What does the typical Trappist monastery library contain? Are the books only on the Christian tradition, or are there books on secular topics and other spiritual paths? How about periodicals and newspapers?
An earlier question on the “Visitor's Questions” page concerning books in the monastery intrigued me. Thomas Merton seemed to have access to all manner of reading material--secular as well as spiritual. (I remember reading a journal entry where he jokingly expressed his worry that the Abbot might find the copies of "Newsweek" under his bed).
In terms of physical activity and lots of stimulus in the environment, do monks withdraw from large gatherings and spend a lot of time in solitary, peaceful rest and some communication with a few other monks?
I have a very specific question: what do monks pray about? A cloistered monk does not have the challenges, I assume, of someone in the outside world. Nor does a cloistered monk have contact with people for whom he might pray. So what is the content of a monk's prayers? Does he pray for the whole world? For himself? For his brother monks? I would very much like to know.
Are the monks and nuns strict vegetarians (no meat, fish,chicken ever)? I am a 90% raw food vegetarian and have been for many years. If I wanted to become a Trappist monk and maintain my dietary discipline. Would that be possible? Are monks and nuns strictly separated from each other in their living and working conditions?
If Jesus Christ initiated and or became a member of your Order of Cistercians, how could or would his followers and we be saved? I find this order to be "out of order" If one lights a candle, is it right to cover the light? You may cause a fire. You may darken the room and people could trip and fall. Your order seems to encouraged a life of hermitage.
Our website intends to answer the needs of men and women discerning a call from God to a be a Trappist monk or nun. If what you see and read here awakens in you a desire to follow Christ in the silence and solitude of a Trappist monastery, know that this is God working in your heart in response to our prayers. Please contact us and be assured that we are ready to offer you our love and assistance in your discernment process.