“Listen, my son, to your master’s precepts, and incline the ear of your heart.” – Prologue to Rule by Benedict of Nursia The opening words of David Heald’s Architecture of Silence set a tone of calm, faith and austerity — a theme that is continued throughout its pages. This leads the reader to believe that whoever had the ear of these monks and nuns share similar virtues. The Cistercian Order of Roman Catholicism, founded by Bernard of Clairvaux, developed a monastic style reflected in its architecture that intends to confess the nature of God rather than His glory. Thus, the style is not overly ornate, but practical and succinct. Most Cistercian abbeys were built in low valleys due to topographical and spiritual requirements. This…