If Jesus Christ initiated and or became a member of your Order of Cistercians, how could or would his followers and we be saved?

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.


Very true, Jesus did not found or join a monastery – and he could have! The Essenes were close at hand, living a life comparable to the monastic way; some scholars have even suggested John the Baptist may have had some connection with that group. A cousin like Jesus would have been quite a catch!

Jesus had a different mission, and you and I are who/where/what we are today because of his fidelity to the mission to the end.

Ever since then his followers have participated in his mission according to his call to each. No Christian can fully live, fully express all that Jesus was and did. As St. Paul says “Are all apostles? Are all teachers? Are all prophets?….” (1 Cor 12:27-30)

All these roles are necessary – and many more besides. There are the indispensable visible roles – and thank God so many Christians fill them so well! There are also the equally indispensable invisible roles – which is where the contemplative Orders in the Church come in. They too continue the work of Jesus – entering into his solitary prayer to the Father, interceding for all the apostolic ministers of the gospel and for all the People of God.

We pray for those who speak the Word of God and for those who hear it. We pray for those who want to pray but cannot. We pray in the night for those who labor in the night, those who suffer in the night, those who are tempted in the night.

It is ultimately a matter of vocation, of God’s call to each Christian. Obviously God calls many more to active apostolic work; the call to a hidden contemplative Christian life will be to relatively few. But to those invited to this, it is an imperious call. The Church has blessed this life, encouraged it, considers it a necessary part of evangelization, a living witness to God’s transcendence, to the fact that God is worthy of the total gift of the human heart, and calls some persons to make this total gift, and to satisfied with nothing else.

You are quite right that each Christian must proclaim the Good News, must bear witness to the light. But there are as many different ways of doing this as there are Christians. Some may and must burn brightly before the world; some must be simply a living flame of love in God’s presence, trusting that this light of love will reach to the ends of the earth.