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.