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Glossary

Abbey: The buildings occupied by a community of monks/nuns, also the community itself.

Abbot: Head authority in the abbey.

Apiary: a place where bees are kept.

Apostate: a former member of a religious order who renounces his/her belief.

Apostle: group of followers of Christ, sent to preach the gospel after the Resurrection

Ascetic: a person who practises severe self-discipline for religious/spiritual reasons

Austerity: stern, simple and morally strict

Autonomous: self-governing community, existing independently with the freedom to do so.

Blasphemy: profane talk. Such as cursing using religious names. In the time of Jesus, it was his insistence on being the son of God.

Burgeoning: growing, flourishing.

Canon: A collection or list of sacred books accepted as genuine.

Cenobite: A monk who lives the “common life”, that is who lives in a community with other monks and
shares with them all the daily exercises of prayer, labor, study, meals, and so on.

Cistercian: a monk or nun of an order founded in 1098 as stricter than the branch of Benedictines

Cloister: This term is applied to a whole monastery or convent’s group of buildings.

Common Observance: The distinction between Cistercians of the Strict and Common Observance grew up in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The common Observance was the migration of the Cistercian Usages permitted by several Popes, and it is followed by several Cistercian congregations today.

Compline: The last of the canonical hours chanted each day by the monks.

Consecration: To make sacred; dedicate formally to a religious or divine purpose. Such as making bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, like with the Eucharist.

Contemplation: In the broadest sense it is a “simple intuition of the truth” (simplex intuitus veritatis) in which the mind is content to rest in a reflective gaze. In the strict sense, contemplation is a simple intuition of God; produced by God Himself giving the practitioner’s soul an immediate appreciation for God.

Contemplative Life: A life in which everything is ordered to favor the development of contemplation in the strict sense, and therefore a life in which exterior activities are supported to be kept to a minimum.

Corpus Christi: Literally “the Body of Christ.” A term for the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.

Detachment: The disposition of one who is not enslaved by the appetites of human nature. One who is ‘detached’ is not dominated by the desire of pleasure or the fear of pain; his will is able to function freely without being dominated by self-interest. The acquisition of detachment is the proximate end of all asceticism.
Devotions: A term used loosely to cover all kinds of pious practices, especially prayers and meditations centered upon particular mysteries, saints or holy objects.

Dictatorship: State ruled by a person with absolute power. In ancient Roman times this was done in emergencies.

Dissolution: disintegration. Like that of the abolition of monasteries under the rule of Henry VIII. Their assets were seized to become property of the Crown.

Divine Conception: In Catholicism and Christianity, where Mary conceives the son of God, by way of the divine presence of God upon her.

Ecclesiastical: of or relating to the Christian church or clergy.

Egalitarian: of or relating to the principle of equal rights and opportunities for all.

Enclosure: The limit defining the separation between the monastery and the “world” It is usually a high wall, wherein which the doors are kept locked.

Ethical: morally correct, as concerning human conduct.

Eucharist: Christ becomes substantially present under the outward appearances of the Hosts (i.e.: Corpus Christi) when the words of consecration are pronounced over them by the priest at Mass.

Excommunication: An ecclesiastical penalty by which one is deprived of the rights and privileges of a member.

Fraternal: Comes from the Latin word “Frater”, meaning “Brother.” In the Cistercian Order, and some others, all the members, priests or not, use the title “Frater” or “Brother” before their own names, even when called “Father”.

Garth: An open courtyard or garden, surrounded by the cloister.

Grange: A group of farm buildings with a chapel and living quarters generally tenanted by lay-brothers working in outlaying parts of the monastery farm.

Hermit: A person dedicated to a life of absolute solitude, for the sake of prayer, penance, recollection and closer union with God.

Holy-Trinity: The three principle aspects of God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Existing as one God.

Homage: Dutiful reverence. As paying respect to the mother Mary.

Hospitality: friendly reception and entertainment of guests and strangers.

Host: A small wager of unleavened bread, and wine, used in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, called the Eucharist.

Incensed: To make angry, enrage.

Indulgence: The act of allowing oneself to enjoy their pleasures or wishes.

Lauds: Blessing of the day is asked from God in the early morning before work and after morning studies.

Lay-Brother: A member of a religious Order who, though he makes solemn vows, remains technically a layman in the sense that he is not destined to the clerical state. Lay-brothers devote to labor the time that monks and clerics spend in prayer and study.

Litany: A long prayer consisting of a series of invocations and responses. Traditionally, a Litany is supposed to be sung in a moment of special need.

Liturgy: The system of prayers and sacred texts and ceremonies. Established by the Church as the official vehicle of her public worship to God as a group, or, better, as the mystical body of Christ.

Mass: The central Mystery of the Christian Faith. It is the liturgical action in which the priest, representing Christ, renews the offering to God of the Eucharist.

Matins: The canonical hour which is chanted soon after midnight. The longest of the hours.

None: Focused mid-day prayer, before afternoon work.

Office: A ceremonial daily observance. Small services of prayer, chanting and contemplation.

Opus Dei: A ‘work of God’. Such as that of prayer and manual labor.

Order: The stated form of divine service. Also, principles of procedure accepted by a meeting.

Our Lady of the Prairies: Name given to Trappist monastery in St. Norbert.

Patriarch: Those presiding over heads of various churches.

Passover: Jewish spring festival commemorating the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt.

Persecution: An act of ill-treatment towards someone of religious or political belief.

Postulant: a candidate for admission into a religious order.

Refectory: A room used for communal meals.

Salve Regina: Melodic song in Latin sang during Compline.

Self-sufficiency: Independent ability to supply one’s own needs, esp. food from one’s own resources.

Sext: Prayer time following morning work, before lunch.

Solitude: State of being or living alone. Living in solitude is often a practice of silence.

Supplicate: To petition humbly towards.

Terce: Morning prayers in preparation for work day.

Vespers: Prayers at the end of a monk’s work day.

Vigils: A holy day for religious observance, or prayers said or sung at a nocturnal service.

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