Balancing Prayer, Reading and Work

We are the Cistercians of the Strict Observance, a religious order of monks and nuns in the Roman Catholic Church, also known as “Trappists” or “Trappistines”.

We believe in the power of deep, contemplative prayer, and we pursue it wholeheartedly by following the centuries’ old Rule of St. Benedict. In simplicity, silence and separation from dominant culture, we balance the practices of prayer, reading and work.

Our deep inner lives, distinct daily rhythms and shared spiritual journey become a continuous prayer of life—to God and for the world.

People who meet Jesus experience profound transformations. Our hearts ache to give expression to the love awakened by the encounter. We must let go of selfishness and fear to love this fully and freely. This work of letting go and loving God is called conversion—and that is what life in a Trappist monastery is all about.

Daily Reflection for August 20, 2018

The same abba said, 'A man who is angry, even if he were to raise the dead, is not acceptable to God.'

God knows the heart and we know God through our heart. A heart that is enraged cannot know the God of Peace.

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Deep inner life.

A Trappist seeks to let go of daily distractions to free the mind and heart for deep contemplation of God. Our activities and attire are simple and humble. Our grounds are profoundly silent save for purposeful speech, quiet chant and the sounds of nature. We are lovers of place and find blessings in union with and stewardship of creation. We maintain decided degrees of separation from the outside world—so that we may continually renew ourselves and the world through prayer.

Distinct daily rhythms.

The Trappist experience balances the spiritual, intellectual and physical with a life of steady rhythms. Days are punctuated with frequent prayer and worship, the study of sacred texts, and simple, honest work that sustains our earthly mission.

Each activity enriches the other, keeping our hands, hearts and minds fully alive—so that we are always ready to listen and respond to God’s call.

Shared spiritual journey.

Trappist communities bring together people of diverse ages and backgrounds who share a deep desire to know God, discern His will, and to give ourselves over to His love.

We grow in friendship, support each individual’s ongoing formation and wellbeing, and draw inspiration as we encounter the presence of Jesus Christ in community.

Vocation Stories

“It is very natural for me to thank the Lord with all my heart.”

My vocation came to be, whole and entire, when I encountered the Liturgy of the Hours prayed in common while I was on retreat shortly before my 19th birthday. I immediately fell in love and realized that God was calling me to make the celebration of the office the center of my life.