The Way of Kenosis

The Way of Kenosis

Br. William shares on the way of self-emptying love: “Fr. Cyprian Consiglio, the prior of New Camaldoli Hermitage in Big Sur, California was our retreat director for our annual community retreat week, held this Nov. 14 -20. The theme of the conferences were a Spirituality of Kenosis. The American scholar and poet Christian Wiman wrote, that kenosis “refers to the kind of self-emptying that God” in Jesus “performed in both the incarnation and the crucifixion.”

The painting above refers to a legend that the pelican pierced its own breast to feed her little ones with its blood. Similarly, Jesus feed us daily with His precious blood at every Eucharistic celebration. This is the kenosis of Christ, His way of emptiness.

As monastics, our calling to be in same mind of Jesus is to empty our self completely with Christ. As the retreat master emphasized we are called: to be absolute availability no matter what we do, to empty our self quietly, completely, sit quietly, content with the grace of God.

My daily activities include the Divine Office, Mass, meditation and sacred readings. My duties as guest master and door keeper requires daily opening and closing of gates, setting up hymnals and psalters for guests, bring meals and cleaning the dining room, welcoming retreatants and take care of their welfare during their stay and operating the gift and bookstore.  The daily busyness and mundane routine can be stressful and I look forward to quiet time and solitude.

 Our community life require one to live with 20 other brothers, day in and day out, praying together, eating together, gathering together for meetings or some community works. It is natural that coming from different cultural background that all of us have different personalities and we do our best to live in harmony in the community. So this call for us to be absolute availability and Kenosis in giving our self completely to God.”

God bless you all,

Your brothers of New Clairvaux

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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.