From the Introduction:
“The Order of St. Norbert originated in the twelfth century as a masterpiece of unequalled beauty. It arose in an age of transition. As the artistic monuments of the transition period between Roman and Gothic possess certain peculiar charms, a freshness of youth and growth, a variety of motion and development, so also with the Norbertine Order. And, as many an artist is more interested in a medieval building, showing a mixture of Roman and Gothic than in a masterpiece of the purest Gothic, so does the attractive type of medieval clerical life, adapted to modern conditions, fascinate the mind of man and is to him a perpetual source of delight, “a thing of beauty” and “a joy forever.” Though the plan of St. Norbert was not entirely original, still he may truly be called a pioneer, who united in one institute contemplation and action, social asceticism and the priesthood, under perfect obedience to the supreme Head of the Church. “Ad omne opus bonum paratus,” (Ready for every good work) was his motto. The order thus adapted itself almost spontaneously to the changing forms and conditions of society. It is to this rather than anything else that it owes the privilege of sharing in the characteristic attribute of the Church— viz. perpetuity. While, of the many medieval canonical institutes, only a few have remained, the order of St. Norbert was destined to preserve in this secularized age a remembrance of the harmonious priestly life in which Mary and Martha, prayer and work, contemplation and action, take turns in the unceasing worship of the Almighty.”
If you like this, keep your eyes on our upcoming work: The Norbertine Rite: History and Liturgy by Archdale A. King.