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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 25, 2017

Our Lord, although he was very rich, became poor for our sakes, and if you receive the grace that the cell provides, you will reach God.
Might you just spend a quiet evening at home tonight?

Monastic Wisdom

"More are to be received into the embrace of charity...

"More are to be received into the embrace of charity than into the embrace of friendship. We are compelled by the law of charity to receive in the embrace of love not only our friends but also our enemies.

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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