Our class visited the Abbey of Our Lady of the Holy Spirit, which is more commonly called the Monastery of the Holy Spirit on December 9, 2009. This monastery was founded in 1944 by a group of Cistercian monks, often referred to as Trappists, sent to Georgia from the Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky.
The grounds of the Monastery of the Holy Spirit include slightly over 2,000 acres of land in a rapidly growing suburban area southeast of Atlanta. The Trappist monks have traditionally had a special relationship to the land around them. Beauty and solitude are both necessary ingredients for our contemplative life. The land is essential for providing a place of solitude and silence, which are hallmarks the Cistercian Order, and they warmly invite all people to enjoy.
St. Benedict framed a Rule, or constitution, which was loosely modeled upon the earlier Rule of St. Basil for the Benedictine Order in 529AD. The Benedictine monks formed a sort of corporation, presided over by an abbot, who holds the office for life. Every candidate for admission to the order of the Benedictine monks takes the vow of obedience. Any man, rich or poor, noble or peasant, might enter the Benedictine monastery. The postulancy usually lasted one month, the novitiate one year, at the end simple vows are taken. The solemn vows of the Medieval monks were taken four years later. But having once joined a monk remains a Benedictine monk for the rest of their life.
The Benedictine monks live under strict discipline. The vows of the Benedictine Monks are: obedience, stability, conversion in the way of life. These vows are the basis of the rule of St. Benedict and the life of the Benedictine monks. By the tenth century, the Benedictine Rule prevailed everywhere in Western Europe including England.
The Medieval monastery was established during the Middle Ages. Different orders of monks were also established during the Middle Ages. The major...