Our life can have no other ultimate goal than God, whom we must glorify in all things and seek as man’s highest good and supreme happiness. The mediator and the way to God the Father is Christ present in the Church, in the community of our brothers and in the sacraments. We have embraced the monastic life so that we might live a life ordered toward toward this goal in a special, immediate and radical way, and so that we might be directed and led continuously and effectively to this same goal.

The monasteries of our Order should serve, protect and develop the vocation of the individual members. Therefore, the goal of seeking God is not only the individual’s obligation. Both the general structure of the monastery’s life, the school of the Lord’s service, and the Abbot’s commands and teaching -- "the leaven of divine justice" -- should support this goal. Thus, in this goal is the ultimate set of rationale for the life of our monasteries. Any other good, such as social recognition, usefulness to mankind or society, or material gain, must be subordinated and adjusted to this goal. They should never be put before spiritual progress, personal improvement, or growth in virtue. (Declaration The Essential Elements of Cistercian Life Today, 39-40)