In the midst of winter snow, we read these words of our Cistercian forebear, Saint Aelred of Rievaulx.
What that kingdom we be like we cannot even think, where there is no variable weather or overcast skies, no excessive heat or harsh winter, but perfect balance in all things and complete tranquility of mind and body. He will be seen in himself. That lovable face, so longed for, upon which the angels yearn to gaze, will be seen. Who can say anything of its beauty, its light, its sweetness?
The monastery is meant to be a reflection of the heavenly Paradise which has been promised to us. Even now we are attentive for glimpses of Christ's promise.
Photographs by Brother Anthony Khan. Lines from Rule of Life for a Recluse by Saint Aelred.