There is a Franciscan spirituality with its special emphases, Carmelite spirituality, Ignatian spirituality, etc. So what makes our specifically Trappist-Cistercian spirituality?
7 Pillars of Trappist-Cistercian Spirituality
When I speak of this I emphasize 7 points or pillars of Trappist Spirituality, each of which turn out to be dependent on the others and all of which focus toward a single main goal. Each point is worthy of special attention in its own right, but for now I would like to briefly present them together so their importance and interrelatedness can be seen. These 7 pillars are:. We leave the world and create a physical and spiritual sacred space in which we may be free to listen, encounter and grow in God.
Simplicity : Along the same lines, we reject all that is extravagant or superfluous. This is so not only in diet, sleep, clothing, furnishing, but even in matters of liturgy and personal prayer. Desiring an uncomplicated relationship with the God of simplicity, we seek God by the most direct means possible.
Liturgy: Mass in the center of our life and day, from which the Divine Office, the official prayers of the Church, radiate and return. This continual coming home to God through the hours of day and night in communal sung prayer provides the framework of our life. We continually and joyfully sing the Glory of God. Brotherhood : We are not in this alone. We are family, a brotherhood supporting and serving one another on our mutual journey toward eternal life.
We believe with certainty that Jesus draws great graces from our cooperation and uses these graces for the conversion of perishing souls and the good of the Kingdom. Only in this intimate friendship will the brothers be happy to preserve us in a life that is ordinary, obscure and laborious.
Our Blessed Mother is an ever present guide who leads us ever more deeply into this intimate relationship with Her Son. We do not have an outside apostolate. Our total dedication toward Heaven is our apostolate and the grace we bring to the world. This is where all the pillars coverage and what they lead us to. So there you have it: the 7 pillars of Trappist Spirituality as I see it.
Do these resonate with you?We monks hope that the first thing you will do as you log on to this site is be united with us in prayer. You pray for us. We pray for you. Calvary Abbey dam in Spring. See More See Less. Comment on Facebook. Very powerful. Hope all is well with you in Rogersville.
Been praying for all of you. Stay safe. Ecce Mater Tua. Behold your Mother. Joyeux Noel! Merry Christmas! Welcome to Our Lady of Calvary Abbey. A monk is a Christian who believes that all of us who are baptised into Christ are one in him. We form his body. The monk devotes himself to a life of prayer and reflection on the things of God and to a life of dedicated fraternal service. Basic Christian values.
Step Inside the Life of Trappist Monks
But the monk is convinced he is never alone in what he does. In that Body of Christ, if one member does something good for Christ the whole Body benefits. But no one of us can do everything.
Some people can do a lot of good for Christ in service in the local community and so make the whole Body more really Christ the servant. The monk believes that if he gives himself to prayer and reflection on the things of God, then the whole Body draws closer to God our Father. We come together as a community and with our guests in the monastery chapel for prayer services seven times a day.The monks of Mepkin rise in darkness.
A few may have quietly awakened earlier in order to sink themselves into the still and fertile silence, where prayer is born. As the tower bell sounds to proclaim to the slumbering world the beginning of the monastic night-watch, the monks stand in anticipation of the coming of Christ in time and in their hearts.
Like deep-sea divers the brothers immerse themselves in the chanting of the Psalms. The entire spectrum of human emotion and experience will be encountered in this recurrent biweekly pattern.
At the conclusion of Vigils, replete with the images of the Psalms, the monks spend a half hour in meditation. The ground of the heart is plowed and the seed of the Word is sown.
Now the seed continues to germinate in the silent stillness of meditation. Their hearts thus prepared after the half hour of meditation, the monks spend the next hour or so in lectio divina sacred reading. He approaches the Word not as one trying to extract information, but as one who stands ready to be challenged and formed by the Word. His heart enters into a dialogue with the heart of God.
The fruit of this encounter with grace is an awakening to the contemplative dimension of everyday living. As the creatures of the surrounding wood and water rise from their rest, the monks stand poised on the pointe vierge the virginal point of the day waiting to be called to praise.
This is the hour of Lauds, when the monks greet the dawn breaking upon the world of darkness. From ancient times, Christians have experienced in the rising sun a symbol of the Risen Christ, who conquers the darkness of sin and death. At the conclusion of the hour of Lauds, breakfast is available. The monk then has an interval during which he may tend to personal chores, read, or pray.
The rhythm of prayer is taken up again. In the breaking of the Word and the Bread, the monastic church renders present the dying and rising of Jesus.
As the monks join the offering of the whole of their life to Christ, they participate in the source and summit of Christian life. The bread and wine of the Eucharist, the sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ, is spiritual food for the journey. Following a short period of thanksgiving after Mass, the community reassembles to pray the hour of Terce.
As the Brothers prepare to begin the work of the day, they call upon the Holy Spirit. They ask that the same flood of holiness that filled those in the Upper Room, might inspire all that they think or do or say. Work takes up the remainder of the morning. After Terce, the monks assemble in the Chapter Room, the community meeting room adjacent to the Church, where daily work is assigned. Most will be occupied on the mushroom farm in some manner. Food is being prepared and cooked for the twenty-one monks and the guests on retreat.
As St. Hard physical labor also provides balance of mind, body, and spirit, central to the life of prayer. Further, labor strengthens the bonds of fraternal communion by sharing in a common task. Work ends at At the end of the morning work period, the monks return to the monastery, clean up, and prepare themselves for the Little Hour of Sext, or Midday prayer. Its position at the middle of the day provides a pause to rest and reflect on what has happened thus far. The light of the Sun of Justice discloses our thoughts and actions.
