Our Way of Life

St. Benedict in the 6th century wrote a rule for monks. In it he says, "...What passage of the old and new testament is not a perfect norm for Christian living." Since then, monks have striven to live under the Rule of the love of Jesus Christ.

The Tradition of the Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance
As our constitution states, t he Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance (OCSO) 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 that is lived in the monasteries of the Strict Observance.

The Nature and Purpose of the Order
This Order is a monastic institute wholly ordered to contemplation. The monks dedicate themselves to the worship of God in a hidden life within the monastery under the Rule of St Benedict. They lead a monastic way of life in solitude and silence, in assiduous prayer and joyful penitence as defined in these Constitutions, thus rendering to the divine majesty a service that is at once humble and noble.

The Spirit of the Order
Cistercian monks seek God and follow Christ under a rule and an abbot in a stable community that is a school of brotherly love. Since all the brothers are of one heart and one mind, they have everything in common. By bearing one another's burdens they fulfil Christ's law, participating in his sufferings in the hope of entering the kingdom of heaven.

A school of Love
The monastery is a school of the Lord's service where Christ is formed in the hearts of the brothers through the liturgy, the abbot's teaching and the fraternal way of life. Through God's Word the monks are trained in a discipline of heart and action to be responsive to the Holy Spirit and so attain purity of heart and a continual mindfulness of God's presence.

Read more on the Constitutions and Statutes of the Monks