Life in the monastery is characterised by its simplicity and wish to reach the essential. The monks, responding to the significance of their name, look for solitude to find an interior unity, where they find God, the fundamental cornerstone to build in solidarity fraternity with others.
Their every day life does not pretend anything else but to help reach this pathway.
The Cistercian solitude is lived in community with other brothers, creating communication ties that do not always need voice, but also a hearted affection. It is not about adding solitudes but of discovering and building unity together.
Prayer and study. The solitude and silence favour the art of “listening”. A listening of the own heart and the human heart, but also listening to the Word of the Lord that is given to us by the Scriptures. We call this LECTIO DIVINA that is a peculiar way of reading the Bible: neither like a historical book nor a literate monument, neither looking for specific or interesting facts nor pretending using it scientifically or speculatively. The lectio divina can only be achieved from the gratuity and faith. Gratuity by giving up all utilisation sense and all hurry to “listen”.
Faith. to welcome the read word like the word of God that is addressed to the monk here and now. Then the word is read and re-read o, as the Old Fathers would say, is “brooded", savouring it, sometimes until learning it by heart, leaving it to soak up the interior, so that it transforms the heart and the mind.
In this exercise the whole “being” is being used: the mouth pronounces the text, the memory fixes it, the intelligence understands it, the will aspires to put it in practice. And that read, welcomed and savored word, causes an answer, an "echo" in the interior. It is the prayer that has God, and not oneself, as a starting point. For that reason the Fathers of the Church said: "God speaks when I read, I speak to him when I pray". And so, the monk is called the man of listening. That prayer which comes from the Word, also submerges itself in a quiet and warm listening of all the reality and it is offfered as incarnated charity. The STUDY, to which monks dedicate several hours a day, is what provides intellectual support to their lives of listening and committment.
THE LITURGICAL PRAYER
The liturgical prayer manifests, at different moments of the day, the presence of God in our life, with the background of the cosmic vision of the sun - Christ, light of the World - as its axis.
Seven times a day the monk meet to praise God in the liturgy and to celebrate their mystery of salvation, whose center is eucaristía. They do it feeling part of the Church and humanity, praying to God moved by the Spirit, in praise and thanksgiving, in trusted attitude.
Still at night, before 5, the monk rises to sing Vigilias or “Maitines”, signifying with it the vigilant attitude of whom waits for the coming of the Lord, symbolized in the rising sun.
With the uprising of the sun the brothers meet again for the prayer of Lauds and to celebrate the Eucharist, praising to the risen Christ from the darkness of sin. When recognizing sin, monks are opened to the reconciliation brought by Christ, they receive it when participating in his body and blood and they offer it to all with their life of service.
At mid-morning, noon and in the afternoon, the monks reunite for a brief liturgical prayer that are called Little Hours (Third, Sixth and None) and that become small breaks during the day for the memory and divine praise.
At dusk the office of Vespers is sung, where the monk offers his day in thanksgiving and he trusts himself into the hands of Christ, the Light that does not have decline, knowledgeable that the dark night, that symbolize the evil, will not prevail.
Finally, just before going to sleep, the day concludes with the office of Compline. Hour of great calmness and confidence that finishes invoking to the Virgin Mary with the song of Salve.
"They will be authentic monks if they live on the work of their hands" (RB 48), says Saint Benedictine. The monks live their work like an expression of poverty and means of freedom and solidarity. Poverty, not living at the cost of others, but of their own efforts. Freedom, not having to depend unnecessarily on others and therefore preserve the style of monastic life that they wish to follow. Solidarity, in sharing their goods with the needy and poor. It is for that reason that they commercialize the products that they elaborate and undertake any type of work, whenever it is not an obstacle for the aim of their life.