Trappist Monks and Nuns Revive Interest in Monastic Vocations Online
it's not for them, Father Alberic explained. Only a very small percentage of the people go on to take the solemn profession of vows, in which a monk or nun makes a lifetime commitment before family, friends and God to live the monastic way of life. "It's not a life many people are capable of living," he said.
In fact, according to the Rule of St. Benedict that guides Trappists' beliefs and practices, the process should be difficult for someone to enter into monastic life. "It requires a testing of one's spirit and motivation," Father Alberic said. "You have to make sure they have the right motivations and deep motivations."
Those who do enter always do so in response to God. Father Alberic was 26 years old and studying in New York City when cancer turned his life upside down. "It was just the jolt I needed to see what was important in life," he said. "In the wake of that, I heard God address me and call me by name." In response, he gave up all his possessions, marriage, children, travel-everything-to devote his life to God.
Many who enter monastic life have previously held successful careers but find themselves asking what it means and what significance it has for their future. They begin to think, "There must be more than this," and start seeking ways to deepen their relationship with God.
For those that seek a meaningful life, fully devoted to God, Trappist monks and nuns offer their personal stories, their community and their prayers to assist one's discernment process. Intending to engage and inform rather than persuade and convert, the resources at trappists.org or a monastery visit give a unique glimpse into the Trappists' contemplative religious tradition.
"We all have a human capacity for contemplation," Father Alberic said. "There's a monk in every human being. That doesn't mean they're called to be a monk in a monastery, but it's part of our human nature. There's a monk in all of us."
To learn more about Trappist spirituality, Google search "Trappist".
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Cistercians of the Strict Observance are a religious order of the Roman Catholic Church, also known as "Trappists" or "Trappistines".
Keywords: cistercians, trappists, trappistines, monks, nuns, monastic, contemplative
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