Cistercian life is a gradual and progressive deepening of relationship with Jesus Christ, the Risen Lord. It begins with a ‘call’ experienced in the depths of one’s heart to follow Jesus and become a disciple. The response to this call means leaving family, friends, life-style, and entering into a monastic community where there is a common purpose and a common vision. The moment of entry is the moment of conversion and this journey of conversion continues throughout life until we come to that glorious moment of death into Resurrection and Eternal Life with God.
The conversion involved in living Cistercian life is that of growing out of an ego centred life into a Christ centred life. All of the Cistercian observances enable this conversion – Vigils, simple diet, silence, work, a certain withdrawal, and the ongoing spiritual support of the community. Growing into Christ, taking on His values and teaching, sharing in His prayer to the Father, places the daily celebration of the Eucharist, the daily round of liturgical prayer and lectio divina at the heart of our lives.
Cistercian life has a missionary dimension which unites the community in praying for the Church in all her needs, members and activities. This outreach is also expressed in hospitality towards all who wish to share our liturgy, silence and friendship.
“Our order means learning to be silent, to fast, to keep watch, to pray, to work with our hands, and above all to cling to that most excellent way which is love.”
– Bernard of Clairvaux
“Only if the sisters prefer nothing whatever to Christ will they be happy to persevere in a life that is ordinary, obscure and laborious.”
– OCSO Constitutions, 3.5