William of St. Thierry

William of St. Thierry

Our Br. William shares on his patron, Blessed William of St. Thierry, whose memorial is observed on Sept. 8:

“The discovery of the humble Abbot of St. Thierry as one of the most original and penetrating minds of the twelfth century  is the scholarly achievement of the last few decades”  - a quote from Church History.

William of St. Thierry (1085-1148) a Flemish noble, born at Liege (1085) was a twelfth century French Benedictine abbot of Saint Thierry Abbey, a Theologian, a mystic who became a Cistercian monk and writer.

The GOLDEN EPISTLE:  William’s Epistle to the Brothers (Carthusians) of Mont Dieu has been read throughout the Middle Ages and into modern times by many seeking guidance in their spiritual lives.

"The Golden Epistle in Oriental culture signifies: words of wisdom encased in gold and precious jades.

 In my novitiate guided readings I was introduced to the Golden Epistle and  the three different stages of the spiritual life : the state of the the beginners called the “animal”, the state of those making progress- “rational” and the state of the perfect- ”spiritual”.

As a novice and from the secular world, it was the forming of the outer man. Learning to control vices and to purify the soul. This was through assiduous prayers, ascetic practices, meditations, spiritual readings, studies and manual works. To subject oneself through obedience to my superiors, observances and learning humility and a devout love of God and brothers in a life of solitude and simplicity.

 After 10 years in my monastic vocation, I am fully aware that I have bring the “animal state” under control and continue to bring myself to live the life of the Spirit, to be good and through the formation stages to be transformed and to progress to the “rational” state.

Through perseverance, and to love God with my whole heart, soul and mind inorder to attain the life and likeness of God to finally reach the ultimate goal of the “spiritual state” of perfection."

A quote from the Golden Epistle: “It is for others to serve God, it is for you to cling to Him; It is for others to believe in God, know Him, love Him and revere Him; It is for you to taste Him, understand Him, be acquainted with Him and enjoy Him"

 

 

Back

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.