Time to Serve

Time to Serve

Br. Christopher continues our series on the question “What is one thing you have learned in the monastery?” 
“I was asked to share one thing I learned in the monastery and this little incident came to mind:  I was assigned to be Altar Server for the Great Easter Vigil Mass, which we celebrate at 2:30 am.  It is the biggest liturgy of the year with all the ‘bells and whistles’: lots of incense and rituals, a lot for the server to do and keep track of; and the brothers will tell you that I am NOT known for having a great memory!   So in preparation I made out a very careful and minutely detailed list of all the things I would needed to do and when to do it in the liturgy.  Then, just before Mass began… my list disappeared!  I KNOW I had left it in the sacristy!  And I remember thinking, “Oh Great, now I will have to rely on God!  …Hey, wait a minute!”  I realized at that moment that I had wanted to rely on a LIST, on my own human preparations and skills, rather than on the God who Loves and Cares for me!  It was a moment of awareness that I have never forgotten.  So I made an act of self-surrender and entrusted the Mass and everything I was nervous about in my duties as server to God, and things went great.  Right after Mass one of the Fathers came up to me and handed me my list, saying, “I think this belongs to you.”  He had accidently picked it up in the sacristy with his missal.  I know God was behind the whole thing: He is like that! “   

 

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Prayer

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.

Hospitality

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.