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Blog

Seeking God at this place of New Clairvaux, we are a community of Cistercian monks living the Rule of Saint Benedict. We witness God's love for the world according to the Gospel of Jesus Christ by a life of prayer, labor, and sustainable stewardship of our resources in a simplicity and openness to the signs of the times. Our monastery welcomes all people in the spirit of hospitality, and engages others in collaborative relationships.

Br. William shares on the Grace of Baptism and the Trinity: “Springs of water were made holy as Christ revealed his glory to the world. Draw water from the fountain of the Savior, for Christ our God has hallowed all Creation.”
The above antiphon at Lauds used with reference to Ezekiel, chapter 36, on the regeneration of the land and the regeneration (rebirth) of the people.

Fr. Placid asks us how we hear the Gospel this year:  “Ordinary Time has us journey liturgically through the life and ministry of Jesus. Following the Lenten and Easter seasons, which have moved us through the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus, we find ourselves again in Ordinary Time,  moving toward eternity and the implications of participating in the life of Jesus and what that means specifically and personally to us.

Fr. Thomas shares a reflection preparing us for the upcoming Feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple, celebrated February 2nd:  “Chapter Two of Luke’s Gospel speaks of the presentation of the Child Jesus in the Temple; this is familiar to us.  Simeon, guided by the Holy Spirit, enters the Temple and meets the parents of Jesus with their Child. This meeting fulfills a life-long prayerfully passionate desire of Simeon. Actually, this Holy Spirit had made a special revelation to Simeon that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Anointed One.

Br. Christopher shares on Christian Unity:  "We are in the midst of the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Jan. 18 – 25).  The very fact that this intention has a week in the liturgical calendar shows how important the Church takes this, how much God wants it. 

Br. Luis shares a Christmas Story: “I take an occasional turn caring for our 90-year-old, wheelchair-bound, Fr. Lawrence.  He increasingly suffers from the effects of dementia and memory loss.  Early this month, it was my turn to roll him into the dining room and set him up for the noon meal.  I asked him: Will you have your usual milk and buttered bread? He struggled to respond, so I gently reminded him that this is what he wanted.  He muttered to himself sadly, shaking his head, “Gee, I can’t even remember what I want anymore.” 

At the monastery we celebrate Holy Epiphany on the traditional date January 6, the Twelfth day of the traditional ’12 Day of Christmas’.  Br. Peter Damian enlivens the day with a special reflection on Treasures of the Magi:   

And on entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. They opened their treasures and offered Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.” (Mt 2:11).

Father Paul Mark speaks on how to greet the New Year: "I don’t remember ever making a new year’s resolution but for many years I greet the arrival of the new year with hope.  It is a new beginning, new opportunities and experiences beckon and I hope I am ready to welcome these even with they appear disguised in “work clothes”.  A new year is the chance to review the past year, the lessons learned, the mistakes made, and the decisions that have borne fruit.  A new year is, above all, the chance to give thanks for the past even if perchance events seemed to turn my life upside down and inside

It is our tradition at the Abbey to keep Advent as its own liturgical season, as a time of preparing for the coming of the Lord.  So now, in the past few days the Postulants (those men who have entered the community this past year) have been busy putting the trees and decorations in place, but we will not be turning on the lights and seeing the monastery in its full Christmas splendor until this evening, when we begin the celebration of the Lord’s Nativity with the First Vespers of Christmas.

Brother Christopher shares an Advent message on kindness: “ Of all the apostolates open to us, the most effective, the most far-reaching, the most consoling is… kindness. Kindness is one of God's best gifts to the world. It drives gloom and darkness from souls. It puts hope into fainting hearts. It sweetens sorrow. It lessens pain. It discovers unsuspected beauties of human character. It calls forth a response from all that is best in souls. It purifies, glorifies, and ennobles all that it touches. 

As we inch closer to Christmas, Fr. Placid shares on the selflessness service of St. Joseph:  "By his actions and decisions as seen in the Infancy Narratives, St. Joseph displayed that he was a man remarkably free of covetousness. This quality allowed him to be ready to meet Jesus, not allowing his own desires to get in the way of doing  -humbly, quietly and unreservedly- what God asked of him.  He had a peace about him because of the lack of insisting on his own desires.