We ask for strength and assistance for what lies ahead. From the Abbey Church the community slowly proceeds to the refectory, the monastic dining room, for the midday meal, the one common meal of the day. According to the monastic tradition expressed in the Rule, the refectory is seen as parallel to the Church, where the Eucharist is celebrated.It was at one of his lectures back in that Fr. Keating set me on the contemplative path and introduced me to centering prayer. And because his teaching and writing have had such a profound influence on me over the years, I feel a deep, personal loss.
Keating may no longer be with us physically, but there is no doubt in my mind that his ministry and spiritual legacy will continue until the end of time. May he rest in peace. He was appointed Superior of St. He returned to Snowmass after retiring as abbot of Spencer inwhere he established a program with retreats in the practice of Centering Prayer, a contemporary form of the Christian contemplative tradition through the auspices of Contemplative Outreach.
While serving a local Baptist church as associate pastor back inI received a sign from God. Well, in a manner of speaking. As it turned out, the ad was legit. The church was River Oaks Baptist Church. The monk? Also, legit — Thomas Keating.
He spoke both extemporaneously and compellingly to a packed-out church on the importance of taking the time out of our busy daily lives and schedules to make a connection with God. Keating likened it to sending God many short emails throughout the day. Today we would just text or FaceTime God.
To my ears, it sounded like a Christian version of meditation; he referred to it as centering prayer. And learn more I did during the next several years through his lectures, more than 40 books and videos, and dozens of centering prayer and silent prayer retreats I participated in at Villa de Matelin Houston.
And along with thousands of other disciples and people all over the world, I express my appreciation for the profound influence of Father Keating on my life and give thanks to God for the enormous spiritual legacy he has left behind for generations to come. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.
There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.To safeguard public health, our monasteries are taking precautions concerning the coronavirus COVID Anyone wishing to visit one of our monasteries should first check with the monastery about availability.
We pray for the health and well-being of all. In simplicity, silence and separation from dominant culture, we balance the practices of prayer, reading and work.
Our deep inner livesdistinct 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. Some brethren came one day to test him to see whether he would let his thoughts get dissipated and speak of the things of this world.
They said to him, "We give thanks to God that this year there has been much rain and the palm trees have been able to drink, and their shoots have grown, and the brethren have found manual work. How easy it is to get caught up in the everyday concerns like the weather! But John meditates constantly on the works of God. Can we approach this level of mindfulness?
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.
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 textsand simple, honest work that sustains our earthly mission. 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.
During my first year of college, I had so much drifted away from the church, for various reasons, that I soon stopped considering myself Catholic. However, early into my sophomore year, while studying abroad, I had a sort of spiritual crisis. These questions initiated a search which led me to discover…. Distinct daily rhythms. Deep inner life. Shared spiritual journey. Silence and joy. Balancing Prayer, Reading and Work. Learn more about becoming a Trappist.
Daily Reflection for April 18, Some brethren came one day to test him to see whether he would let his thoughts get dissipated and speak of the things of this world.
Join us for these upcoming discernment retreats Monastic Experience at Santa Rita August Monastic Weekend at Wrentham, August Redwoods Monastic Experience: Oct. Monastic Weekend at Mississippi Abbey, Oct.Every week, almost every day, prayer requests are sent to this website. What happens to them? How are they posted? As discretely as possible to communicate your intention and respect the privacy and identity of all involved.
Nor is that address used for commercial purposes or any sort of mailing list. We want to respect your privacy and the sacredness of the prayer you request.
What happens to your requests? We read them and gather them up as we pray our communal prayers in choir, at the sacrifice of the Mass, in our personal prayer and sacrifices throughout the day. Sometimes it seems that they were listed in an hierarchy.
Any of them can become a gateway to contemplative prayer. To pray, to supplicate for our needs is a way of realizing that we are limited and fallible; that we are not in control and face challenges bigger than we can handle. But it is also to acknowledge that God cares, God loves us even to the smallest, pettiest details that disrupt our equilibrium; even in the greatest, insurmountable obstacles. We also acknowledge that God can grace us to stretch our potential and, sometimes, do the impossible.
What this sort of prayer says about who we are, who God is and who God is for uscan become inseparable from Adoration, and Contrition and Thanksgiving.
Pray for A. F and family will not have any diseases and will not get any diseases. Pray for my marriage and family. Pray for babysitting and cleaning goes well. Your email address will not be published. Notify me of follow-up comments by email.Hidden: A Life All for God
Notify me of new posts by email. Comments Pray for A. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. Facebook YouTube.According to St. BenedictOpus Dei —the work of God—is to be preferred by the monk above everything else. In Trappist monasteries, we often use these words to describe the Liturgy of the Hours or Divine Office, a practice where we gather seven times a day to chant prayers and listen prayerfully to the word of God.
While the specific times and practices vary by monasteryLiturgy of the Hours generally begins in the dark early morning hours and concludes in the evening before we retire to our cells. The Little Hours Terce, Sext, Noneshorter prayers times to mark mid-morning, midday and mid-afternoon. Each of these prayer services consecrates a particular hour of the day—yet for Trappists, there is the curious sense of stepping outside of time when praying the Divine Office.
Our Prayer unites us to each other in community and intercedes for the larger Church and the needs of the world. The Trappist Life. Liturgy of the Hours. Communal Worship. Chanting the Psalms to a short melody was discovered in ancient times to be very conducive to prayer, and Trappists continue the practice to this day.
These hours include: Vigilsthe pre-dawn prayer service Laudsthe morning prayer shortly after sunrise The Little Hours Terce, Sext, Noneshorter prayers times to mark mid-morning, midday and mid-afternoon Vespersthe evening prayer service Complinethe nighttime closing prayer Each of these prayer services consecrates a particular hour of the day—yet for Trappists, there is the curious sense of stepping outside of time when praying the Divine Office.