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Seeking God at this place of New Clairvaux, we are a community of Cistercian monks living the Rule of Saint Benedict. We witness God's love for the world according to the Gospel of Jesus Christ by a life of prayer, labor, and sustainable stewardship of our resources in a simplicity and openness to the signs of the times. Our monastery welcomes all people in the spirit of hospitality, and engages others in collaborative relationships.

Father Placid comments on the requirements of fraternal charity for monks: “Chapter 72 of the Rule of St. Benedict contains the interesting verse: "The brothers should…most patiently endure one another's infirmities, whether of body or of character" (RB 72:6).  The Latin of this verse is even more emphatic when translated literally: The brothers are to carry most patiently one another's sicknesses of body and behavior. Good zeal, from this perspective, then, is sharing in the foibles, behavioral dysfunctions, and troubles of the other person.

As we approach the end of the year and our thoughts turn to New Year Resolutions, we present the penultimate Chapter of the Rule of St. Benedict as material for consideration…

CHAPTER 72. THE GOOD ZEAL OF MONKS

Br. Luis presents on one of our best teachers: “One of my best teachers in the monastery as of late has been one of our venerable seniors, Father Lawrence, who suffers from a severely aged body and rapidly progressing dementia.  Fr.

At this Advent time Br. Christopher speaks on blessings: “I’m big on blessing.  I learned this from our dear Fr. Anthony Bellesorte, of happy memory.  Anyone who knew him knows that his speech was punctuated with the phrase “God bless you!”  It would be present along with a big warm smile at the greeting, find its way into the course of the conversation, and return as the goodbye at the end.

Br. Christopher reflects on last things: “November is the month the Church traditionally dedicates to the remembrance and reflection on the Four Last Things pertaining to our eternal destiny: Death, Judgement, Heaven and Hell.  So here goes!

We share a little advice from Blessed Oglerio of Locedio, (c. 1136-1214) a medieval Italian abbot of our Order: “O bride of Christ, and you, monk of the Mother of the Most High, you who have come to partake in the Order of Our Lady and consecrated yourself as a Cistercian religious- say, together with every people and tribe and tongue, with the angel Gabriel and with Elizabeth the mother of the Prophet of the Most High:

Br. William speaks on our Saint: "In August 2022, I was honored with the assignment to provide a blurb for the back cover of “TO LIVE FOR GOD ALONE- The Life and Spirit of St. Rafael Arnaiz y Baron” by Mark OKeefe and Maria Gonzalo-Garcia, a new book on the life of St. Rafael. Here is my contribution: An inspiring work, full of insights on the life of a beloved of God.

Fr. Placid speaks on Virtues and Vices: “The parable of the wheat and weeds (Matt 13:24-30) is rich food for consideration as we reflect on the harvest season. 
 In the case of the Grape Harvest, which cluster to pick and which one to leave for the birds?
Harvest Time is always a good time to evaluate our strengths and weaknesses; or, putting it another way, assess our virtues and vices. 
 A particular virtue may be helpful at one time in our lives, but then not so much later on.

From a talk by the Prior to the monks of New Clairvaux on the glorious Hail Mary:

Good evening brothers. Tonight I want to talk about a prayer we are all very familiar with.  In fact, we pray it 9 times a day as a community, at morning, noon, and night, albeit silently; and judging from the number of rosaries I would find left in brothers’ pockets when I was community launderer, far more often than that as well.  I’m speaking of course of the Hail Mary.  

Fr. Thomas on Monastic Fountains: “Fountains and pools are popular these days during intense heat where there is no access to ocean beaches. Sacred Scriptures propose water as a source of life and a means of renewal.   A powerful symbol in a Cistercian cloister quadrangle was the splashing fountain, giving a sense of peace, abundance, and refreshment. The monastic fountain was not only an earthly symbol of the font of life and a source of spiritual refreshment.