{Practicing Benedict} A post about monks and errands and eating

“Any who are sent on an errand which will allow them to return to the monastery on the same day must not eat outside, in spite of pressing invitations whatever their source, unless the superior has approved this..” (The Rule of St. Benedict, Chapter 51) Oh, the errands! There are the errands and the falling [Read More...]

{Practicing Benedict} Work and Prayer and Rest

“Idleness is the enemy of the soul. Therefore all the community must be occupied at definite times in manual labour and at other times in lectio divina.” (The Rule of St. Benedict, Chapter 48) One of the things that makes St. Benedict’s Rule so significant in the canon of ancient Christian writings, is that he [Read More...]

{Practicing Benedict} How Lent should be observed in the monastery

“There can be no doubt that monastic life should always have a Lenten character about it, but there are not many today who have the strength for that. Therefore we urge that all in the monastery during these holy days of Lent should look carefully at the integrity of their lives and get rid in [Read More...]

{Practicing Benedict} The work of God

“When the time comes for one of the divine offices to begin, as soon as the signal is heard, everyone must set aside whatever they may have in hand and hurry as fast as possible to the oratory, but of course they should do so in a dignified way which avoids giving rise to any [Read More...]

{Praciticing Benedict} The Sacred Vessels of the Altar

“All the utensils of the monastery and in fact everything that belongs to the monastery should be cared for as though they were the sacred vessels of the altar…” (The Rule of St. Benedict, Chapter 31). If we aim to live as monks, then what else is our home but the monastery? Full of people [Read More...]

{Practicing Benedict} The greatest possible concern

“As for the abbot or abbess, they must show the greatest possible concern with great wisdom and perseverance to avoid losing any one of the sheep committed to their care. They should be well aware that they have undertaken an office which is more like the care of the sick than the exercise of power [Read More...]

{Practicing Benedict} On rising immediately

“All should be prepared to rise immediately without any delay as soon as the signal to get up is given; then they should hurry to see who can get first to the oratory for the work of God, but of course they should do this with due dignity and restraint. The young should not have [Read More...]

{Practicing Benedict} It should normally be short.

“If in ordinary life we have a favour to ask of someone who has power and authority, we naturally approach that person with due deference and respect. When we come, then with our requests in prayer before the Lord, who is God of all creation, is it not all the more important that we should [Read More...]

{Practicing Benedict} Seven Times a Day

“The words of the Psalm are: I have uttered your praises seven times during the day. We shall fulfill that sacred number of seven if at the times of Lauds, Prime, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers and Compline we perform the duty of service to God, because it was of these day hours that the psalm [Read More...]

{Practicing Benedict} Lord open my lips…

“During the winter season the office of vigils begins with this verse recited three times; Lord, open my lips and my mouth will declare your praise. To this should be added the third psalm and the Gloria. Then will come the ninety fourth psalm chanted with its antiphon and after that an Ambrosian hymn, followed [Read More...]