Welcome to Our Lady of the Holy Cross Abbey
The monastery is a school of the Lord's service where Christ is formed in the hearts of the brothers and where in solitude and silence they aspire to that interior quiet in which wisdom is born. By generous hospitality they share with their fellow pilgrims the peace and hope which Christ has freely given.
(Constitutions of the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance 3:2-3)
In today's Gospel pericope, Jesus calls Matthew to become his disciple. Jesus gazed at this man and said simply, "Follow me." Did Jesus invite Matthew because the tax collector merited it? Was Jesus responding to some hidden longing in the sinner's heart? Certainly not. Grace, by definition, comes unbidden and without explanation. In Caravaggio's magnificent painting of this scene, Matthew … Continue Reading
In John the Baptist’s acknowledgment, I recognize a very constant dynamic of the spiritual life: I did not know him…But when John saw the Spirit come down like a dove from heaven and remain upon him, then he knows that Jesus is the Son of God. One of my favorite passages in the Book of Genesis admits something similar. When Jacob awakes in Bethel from his dream of the ladder to … Continue Reading
From the Abbot’s Lectio Notebook
Although the death of Goliath (described in our first reading) was that of a dangerous enemy and most likely prevented the death of many others, it was nevertheless the ending of a life deemed precious in the eyes of the Lord. Accordingly, even when the death of one, prevents the death of many, it remains an intrinsic and regrettable evil. How much more, then, when the life of one unborn is … Continue Reading
Staying a few days at the Abbey's Retreat House is the primary way guests can get a taste of our monastic life, by entering into silence and solitude, the natural beauty of the setting, and the monastic liturgy throughout the day. Retreat House guests commit to maintaining the silence and contemplative environment of the place.
Cool Spring Natural Cemetery
Cool Spring Natural Cemetery is maintained and managed by the Cistercian Monks of Holy Cross Abbey where, for over sixty years, monks have lived on land made sacred by their lives of worship, prayer, and hospitality offered to all who visit. The cemetery thus constitutes a tangible extension of the monks’ life of worship, prayer, and their long tradition of hospitality.