A group of Cistercian monks joined arm in arm

As we approach the end of the year and our thoughts turn to New Year Resolutions, we present the penultimate Chapter of the Rule of St. Benedict as material for consideration…


Just as there is a wicked zeal of bitterness which separates from God and leads to hell, so there is a good zeal which separates from evil and leads to God and everlasting life. This, then, is the good zeal which monks must foster with fervent love: They should each try to be the first to show respect to the other (Rom. 12:10); supporting with greatest patience one another’s weaknesses of body or behavior, and earnestly competing in obedience to one another. No one is to pursue what he judges better for himself, but instead, what he judges better for someone else. To their fellow monks they show the pure love of brothers; to God, loving fear; to their abbot, unfeigned and humble love. Let them prefer nothing whatever to Christ, and may he bring us all together to life everlasting.

Wishing all a very blessed and holy New Year,

Your brothers of New Clairvaux

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