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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.

In this week's blog our abbot Fr. Paul Mark explains for us Cistercian dedication to the Blessed Virgin Mary:

Did you know that already in the first century Christians were divided in their understanding of who Jesus Christ was?  Was Jesus divine or human and how could Jesus be both?  The Letters of John and Paul address these divisions. 

Fr. Paul Jerome shares his wisdom:

1. WHAT I LOVE ABOUT BEING A MONK!

The abundant time I have for private and public prayer, to develop a personal relationship with our Heavenly Father, our Savior and their Holy Spirit, and with our Blessed Mother.  As well as the peace these relationships bring.

2. WHAT I WOULD TELL ANYONE DISCERNING A VOCATION

On September 8, 2019 our Bro. William made his solemn profession of lifetime vows as a Cistercian monk of New Clairvaux Abbey.  In this Blog he shares some of his spiritual preperation for this momentous decision:

Before I made my solemn profession I was on week retreat at the Mercy Sisters’ house in Auburn, CA.  The beautiful scenic and quiet environment was most conducive for a silent retreat, true silence that uplift and invades my spirit and soul. 

The first scripture passage was from Col. 1:9-

“We believe that the divine presence is everywhere and that in every place the eyes of the Lord are watching the good and the wicked. But beyond the least doubt we should believe this to be especially true when we celebrate the divine office. We must always remember, therefore, what the Prophet says: Serve the Lord with fear (Ps 2:11), and again, Sing praise wisely (Ps 46[47]:8); and, In the presence of the angels I will sing to you (Ps 137[138]:1).

Br. Luis takes his turn answering the question:  What is Your Favorite Book of Scripture?

My favorite book of scripture would actually be collection of books--the Psalms.  I spend so much time with them; I've grown so attached to them over the course of 10 years, singing them seven times a day.  Apart from communal prayer, I work at learning them by memory, so as to carry the psalter in me at all times; it is my way of living out that exhortation to pray unceasingly.  The psalms are an indispensable part of my life as a Christian.

 

In this week's Blog our abbot Fr. Paul Mark comments on his experience of the Rule of St. Benedict, Chapter 68, If a Brother is Assigned an Impossible Task:

Our Fr. Thomas Davis offers a teaching on the Feast of Holy Cross which we celebrate in the monastery on September 14: The Feast of the Triumph of the Holy Cross has always been a significant feast.  First, it embodies ancient Christian reverence for the Holy Cross of Christ.  One of my favorite prayers is the well-known Ave Crux Spes Unica (Hail O Cross, our Only Hope – the usual English translation).  This beautiful ejaculatory prayer embodies the total mystery of the Cross of Christ.

 I asked some of the brothers to answer the following question and thought you might be interested in what they had to say:

                     AS A MONK, WHAT IS THE SECRET OF YOUR PERSERVERENCE? 

“Put another way: Why don’t I leave the monastery?  The secret is that God is good.  Seeking God is the only thing that makes sense; it’s the only thing that brings me true happiness.”

“There is no secret to perseverance.  It is a gift from God not to be taken for granted. 

This time we are grateful to present a special guest blogger, Stephen, who was on a Long Term Guest retreat with us earlier this year, sharing his experience at New Clairvaux:

My Retreat Experience

Fr. Paul Mark contributes a blog reflection on the “Rich Young Man” of Matt. 19:16-30.  The question is: from the perspective of a monk, what makes for true happiness?

“Do you remember the comic book adventures of Richie Rich, the poor little rich boy?  He had “everything” but always lost out on the best things in life, hence he was a poor rich boy.