The Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance (also known as “Trappists”) are holding their General Chapter in Assisi
The General Chaper meeting has its own blog
At the General Chapter the Abbot General delivered his view of the Order today
As at 1st January, 2011 the Order has 2083 monks in 97 monasteries and 1736 nuns in 72 monasteries giving a total of 3819 monks and nuns in 169 monasteries in 44 countries
In a period of great change the Abbot identified the main problem facing the Order as being "to love one another. It is relationships - to live in a loving way with my brothers or sisters."
Amogst other things he talked about what is meant by loving one another in a Community:
"The older I get the more I see that a lot of loving has to do with bearing with rather than doing things for others.
It has to do with being a life-giving presence to others, not pulling down but building up or at least not getting in the way of the building.
When I look back at the people who are respected and really looked up to in my community I think especially of two brothers who are these kind of men: both of them are discreet, not reactive, not loud, easy to be with, good humoured, people who can listen to others, who don’t threaten or speak about others; they are people whom the good and the wayward can talk to without any sense of being judged or taken to task.
They are both men of the word and of prayer; full of good sense and down to earth – fine human beings.
They are men who are happy to be monks."