Jan 13 – Contemplation and Evangelization

Our January Conversation Groups (after a December hiatus) invited us to reflect upon and share our thoughts and experiences on two aspects of our monastic vocation and Cistercian charism. The topics pertaining to our life “wholly ordered to contemplation” and our place within the Church’s new evangelization were provided, like our October conversations, by the Generalate of the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance for use in preparing our House Report for the 2017 General Chapter. Other past conversations on Liturgy, enclosure, and Laudato si’ were suggested as points of reference/reflection in preparation for this month’s conversation. 

We were able to share our personal practices and experiences of maintaining our inward, Godward focus in this vocation of contemplation as well as the main distractions and related coping mechanisms. 

We also shared what we feel is “our prophetic task as Cistercians” in a world where secularism, individualism, and fear are significant forces and in the Church’s call for participation in the new evangelization within this context.

Sketch by Stanley RosemanConversation Groups (CG)

The purpose of the CGs is to provide a forum where the brothers “come together to listen to the Spirit speaking through one another,” to foster skills of good communication that will promote mutual understanding and trust (Gdlns 2), and to provide the superior with the data he needs for taking decisions with foresight and fairness by the brothers humbly and honestly expressing their views (RB 3)