In God's providence our three Founders, Saints Robert, Alberic and Stephen and their confreres, shared their lives with one another first at Molesme. Then taking their inspiration from Robert, they departed for Citeaux. After Robert was called back to Molesme, a small remnant remained behind at Citeaux. From this second humble beginning, each monk was called to contribute in his own unique way to the ongoing story of what lay ahead. Robert had been charisma; Alberic became perseverance, and Stephen became structure and stability.
The entry of all these men into the stream of monastic history began much further back, when they were each put to the test- at the time of their entrance into the monastery and each was scrutinized to see "whether he was truly seeking God." Finding that such an intent was in their hearts meant that the Spirit was at work. The ongoing fire of that search would be at the root of all that each would ever accomplish in God's plan for that first monastery at Citeaux. The search would be handed on little by little to the next generation, who in its turn would cooperate with God in the shaping of the Order.
Eventually that day would come, when we too would be scrutinized and found worthy to begin, to take up our own share in the service of God in this house which is Spencer, each doing his best to hang on to the personal search as well as to his own share in Spencer's collaborative search for God.