Some of the key elements of the Cistercian way of life, from ‘The Constitutions and Statutes of the Cistercian Order

C. 21 Lectio Divina:

Careful lectio divina greatly strengthens the brothers’ faith in God. This excellent monastic practice, by which God’s Word is heard and pondered, is a source of prayer and a school of contemplation, where the monk speaks heart to heart with God. For this reason, the brothers are to devote a fitting amount of time each day to such reading.

C. 22 Prayer:

In a spirit of compunction and intense desire, monks devote themselves frequently to prayer. While dwelling on earth, their minds are occupied with heavenly things, desiring eternal life with all spiritual longing. May the Blessed Virgin Mary who was taken up into heaven, the life and sweetness and hope of all earthly pilgrims, never be far from their hearts.

C. 27 Simplicity:

Following the example of the Fathers of Cîteaux, who sought an uncomplicated relationship with the God of simplicity, the brothers’ lifestyle is to be plain and frugal. Everything in the household of God should be appropriate to monastic life and avoid excess so that its very simplicity can be instructive for all. This is to be clearly apparent in buildings and their furnishings, in food and clothing and even in the celebration of the liturgy.

C. 29 Separation from the World:

Those who prefer nothing to the love of Christ make themselves strangers to the actions of the world. In the monastic tradition this involves a certain degree of physical separation. For this reason, the monastery is built so that it completely safeguards the quiet and solitude of those who reside there… The necessary discretion is to be maintained in the use of the means of social communication, namely radio, television, the telephone and the internet. These can be permitted only if the special character of the contemplative life is safeguarded.