Abbatial Election at New Melleray
Monday, July 29, 2013 - 11:09

Following the retirement of Dom Brendan Freeman, who has served as abbot since 1984, the monks of New Melleray Abbey will elect a new abbot on August 3.


Junior Directors' Meeting
Thursday, July 18, 2013 - 09:45

The junior directors, those monks and nuns who oversee the continuing formation of those who have made simple profession, met at Gethsemani Abbey from June 10 thorug June 17. Eleven communities were represented.

They shared ideas about their work by reflecting together on a recent book by Michael Casey, OCSO.

July 11: Feast of St. Benedict
Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - 16:13

The Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance has its origin in that monastic tradition of evangelical life that found expression in the Rule for Monasteries of Saint Benedict of Nursia. The founders of Cîteaux gave this tradition a particular form and the monasteries of the Strict Observance strongly defended certain of its principles. In 1892 the three congregations of the Strict Observance combined to form a single order, now called the Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance.

This Order is a monastic institute wholly ordered to contemplation. The nuns / monks dedicate themselves to the worship of God in a hidden life within the monastery under the Rule of St Benedict


Maggie Ross on Santa Rita Abbey
Monday, July 8, 2013 - 07:15

Maggie Ross has this on her blog Voice in the Wilderness:

To recognize our own emptiness so as to receive the gift of wisdom: this is the task entrusted to the theologian. It is to be like the nuns at Santa Rita Abbey who wait in quiet—just standing there in choir doing nothing—anticipating the ringing of the bell that summons to psalmody.
God does not fill in the gaps where human reason fails. Nor does God like a divine Superman vanquish intolerable suffering. God does not erase human longing and want, but is present amidst it. There is in us a wide open space—a gap—from which we dare to speak the question "Who is God?" In the very asking we are making room for some small manifestation of who God is. Whatever answer may come it too must remain unsaid so that we might make a space fitting for the silence that is the contemplative's home and the theologian's workplace.

Like the Cistercian contemplative life, theology is a discipline of learning how to see, how to read, how to recognize the presence of God amidst our own brokenness and weakness as the region not only of wound but of wisdom, a wisdom that is to become in us a balm for the wounds of the world. At the conclusion of Lauds on my last morning at Santa Rita, the Prioress brought us into the Our Father with these words: "Father of peace, increase in us your peace so that we might be peace in the world for which we live." Words to live by even as we give testimony to unsaying with the one and only life we have to live.  — Michael Downey

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