Community "School of Love"
“BEHOLD, how good and pleasant it is when brethren dwell together in unity" - Psalm 133
The Trappist monk professes a vow of stability - committing to stay in this place and this community so that real life can happen as he strives for rootedness in a world that has lost its center. Thus he arrives at rootedness in the heart centered on Christ with his vow of stability.
We are currently a community of 38 monks spanning several generations, who live, work and pray at the Abbey. Here dwells a community where the age difference between the newest entrance and the most senior monk, Fr. Luke Kot, is 75 years of monastic life. In such a 'city' the sons reap the benefits of their elders' lived experiences and wisdom.
Once the monk has given his 'Yes' to the Lord's invitation to a life in which God is preferred before all else, he finds in the monastery a setting in which everything is structured to enkindle remembrance of God. The monastic practices foster an awareness of Christ's presence, the deep, abiding sense of His delightful companionship and His will to continue the work of the Father in us. The deep joy and peace experienced are the fruits of this friendship that overflows into the communal life he shares with his brothers. The difficult aspects of living in community are an important part of the monastic journey. Failures in love will always cause frustration and pain; Gospel forgiveness and the acceptance of others with their individual personalities are a constant challenge that demands great generosity and self-renunciation. Maturity shows itself above all in deepening our dependence on God which is at the heart of the monastic commitment. Not letting the sun go down on our anger is one way we Cistercians try to protect the bond of peace between us, remembering that St. Benedict counsels us not to make a false peace. (RB.4). St. Benedict reminds his monks of the pledge they make to one another in the very words of the Lord's Prayer: Forgive us as we forgive. (RB.13). The early Romans marveled at the outlawed Christians saying, "See how they love one another." Here in this "School of Love" we too strive to live this Gospel ideal, and we thank God for granting us the marvelous treasure of charity.