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The Process Of Admittance To The Trappists

878 words - 4 pages

The Cistercians have significantly influenced the development of Catholic history over the course of the past centuries. In the twelfth century, Bernard of Clairvaux worked to spread the influence of the Cistercian Order, which had been founded a few decades earlier in order to restore structured lifestyle of the strict Rule of Saint Benedict. In particular, the Order of Cistercians of Strict Observance (OCSO) was founded in 1678 by Armand Jean le Bouthillier de Rancé, the godson of Cardinal Richelieu. Born into an upper-class Parisian family, de Rancé’s father dedicated him to a religious vocation in order to maintain political influence in his seventeenth century French community. Following the death of his brother and father, de Rancé followed a lifestyle of materialism and excess despite his position as an influential French clergyman. A 1660 conversion experience resulted in de Rancé disposing of all his belongings and vowing to live morally and simply. He joined a monastery at La Trappe Abbey from which the name “Trappists” is derived. Upon establishing his position as a Cistercian, de Rancé spearheaded a revolutionary reform effort which promoted the restoration of penitence, silence, and isolation within the order.
Trappists, as well as Cistercians as a whole, possess a unique set of charisms. The Trappists retain their practice of following the Rule of Saint Benedict which outlines a precise schedule in order to maximize efficiency in prayer and penitence. Despite the fact that some aspects have become obsolete in modern times, Trappists still engage in manual labor, pray the divine office, and regularly celebrate the Eucharist. Although they do not take a vow of silence, Trappist monks choose speak only when necessary in order to ensure serenity and maintain focus on God. Today, a total of ten Trappist monasteries invest in the manufacturing and sale of beer to the general public. Trappist residences are typically very simplistic in order to allow for a greater focus on prayer and obedience to God.
        A vocation to the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance is an invitation to serenity and devotion to Christ.  Candidates for entry into this order must be completely dedicated to their mission, as reflected in the nearly decade-long process of becoming a member.  Many Trappists take a vow of stability which confirms that they will spend the remainder of their life within this monastic community.  Members follow a life of poverty, contemplation, and simplicity through the Rule of Saint Benedict so that they may be completely invested in their prayer towards God.    Cistercians also have invested in the field of education by operating a Catholic...

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