According to Bernard and his followers, this idea of a simple and pious life was possible by the strict observance of the Rule created by saint Benedict (480-547). We can even make a parallel between them both, who lived similar experiences which led them to this quest for another life, preserved from sins and above all, closer to God.
Benedict ws born in the VIth in a noble family from Nursia in Italy. Despite this privileged sphere, he rejected this society when he was young, prefering a lonely life far from vices and debauchery. The Bible as his only companion, he lived as an ermit for a few years, quickly considered as a saint. Now an abbot, he established his community on the Monte Cassino around 529 and built a monastery. There, saint Benedict wrote a concrete rule describing the monastic life, which became a reference in Europe, still applied nowadays.
In Tiron Abbey, the communautary life was essentially based on prayers. Collective or individual, singing or silent, prayers imposed a daily rhythm from four and a half when the matines rang. Between each services, the monks had to get involved in manual works, essential for their own maintenance and the reception of any people who were looking for hospitality. Then, their works accomplished the brothers could devote themselves to the Lectio Divina, the meditation on the Holy Scriptures. When saint Bernard was himself an abbot, those time for work and study were all the more important because of the Church’s reform, which tended ti the clergy’s “professionalisation”. Religious had to be motivated by a real vocation to assume this way of life, rigorous and austere.
The Robe is grey, meals are frugals, confort just sufficient, sober which is also visible in the architecture of Thiron-Gardais abbey, imposant but never obstentatious. The spirit is based on moderation and communion, the sharing of competences and ressources to serve God.