Every summer, I spend a few days at the Abbey of Gethsemani in Trappist, Kentucky. The Abbey is an old Trappist monastery—the oldest in the United States—that was established in 1848. Trappists monks follow the rule of Saint Benedict, living a life of prayer and work. The monastery is a working farm of about 2,000 acres. The monks make honey, fudge, cheese, and other farm products to sustain their monastic community. Because they follow the rule of Saint Benedict, the monks welcome guests to the monastery. The guests are required to maintain strict silence. Guests are walk the monastery’s grounds (the monks themselves take a vow of silence as a part of their monastic vows), eat their meals in the refectory, and participate in the divine office and daily mass with the monks. The monastery draws hundreds of retreatants each year, many seeking solitude from the outside world, others drawn because of the Abbey’s famous occupant, Thomas Merton. For more about the monastery, check out the video below.