The Cloister

    
The cloister symbolizes paradise, in the same way that the monastery is the Garden of Eden, the most guarded place of Paradise. In the garden was the fountain of happiness, in the monastery, it is the baptismal font; in paradise, there is the tree of life and in the monastery, the body of the Lord. (Honorio de Autum)

    The cloister symbolizes paradise. In the heart of our monastery, there is also a small cloister which invites us to build inside ourselves a quiet place where the Lord may come and stay.

    In the centre, there is a simple fountain from which water bubbles forth and provides a quiet murmur of peace and comfort. The water of life quenches the desert and restores the dry. It also evokes our baptism, our promise to be imersed in Christ´s death and in the hope of the resurrection.

    
In a corner of the cloister, there is a leafy holly tree. No cloister would be complete without a tree. In the same way, as is related in the book of Genisis, in the Garden of Eden there was the tree of life. This tree, effectively, gave us life when Life was hung on the Cross.


    In another corner of the cloister, one finds a statue of St. Mary of Monte Irago, holding Jesus in her arms, smilng and protecting the monks of the monastery. Mary, the new Eve, restored with her obedience, that which was destroyed by disobedience.

    
Another witness in the cloister is a statue of the apostle St. James, friend of our Saviour and present in the celestial Jereusalem.

    In conclusion, the cloister is a place of silence, of contemplation, of prayer, the place of the Holy Spirit and the monastery´s paradise. Our cloister reproduces (symbolically) the heavenly order prepared by the Lord for our salvation and allows the monk to enter into a mysterious pilgramage so that he may encounter the new life of the resurrected Lord.
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