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One Order, Seventeen Monasteries of Monks and Nuns

We are the Cistercians of the Strict Observance, a religious order of the Roman Catholic Church, also known as "Trappists" or "Trappistines". We encourage you to explore our lives by exploring these pages, especially our "Newcomer's Guide." If you are interested in becoming a Cistercian monk or nun, your will find helpful information here: Steps to Becoming a Monk or Nun and links to all of our monasteries. Please enjoy exploring this site! Learn more about us →

 

Daily Reflection: March 23, 2017

Abba Anthony said, “Our life and our death is with our neighbor. If we gain our brother or sister, we have gained God.”
Who around you needs this most?

Monastic Wisdom

"In friendship are joined honor and charm, truth and joy...

"In friendship are joined honor and charm, truth and joy, sweetness and good-will, affection and action. And all these take their beginning from Christ, advance through Christ, and are perfected in Christ.

The Newcomer's Guide to the Trappists

An Excellent Introduction to the Trappists for Young People!

Get the basics concerning a beautiful and distinctive sixteen hundred year old monastic tradition still lived by monks and nuns in the U.S. Today.

News

What sign can this be?

What sort of sign were the shepherds given? You will find the child wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. . . .What kind of sign, then, can this be?

          Indeed it is a great one, if only we understand it rightly. Such understanding will be ours if this message of love is not restricted to our hearing, but if our hearts too are illuminated by the light which accompanied the appearance of the angels. The angel who first pro­claimed the good tidings appeared surrounded by light to teach us that only those whose minds are spiritually enlightened can truly under­stand the message.

          Much can be said of this sign; but as time is passing, I shall say little, and briefly. Bethlehem, the house of bread, is holy Church, in which is distributed the body of Christ, the true bread. The manger at Bethlehem is the altar of the church; it is there that Christ's creatures are fed. This is the table of which it is written, You have prepared a banquet for me. In this manger is Jesus, wrapped in the swaddling clothes which are the outward form of the sacraments. Here in this manger, under the species of bread and wine, is the true body and blood of Christ. We believe that Christ himself is here, but he is wrapped in swaddling clothes; in other words, he is invisibly contained in these sacraments. We have no greater or clearer proof of Christ's birth than our daily reception of his body and blood at the holy altar, and the sight of him who was once born for us of a virgin daily offered in sacrifice for us.

Christmas Discourse, Aelred of Rievaulx

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