Our aim in monastic life is to follow Jesus Christ, who was poor, chaste and obedient throughout his life on earth. By vowing ourselves to poverty, chastity and obedience, we imitate these aspects of his life and are thus fashioned into his likeness – the perfect man. At the same time, we believe that we are cooperating with his salvific work in the world. By our vow of stability to the monastery and separation from the world, we aim to show that ultimate reality is not found in this visible world: we await the glorious second coming of Christ, which will inaugurate the reign of God and the end of death and suffering. Our daily rising before dawn to celebrate the office of Vigils is a special sign of this waiting. Concerning his glorious second coming, Jesus said: “Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time will come” (Mk 13: 33).
We renounce such great goods as marriage, family and active involvement in society to be completely free for the one thing necessary: God himself. We are thus made freer for the programme sketched by St Benedict in his Rule: seeking God (ch. 58). It is God who first comes to meet man. But led by the Holy Spirit, we also want to journey towards him, thus honouring the great gift of friendship with him. Everything in the monastery is organized to facilitate intimacy with God. The monastery's architecture, with its buildings arranged around the abbey church and cloister, is a visible sign of this inner focus. We encounter God above all in liturgical and personal prayer and in lectio divina. We encounter him in the abbot, whom St Benedict describes as representing Christ in the monastery. We encounter him too in our fellow monks, especially in the sick and infirm. This is why our recreation periods are important for us. We also encounter him in visitors and in manual work. Our whole life unfolds in God's sight and prepares us for our life in heaven, where we will contemplate God eternally and praise him with the angels.