Is the Cistercian Monastic Life for you?


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Has God called you to monastic life? Though all Christians are called to serve the cause of Christ, God calls certain persons to serve the Church as monks. How do you know if God is calling you?

If you feel that God is inviting you to live your vocation as a religious monk, you may be wondering how to best clarify that invitation. Such decision making is done through a process called discernment. There is no harm in walking through a discernment process that can help bring you to a point of greater clarity about the direction in which God is leading you - whether this be in or out of the monastery.

The Call

What Is My Vocation?
The word vocation means "calling," and usually God's call to us. All Christians have a vocation. Most Christians are called to marriage and others to the single life, still others are called to be priests, brothers, or sisters. All Christians are called by God to holiness and to advance the Kingdom of God in the world. The best vocation is the one that feels right and conforms most to God's will for you. What is important is that you can truly say, "Thy will be done," and mean it.

Is the Cistercian Monastic Life for you?
Some who attend our vocation retreats experience the dilemma where they are unsure of which life path to take. They are seeking their deeper purpose in life. Others come in response to an inner instinct that bids them to at least explore the possibility that Christ might be calling them to consider the monastic path. They reach this point of exploration after having taken seriously certain desires that won't go away: perhaps a desire for an environment that would facilitate going deep into the Heart of Christ and finding their purpose in life there, or for a life path which emphasizes learning to love Christ and others more deeply and authentically, or simply seeking a caring community living Gospel values. Exploring the possibility that one may be invited by Christ to be a part of a long, unbroken tradition is no overnight process, nor is it to be taken lightly. While everyone experiences the process in a different way, not a few find that gradually clarity emerges as a fruit of pondering, praying, and opening one's sacred inner world to someone wise to the ways of the world.

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