In keeping with the abbey of Cîteaux - where the name ‘Cistercian’ comes from - the monks view their community as a ‘School of Fraternal Love’. A Schola Caritatis. After all, the ‘knowledge’ acquired in this school is ‘love’. This love is not only reserved for the brothers in their own community. According to a Carta Caritatis - a ‘love charter’ - not only are all communities of the Order deeply attached to one another, but also actually responsible for one another. And not only that: this love is completed with solidarity with all people.
This solidarity takes its most concrete shape with the reception of guests, a service that the monks consider compatible with their life in seclusion. And insofar as possible and helpful, they devote part of their income to charity work and to people in need. The life of the monk is a life in community, referring to both the small local community of brothers and to the worldwide community of all people.
* picture: the abbey of Cîteaux