Abbey of New Clairvaux monastic community picture, 2024

Br. Peter Gao speaks on the Common Life: “The community of believers was of one heart and mind, and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they had everything in common.” Acts 4:32

This passage from Acts is a recurring theme that we hear frequently in our liturgical readings during the Easter Season. It depicts for us a beautiful picture of what the newly born Church looked like after the resurrection of Jesus. In this picture, we find a profound message of unity and selflessness. This unity and selflessness were not born out of law or decree but from a shared faith and love that bound them together. In this spirit of unity, the material possessions were regarded as of little importance compared to the spiritual riches they shared in Christ. This practice of communal living inspires us to look beyond our individual desires and towards the needs of our community. It teaches us the value of detachment from material possessions, and to find our wealth not in things, but in relationships and spiritual fulfillment. It is in giving that we receive. It is in sharing that we are fulfilled.

This way of life echoes the principles of a monastic community, where individuals come together, living in simplicity and brotherhood, dedicating their lives to spiritual pursuits and the common good. As members of a Cistercian community, we are called to strive to embody this spirit, finding joy not in ownership, but in sharing; not in accumulating, but in distributing.

Brothers, as we continue to live out these principles, let us encourage one another, knowing that our shared commitment strengthens not only our community but also our individual spiritual journeys. Let us take heart in the knowledge that every act of sharing and every moment of simplicity brings us closer to the divine love that binds us all.


Your brothers of New Clairvaux

#CommonLife #detachment #sharing #simplicity #Trappist #Monks #NewClairvaux