Entering into Silence
Back to the essence
On the basis of the full breadth of contemplative live, Ad Montem wishes to give shape to a life of prayer that is moved by God in the twenty-first century. This means going in search of the essence of religious life as a life proceeding from God, beyond established instituted and traditions. On the basis of the personal calling, we listen in an open conversation to what moves each person. In this way, we look for a flexible form of life that grows in harmony with the community and the persons involved. We are an open community that is of an inter-congregational nature.
We are open to men and women who, on the basis of their experience of being touched by God, cherish silence as the most intimate space of their existence. There, we are addressed by God and asked to open ourselves to the Voice of love, welling up from the depths of our being. This Voice asks that we free ourselves from the restrictive bonds of our self-willful existence in order to live in the infinite space of love. Traditionally, this journey to God is seen as a mountain trek.
In a world filled with ego-noise, we seek out God as the deepest foundation of our existence, in the silence of prayer. We do this as hermits, in the awareness that each person has his or her own path in God and that this quest can only be undertaken personally. Listening to each other, we collect the honey in the combs of a communal story that is continuously being written.
Love can only be born in the eyes of the other. God not only gazes at us from within ourselves, but also through the eyes of every person that crosses our path. The community is the school where love is practiced. In this school, we always remain beginners. Because the process of being stripped by love calls forth great resistance in us, the community has an important correcting function in this struggle. Without barricading ourselves in theories and established traditions, we remain in search of the personal path that God travels with each person.
Love as center
Truly to live out of love or who we are in God demands practice, because our ego-noise is always lying in wait. In our life we must therefore keep returning to the One who wounds us from within with His love. With love as its center, the community is to preserve us from locking ourselves up in ourselves and so letting go of the living relationship with God.
God builds the house
The collaboration of Cistercians and Carmelites is an open space in which other traditions are welcome. This coming together of different spiritual traditions and ways of life calls for an open space where we can meet. In the empty center of the encounter with God, we collect the treasures that each individual carries in their personal baggage. Listening without judgment, we explore the new face of a community without boundaries.
In the face of the urge to push oneself forward that is so commonplace in our society, Ad Montem’s aim is not its own presence but that of God. He forms the heart of this community and ultimately also of the entire community of human beings on Earth. The simplicity of our life keeps reminding us of this heart. This connection with God also asks of us that we treat His creation with respect. This finds expression, among other things, in simplicity of housing and food (vegetarian).
Embedded in prayer
Love belongs to God. It is not simply at our disposal. Prayer is the space that keeps bringing us back to the Source of this love. By joining in with the monastic liturgy of the hours, we are continually reminded that our life is not our own. Every time we are in danger of suffocating in our ego-noise, we are invited to descend into the divine space of our soul, where God is silently gazing at us and lovingly addressing us from the depths of our own origin. There, we must wait as long as it takes for our own actions to become prayer, or the expression of the activity of God’s love in our existence.