Mary Greets the Years

Mary Greets the Years

July 2, 2020 will be the 65th anniversary of the founding of New Clairvaux Abbey in 1955, also the Feast of the Visitation in those days.  A monk creatively combines the two events in an imaginative poem, entitled: "Mary Greets the Years"
Very suddenly at first light she runs
The news-incredible-giving her legs
A burst of excitement, of fear, wonder
A stream across the ages blows a sound
Of a whistle, of people all over
Bustling, talking, running, all but one group.
Men in black and brown together
Board onto a car of their own, no word,
No sound, but the rustling of wool and beads
Coming from them and people scratching their heads.
As she runs, more with an astonishment
Than energy of her own to hills south
She knows, to Judah near the Lord’s temple
To a kinswoman to know it was so
Yet wond’ring if within HER was so
Said by the messenger not the day before.
But beneath them the clack-clack of the rails
As silence is kept, and life so also
As if the car did not move, and no change
In the scenery from region to region.
As for her, at the house of her kin, was
Heard her voice, no by one, but thus by two
Leaping inside of the one, was her child
With joy at her greeting. And the child moved,
Moved the mother to start going outside.
As the train glistening red stopped, steam rose
With the rotunda nearby and their shoes
Shuffling, they, to a bus and cars they move
Toward the upward swing of the black top road.
As the bounding girl greets her kinswoman,
She is blessed and her womb also, glancing
With wonder upon wonder, awe with awe
Cocking her brow, mouth agape, wide open.
As the caravan on white-rims hums through,
Up the valley to a place only seen
As letters on a page or heard so mouthed.
They, with the kinswoman, turn toward the girl
As the group eyes a brick building and house,
They cry at once, “And why should it be so
That the mother of my Lord, come to me?”
And feeling a rush, she began her song


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.