Being Present to God

While many people are familiar with meditation practices that seek to expand the mind or to empty oneself, Trappists practice Christian meditation, which seeks to open the heart and mind to an encounter with God.

A meditative lifestyle. Daily life in a Trappist monastery as a whole can be described as meditative. This can include experiences in nature, steady work and reflections in a sacred space—in addition to moments officially dedicated to meditation.

Christian meditation is sometimes described as a conversation with the living God.

What’s important is achieving a quiet and stillness of the mind that allows us to be more receptive to God. With effort and practice, we can cultivate a meditative awareness of God’s love and nearness throughout the day.

Dedicated meditation. Certain times during the Trappist day are devoted to deliberate, focused meditation. A natural moment for many Trappists to practice meditation is immediately following the celebration of Eucharist. Some monasteries also schedule a period of meditation after Vespers, the evening prayer time when a monk or nun can contemplate the mysterious fruitfulness and goodness of God manifest in the events of the day. Another common meditative practice is adoration in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament exposed in a monstrance on the altar.