Fr. Thomas shares a reflection preparing us for the upcoming Feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple, celebrated February 2nd: “Chapter Two of Luke’s Gospel speaks of the presentation of the Child Jesus in the Temple; this is familiar to us. Simeon, guided by the Holy Spirit, enters the Temple and meets the parents of Jesus with their Child. This meeting fulfills a life-long prayerfully passionate desire of Simeon. Actually, this Holy Spirit had made a special revelation to Simeon that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Anointed One. Not only would Simeon see the Anointed Child, he would take Him into his arms and praise God. The distinctive anointing that Simeon received from the Holy Spirit was that, in praising God, he would give detailing witness about the life of this Child to the utter astonishment of the Child’s parents, Mary and Joseph. Their Child would be the rise and fall of many persons, would be a sign of contradiction, revealing the thoughts of many hearts, including our own as Christ’s grace penetrates deeply within us. Furthermore, a sword would pierce the Mother’s heart. Yet, this Child would be a light to all peoples, and the glory of Israel. While Simeon probably had in mind his and Jesus’ own nation, I believe Simeon’s prophecy applies to us. We participate in Abraham’s faith to the extent that our faith is firm in God as his was. We participate in the combat of Israel – Israel means wrestling with God in a face to face combat (Genesis 32:22-32) – struggling with our own thoughts so as to rise with Christ, that light of contradiction piercing into our hearts, enabling us to see our lives in the Glory of Jesus Christ, the Glory described in Gospel of John as passion, death, and resurrection.”
Cistercian monastic life gives primary place of chanting the Opus Dei or Divine Office in community as well as personal time spent in sacred reading which fulfill the monk's sacred duty of seeking God.
Cistercian monastic life allows rooms for guests because all guests are to be received as Christ. We never know if we have entertained angels.
Life in Common
Cistercian monastic life is communal: We share all things in common as did the early Christian community so as to live in greater charity and union with Christ.