Trappist, today.

“It is not you who chose me, it is me who chose you.” (Jesus, to its disciples)

The mystery of the vocation remains and will remain impenetrable. Men and women decide one day to dedicate themselves entirely to God, and choose to express their devotion in a common life of prayer, reflection, studies, and also manual work.

These men and women agree not to be owners of any goods. They accept a way of life of asceticism, obedience, and humility. As Coenobites monks, they accept the strict rules of the life in a community, which is guarantor and regulator of individual lives.

This way can appear quite austere and quite complicated to those who don’t choose it.

“Jesus went away in the mountain to pray and he spent all the night praying God.”(Luc, 6.12)

Prayer is one essential moment of the day of the monk, in his everyday life to the service of God.

“Vigils”, as of 3h30 of the morning, are composed of anthems, psalms, and readings. Next are “Lauds”, honoring God by making every day a celebration of the splendors of the world that he placed at our disposal. “Terce” is a short office around 9 a.m., followed-up by “Sext” about noon and “None” around fourteen hours.

The moments of prayer alternate with moments of reading and meditation, but also with periods of manual work. At the end of the afternoon, “Vespers” gather the community in the Church. Lastly, in the evening, “Compline” complete the day, before the next begins again with this immutable rite.

“When they live by the labor of their hands, as our fathers and the apostles did, then they are really monks.” (Rule of St Benedict, 48.8)

The monastery must ensure its subsistence by activities allowing the community to earn money.

Work is diversified: cooking, tending various gardens, cleaning, maintenance, administration, and workshops. Some monasteries still live off of breeding or agriculture. Some other activities generate sales, thanks to the marketing of products: mechanics or castings, cookies, liquors, wine, confectioneries, butter, bread and cheese, pottery, jewels, soap and beauty products, curios … and sometimes there is a brewery.