Religion: The Hard Peace

Life is not easy among the Trappists.

The order known as the Cistercians of the Strict Observance is one of the most austere in the Roman Catholic Church. On ordinary days rising hour is 2 a.m. (it is earlier on Sundays and feast days). Seven hours are devoted to sleep, about seven to the Divine Office and Mass, one hour to meals, four hours to study and private prayers, usually five hours to manual labor. Except when sick, Trappists* eat no meat, fish, eggs; unless they are giving necessary directions for labor, monks without special assignment may not speak, except to their...

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