“If you only knew what God is offering…”
These words of Jesus are an invitation to a deep personal relationship with himself, to intimacy with God. From earliest Christian times, countless men and women have dedicated their lives to answering this call in the monastic life. In the 6th century, St Benedict crystallized this gospel way of life in his Rule for Monks.
The desire to live this Rule with greater simplicity sparked St Robert and his companions to found the monastery of Citeaux in 1098. Within a few years monasteries of Cistercian nuns were established to answer the heartfelt desire of numerous women to seek God is this contemplative lifestyle, called a “School of Love.” Over the centuries, Cistercian spirituality has been continually enriched by the strong spiritual bond that unites the monks and nuns in one Order.
In the 18th century, a reform at the Abbey of La Trappe in France resulted in the popular name of Trappist or Trappistine for the members of our Order, which has now spread throughout the world – at present there are about 180 monasteries, on every continent and in almost every country.
In 1987 the Monastery of Our Lady of the Angels was founded in Crozet, Virginia, near Charlottesville, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. In this setting, the School of Love continues to flourish. Here modern women learn to follow Jesus in self-gift for the glory of God and the salvation of the world he loves so much.