Our Vision

touched by love ... moved by love

An unbeaten path

New questions are being posed to us in a rapidly changing world. And yet, we wish to remain true to the one question that precedes and underlies all questions. This is a timeless question that is asked of every human being from eternity: “Do you dare to surrender to the unconditional Love of God that gazes you into existence?” In this way, Love itself sets us on the path to an unknown yonder. On this path, we are equipped with nothing but our vocation to imitate Christ. Many generations went before us, but the question always remains new and deeply personal. No one can outsource the answer to someone else, however tempting this may be.

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.

In community

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.

Open form

In giving shape to something, one generally prefers to make use of familiar forms and customs. In this way, one constructs a community that offers the security of a home. The challenge, however, is to continually keep in mind, in mutual dialogue, that it is God himself who builds this house of the community. He often does this with materials that our human rationality considers to be useless or would prefer to leave aside.

God builds the house

Open space

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.

Simple life

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.

Spiritual reading

Reading Scripture and other spiritual texts links us to all those people who lived out of this divine wellspring. By reading and contemplating these writings, we see them become a mirror of our own soul. Spiritual reading is the thread that connects each day to the next and forms the house of the community out of the one source that is God.

Some work

Our God-given talents are as diverse as our various experiences of God. Next to the tasks that each person has within the community, it is important that our work is in line with what moves each of us personally as much as possible. In an open and critical dialogue, we explore each person’s personal calling.

Mystical tradition

By means of a new and fresh interpretation of mystical texts, we try to uncover the wealth and current interest of this tradition and make it accessible for all who are interested. This is done in written and spoken commentaries, but also and mainly in a mindful and quiet life in total surrender to the relationship with God. Ad Montem is a community that not only cherishes the texts of the School of Love as a valuable and irreplaceable heritage, but also considers them a current source of life. The mystical depth of feeling that is expressed in the texts only gains its full significance in a life that lets itself be moved by God on the part of us, as readers. In this way they lead us to our deepest essence, beyond all words and ideas.


The inner journey demands physical surroundings in which the Voice of God can be listened to in silence and solitude. In this way, we can daily be detached from everything that is not God and that alienates us from Him. Then we can remain rooted in the divine life that flows through us and wounds us.

A path for everyone

Silence creates community. In the highly fragmented landscape of Western society, nearly everyone seems to retreat into their own fortress. This also holds true of religious who cling to their own identity. Because of this, the fact that the common denominator of the Christian life is the imitation of Christ is often lost sight of. This imitation has everything to do with the activity of love in our existence. Whatever our gender or status is, we all live out of the one core that is God himself. He is the One we gaze at in the depths of our being and by letting His gaze rest on us, we are transformed in His fire. Ad Montem accordingly wants to be a community in which everyone who wishes to travel this path of being stripped in love is welcome.

Way of life

The way of life is of course concrete and is based on joint agreements that more or less structure our life. At the same time, the way of life is flexible and the mutual dialogue of discernment intends to keep it adapted to the personal vocation of each member.

Room for the vocation


The community Ad Montem lives on the Langestreek, number 9. This house is about 250 meters from Schiermonnikoog Monastery. Besides the rooms of the residents, there is also limited room for personal guests. Other guests are welcome in the guest house of Schiermonnikoog Monastery, or in one of the many other accommodations available on the island. There is a small chapel in the house, as well as a small library mostly consisting of mystical literature.

Daily schedule

The community’s daily schedule takes place in close connection with the community of the Cistercians. The daily celebrations of the liturgy of the hours and the Eucharist take place, as much as possible, in the chapel of Schiermonnikoog Monastery. The main meal of the day is usually eaten communally in one of the two houses.


The work we do is dependent on the abilities of the residents and the necessity of supporting ourselves. As much as possible, the work is done in the silence of the communal house, unless other responsibilities necessitate going elsewhere. The composition of the community calls for an optimal presence and participation in the activities of the community.

Contemplative life

The concrete and outward form of our life has in view a contemplative life in silence and solitude that mainly takes place in the inner self. The path of contemplation is the path of being denuded in love. This transformation includes all the layers of the human person. Just as Elijah hid in the brook of love (Cherith / Caritas), we too hide in our prayer in order to be transformed by God’s love in this silence. 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. In our view, this contemplative life continually places God in the center, so that everything that is not God disappears from view.