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EleanorW

Cistercians & food

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EleanorW    10
EleanorW

I'm primarily discerning a contemplative vocation, and I have visited a Cistercian convent.  This particular community is very strict about food and many nuns are quite thin, especially the younger ones who do the most physical labor.  Is this pretty standard for Cistercian communities, especially nuns?  Do eating practices vary in different communities or is this penance part of their spirituality?  Very curious.  Thanks. 

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Antonella    29
Antonella

 

A Cistercian nun I know told me that the food they eat is quite "heavy" with lots of meat (she lives in Germany). She said that the older nuns cooked this way because they used to work in the field and they never changed the menu. I also saw a documentary about another Cistercian Abbey in Germany and they had delicious looking meals.

I visited an OCSO Abbey and the food was vegan, except for the milk at breakfast. At every meal there was potatoes with some kind of sauce and vegetable stew. The nuns looked healthy, but I didn't paid attention to them so I don't really know. Nobody fainted while I was there so that's a good sign. :)

I think that food depends on the country and what kind of job the majority is doing.

If you want to talk more about Cistercians send me a message. :)

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John Paul    184
John Paul

The Trappists at New Melleray follow the Rule of St.Benedict and it says they shall not eat the meat of four-footed animals unless they are sick. So they can't have beef or bacon but they can have chicken and turkey and eggs and such. So they aren't vegans.

New Melleray

http://www.osb.org

Rule of Saint Benedict

Scroll to Chapter 39

 

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Saintclare2009    12
Saintclare2009

I was looking at one of the convents online, and it mentioned they eat once a day. Even though I think religious life is a wonderful vocation, I have to say how I feel about it. I disagree with any of the convents eating once a day. I can. Honestly see twice a day. But once is too strict and I think in any vocation god calls us to,their should be a fair balance. This one in particular, I don't want to mention but they get up in the middle of the night... etc. I can understand waking up early... but if we ask our selves honestly... would Jesus want us to eat healthy and get enough hours of good sleep/rest in order to be productive and be our best for him. I think so, there's one thing to live in extravagant indulgence, that is another extreme, but to live balanced, in prayer, and work ( what we are called to do) I think the best way, is to be your best,a and  do your best ( not easy) Obey God all leave all the consequences to him. :)

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Marsabielle    3
Marsabielle
1 hour ago, Saintclare2009 said:

I was looking at one of the convents online, and it mentioned they eat once a day. Even though I think religious life is a wonderful vocation, I have to say how I feel about it. I disagree with any of the convents eating once a day. I can. Honestly see twice a day. But once is too strict and I think in any vocation god calls us to,their should be a fair balance. This one in particular, I don't want to mention but they get up in the middle of the night... etc. I can understand waking up early... but if we ask our selves honestly... would Jesus want us to eat healthy and get enough hours of good sleep/rest in order to be productive and be our best for him. I think so, there's one thing to live in extravagant indulgence, that is another extreme, but to live balanced, in prayer, and work ( what we are called to do) I think the best way, is to be your best,a and  do your best ( not easy) Obey God all leave all the consequences to him. :)

The communities you may be thinking of, if we are on the same track, actually eat three times a day. They fast perpetually, so the bookend meals are smaller, but dishes are passed at every meal, self-serve. One postulant I know gained 10kg just a month after entering.

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Saintclare2009    12
Saintclare2009

Thank-you, that is good to know! I love the profile picture you have of saint Bernadette, she is one of my favorites. I remember one very devout priest remembered how I loved st Bernadette, and he said out of the blue to me... think of Bernadette, she chose religious life, but had her eyes on a sweetheart. In the movie the song of Bernadette, antwon ( not sure if I spelled this correctly) liked Bernadette very much, and stayed single, he didn't marry, once he found news that Bernadette entered the sisters of charity. 

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vee    4,726
vee

I don't know about Cistercians but the cloistered community I was in ate proper meals at proper times. I'm fairly thin already but did lose weight because of the balanced lifestyle. No chips and other snacks late at night like I'm tempted to do out here.  Just go live the life, that's the best way to learn. 

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EleanorW    10
EleanorW

 

On 8/21/2017 at 6:18 PM, Antonella said:

 

A Cistercian nun I know told me that the food they eat is quite "heavy" with lots of meat (she lives in Germany). She said that the older nuns cooked this way because they used to work in the field and they never changed the menu. I also saw a documentary about another Cistercian Abbey in Germany and they had delicious looking meals.

I visited an OCSO Abbey and the food was vegan, except for the milk at breakfast. At every meal there was potatoes with some kind of sauce and vegetable stew. The nuns looked healthy, but I didn't paid attention to them so I don't really know. Nobody fainted while I was there so that's a good sign. :)

I think that food depends on the country and what kind of job the majority is doing.

If you want to talk more about Cistercians send me a message. :)

 

Yes, the community I'm familiar with is also vegan.  They do not eat meat, eggs or milk.  A vegan diet is not healthy for me, but I'm thinking of visiting another Cistercian community to see how others live, and hopefully a Carmel, Poor Clare community, and Dominicans.  

Thank you Antonella, I may do that. :)

Edited by EleanorW

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Lou    2
Lou

Was it a Trappistine (OCSO) or a Cistercian monastery (O. Cist) that you visited? I can tell you a bit (lots!) about the OCSO diet as Antonella mentioned.... feel free to PM me! 

 

<3

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