If we love God with one heart and one soul in accordance with the purity of our profession, there is no doubt that the love of God will be poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit and that the one Spirit of God will animate all of us, as if we were one body. None of us then will live for himself but for God, and all of us together will live in unity of spirit through the one Spirit that dwells within us. It is by the love of God that this unity of spirit is found in us and is preserved in us by the love of our neighbor.
These words of our Twelfth Century Cistercian father, Baldwin of Forde, inspire and challenge us. For we are meant to grow in love in this "school of love" that is the monastery. And how can we love God, if we neglect the brother in our midst?
Photograph by Brother Brian. Lines from Tractate XV by Baldwin of Forde.