Work is an inherent part of monastic life, in the same way as it is for all men who have to work to support themselves and to live with dignity. We know how tragic it is for those who are unemployed, on the dole… But if work has an important place in the monk’s everyday life, it is not the aim of monastic life.
The first work of the monk is his « monastic occupation ». His job, his calling which he chooses of his own free will when he comes to the monastery, is to be a monk. The search for and the praise of God constitute his true monastic labour. However, if services in the choir (Opus Dei) take up a large part of his day, work, and especially manual work, is an important dimension of Cistercian monastic life.
The monastery becomes a « school of charity » as brotherly life and mutual service teach us to love one another. That love calls us to a simple and plain lifestyle.
« Ora et labora » : this Benedictine motto very well defines the balance of the Cistercian monastic day, divided between prayer and work. The unity of the community is built around community work and around meals taken together in the refectory. And much more around the services in the choir and the celebration of the Eucharist: the essential moment of all to live united to Christ, united to one another.
There are currently 24 brothers at the abbey. Each one is unique but together we do our best to live in unity and peace which will come in ourselves and between us only if we give up our own schemes to enter God’s scheme of love.
As a sign of God’s presence at the heart of the world, our Cistercian monastic life is turned towards the coming Realm. It is already a communion of love with the Father according to the words of Jesus: « that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. »