The Cistercian-Trappist Monastery
of Our Lady of Calvary
We monks hope that the first thing you will do as you log on to
this site is be united with us in prayer. You pray for us. We pray for you.
A monk is a Christian who believes that all of us who are baptised into Christ are one
in him. We form his body. The monk devotes himself to a life of prayer and reflection
on the things of God and to a life of dedicated fraternal service. Basic Christian values.
But the monk is convinced he is never alone in what he does. In that body of Christ, if one member
does something good for Christ the whole body benefits. But no one of us can do everything.
Some people can do a lot of good for Christ in service in the local community and so make the whole body more really
Christ the servant. The monk believes that if he gives himself to prayer and reflection on the things of
God, then the whole body draws closer to God our Father.
So that’s why we
are here and what we are trying to do.
Our daily round, our timetable
makes concrete what we are trying to do for the benefit of the human family. We come together as a community
and with our guests in the monastery chapel for prayer services seven times a day. These prayer times are
spent singing the psalms, with hymns, scripture readings, intercessions and readings from the Fathers of the Church or lives
of the saints. The content of these community prayer times varies according to the seasons of the Christian
year, Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter, and whether the day is Sunday, weekday or a feast day.
The monastic community and its guests also celebrate
the Eucharist daily.
The monk supplements the times of community prayer
with periods spent in personal private prayer. He also spends time in reading
the scriptures or books that will nourish his prayer life.
We also take seriously our duty to support ourselves
and even generate income that can be shared with others more needy than ourselves. This
is where the monk’s work on the farm, the land, the garden or orchard comes in.
We try to do our work in an atmosphere of prayer in the presence of God, so that is why it is all done within the confines
of the monastery and without too much involvement in the world around us.
So this daily balance of community prayer, personal
prayer and reading, and work gives us a timetable like the one you find on the "Daily Timetable" page.
Oh yes! We forgot to say
that there is a great monastic tradition of praying in the night, bringing the light of Christ into the darkness of the night,
just as Jesus rose from the dead before dawn, and promised to return in the middle of the night. The monk is the watchman always on the lookout. So the timetable
– well, it begins rather early for this reason.
|lakeside hermitage in the woods
|Our Lady of Calvary and the lake
There are three
men seriously enquiring about entering our monastery. We would like to think that our friends are supporting them with
their prayers. Thank you.