due to the God who is always faithful to us (our due).  We strive to always be faithful to God because God created and relates to us. This is the underlying rationale for our daily choral prayer as a community. 

Furthermore, interpersonal fidelity points to another characteristic of Benedictine justice. This is interpersonal relationship with all creation and, correspondingly, with all persons created by God.  Interpersonal relationship is foundational to Pope Francis’ Laudato Si and to a healthy,  integrated racial and cultural harmony."

God bless you,

Your brothers of New Clairvaux




Cistercian monastic life gives primary place of chanting the Opus Dei or Divine Office in community as well as personal time spent in sacred reading which fulfill the monk's sacred duty of seeking God.


Cistercian monastic life allows rooms for guests because all guests are to be received as Christ.  We never know if we have entertained angels.

Life in Common

Cistercian monastic life is communal:  We share all things in common as did the early Christian community so as to live in greater charity and union with Christ.