It was Ignatius of Loyola who observes that the Divinity “hides itself.” (Spiritual Exercises 4th week, 1st contemplation).   The sentiment seems to come alive when one enters the lives of the Monks who live at the Abbey of the Genesee near Rochester New York.  Here one discovers the 20 or so Trappist Monks who live the hidden life in silence, away from the “hustle and bustle” of ordinary life.

Following the rule of St. Benedict, The Trappists of The Strict Observance, have prayer and work as two fundamental pillars upon which their life is founded. For example, they wake up at 3:15am and at about 3:30am will pray with the psalms.  After a few hours of quiet personal reading, they gather again to pray the psalms and worship at mass. They then work for a few hours largely in a bakery where they will produce bread and other baked goods.

They will then gather together at noon to pray the psalms.  After lunch, and about an hour of free time, they will gather again to pray the psalms and go to work. After this, (and a brief respite) they gather again to… pray the psalms. Finally, just before retiring to bed, around 7:30pm they gather again to … can you guess what they do?

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