Celebration of 900 years of the Cistercian Abbey of Clairvaux:
Session of the young monks and nuns of the Cistercian family
14-24 July 2015 at Cîteaux
As every four years, since 1998, a formation session brought together 38 brothers and sisters of French and German languages for ten days of work and trade. The conferences as well as exchanges in the plenum were translated into the two languages. The work in groups were done by linguistic groups. The subject, within the celebrations of the centenary, was: Saint Bernard: his sources in the Rule of St. Benedict and the first Cîteaux. It was approached by two speakers; Sister Michaela Pfeifer, o.c. of the Abbey of Marienkron in Austria, and Father Joël Regnard from our community of Munkeby in Norway. Presentation of the topics:
S.Michaela, endeavoured to show Bernard as 'amator regulae'. Like says Jean Leclercq, St Bernard 'speaks' Rule as he "speaks" Bible. Unable to browse all his writings, we are limited to excerpts from his life and some of his letters. The first day dealt with Learning by Bernard of obedience, the second was to his predecessors: The Rule of St. Benedict and the Cistercians. The third day delved title: S. Bernard and the Rule of S. Benedict, especially about the transitus, the fourth in exploring the applications in “Morimond folder”. In short, we have experienced a "St Bernard taught by rule and teacher of the Rule" throughout his life of Abbot of Clairvaux.
With Brother Joël of Munkeby, we addressed the question of the relationship between Bernard and tradition from Clairvaux with first-generation Cistercian from historical data and texts. The Charter of Charity is a fundamental basis for maintaining the unity of the Order. Bernard develops themes that are specific on the basis of his personal experience and the ecclesial needs of his time, they are yet not rupture with the experience of the origins but often take root. In conclusion, some of these topics relevant to us today were taken to be updated: humility, freedom to love, true desire, and get to know really... find the real self, in the image of God, this is our way of Holiness.