General Questions

We are as free as God is? O.k. - what does that mean?

In your answer to the person seeking "a meaning to life", part of your response was as follows: "...You were created free. In fact the freedom of consent you give to anything, lays hold of its object as efficaciously as God's “yes” to God's own Self". Please, if you could I would be most grateful if you'd explain  it in simpler terms what exactly does that mean?


I wonder about what meaning life has. Might I find it in helping others?

I have never known God. The fact that I am writing these words is astounding to me. I have suffered many things throughout my life, and so I often ask what life is all about? I do not have the answer for this question. Recently, I have been studying to become a doctor so that I can use the skills and knowledge to help others. I wish through helping others I could find some meaning in life. However, the study is difficult, and I doubt my ability.

Do you allow people of other faiths or no faith to make retreats at your monasteries?

Hi. I have developed a strong interest in subjects pertaining to theology, religion, and Christian mysticism.  I am not a Roman Catholic, but I am fascinated by the contemplative life.  My question is: do you allow people of other or non-defined faiths to make retreats at
monasteries for short periods of time?

Do Trappists vote in a presidential election?

With one of the most important presidential elections in recent history approaching, I was wondering if Trappist monks vote in presidential and other elections?

Can Trappists Maintain Contact With Their Families?

To what extent are Trappist monks allowed to maintain contact with their families?

How might an Episcopalian minister be more closely associated with a Trappist community?

I am not a Roman Catholic.  I am an ordained person in the Episcopal/Anglican tradition.  I have taken some of my retreats at two Trappist monasteries close to where I live.  These monastic places are very close to my heart. Even though I am involved in an active ministry in the world, I have always had a call to contemplative prayer.  How can a person in my situation associate on a deeper level with a Trappist Abbey community?

How do I set times each day for praying the Divine Office?

How is it best to decide the set times each day for praying the Divine Office? I am starting to integrate Lectio Divina into my daily life, but not sure when to schedule for myself. From what I've read so far, there are no absolute times, but it would help in spacing out & structuring my day to have more info on this.

After a contemplative experience, what kind of food and beverage is suggested?

Thank you for taking the time to answer this question.  When monks have contemplative experiences as being one with the inexpressible, after the experience ends, what kind of food and beverages is suggested?

Can solitude present dangers to mental and physical health?

I am being called to a life of contemplation without joining a community. This phase of my journey requires solitude during a sabbatical to research and write my next monograph.  Are there any dangers to physical or mental health from such solitude? I do attend mass weekly and but I am minimizing my social activities.

How have contemplatives changed since Middle Ages?

How has your lives changed since the middle ages? I am doing a course and one of the questions is about comtemplatives and how they have changed.  Thank you.

Can a Trappist be my Spiritual Director?

Laudetur Jesus Christus!  I am a non-Catholic who would like to become Catholic. Can I have a Trappist  monk as my spiritual director?

Is there a Third Order of the Trappists Monks?

I have always been at home alone out in the woods. 16 years ago I broke my neck, and have relied on people to care for me in a nursing home. The noise is unbearable, but fortunately I have a private room and I have found the Lord Christ. Is there a Third Order of the Trapists Monks? Presently, I am a Third Order member of the Confraternity of Penitents, of the original 1221 Rule.

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