Monastic Life

What sort of academic training does a Trappist get?

Do Trappist monks receive academic instruction after progressing beyond the novice stage? If so, of what does the academic curriculum/program consist?

 

What does a Trappist library contain?

What does the typical Trappist monastery library contain? Are the books only on the Christian tradition, or are there books on secular topics and other spiritual paths? How about periodicals and newspapers?

What sort of books and magazines do Trappists have access to?

An earlier question on the “Visitor's Questions” page concerning books in the monastery intrigued me. Thomas Merton seemed to have access to all manner of reading material--secular as well as spiritual. (I remember reading a journal entry where he jokingly expressed his worry that the Abbot might find the copies of "Newsweek" under his bed).

 

Do Trappists use heat and air-conditioning?

 

I have always thought that Trappists life was a life of self-denial. So I was thinking do you have air conditioning and heat in your abbey?
 

Do monks typically avoid stimulus coming from their environment?

In terms of physical activity and lots of stimulus in the environment, do monks withdraw from large gatherings and spend a lot of time in solitary, peaceful rest and some communication with a few other monks?

Monks don't have contact with people - what do you pray about?

I have a very specific question: what do monks pray about? A cloistered monk does not have the challenges, I assume, of someone in the outside world. Nor does a cloistered monk have contact with people for whom he might pray. So what is the content of a monk's prayers? Does he pray for the whole world? For himself? For his brother monks? I would very much like to know.

How exactly does the Holy Spirit help us to grow in holiness?

If our goal is holiness, how does revelation, our passions, virtue and grace; especially the gift of the Holy Spirt , help us reach that goal?

How is Devotion to Mary Manifested in the Lives of Trappists?

Peace of Jesus.  I am interested to know if the monks and nuns pray the rosary in common.  Also, could you explain the Trappist devotion to Mary and how this is manifested in your daily lives?

Can I maintain my own dietary discipline as a Trappist?

Are the monks and nuns strict vegetarians (no meat, fish,chicken ever)? I am a 90% raw food vegetarian and have been for many years.  If I wanted to become a Trappist monk and maintain my dietary discipline.  Would that be possible? Are monks and nuns strictly separated from each other in their living and working conditions?

Leaving the Monastery to Care for a Sick Parent

Is a Trappist normally permitted to leave the monastery to care for a sick or aging parent in cases of necessity?

Can a Trappist monk or nun wear their rosary or a cross/crucifix if they choose to do so?

I have seen members of other orders wear their rosary or a cross/crucifix. Can a Trappist monk or nun wear their rosary or a cross/crucifix if they choose to do so?

If Jesus Christ initiated and or became a member of your Order of Cistercians, how could or would his followers and we be saved?

If Jesus Christ initiated and or became a member of your Order of Cistercians, how could or would his followers and we be saved? I find this order to be "out of order"  If one lights a candle, is it right to cover the light?  You may cause a fire.  You may darken the room and people could trip and fall. Your order seems to encouraged a life of hermitage.

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