In the Prologue of the Rule, in verse four, Benedict writes, "First, when you set out to do some good work, beg him with most insistent prayer to bring it to completion" (RB Prol:4).
The monks come to Saint John's Abbey Church throughout the day for the public celebration of Eucharist and the Liturgy of the Hours: Morning Prayer, Midday Prayer and Evening Prayer.
As it is for all Christians, the Mass is central to monastic prayer. The monks of the abbey gather daily with parishioners, students, faculty and guests to offer the memorial of our redemption in the Eucharistic sacrifice.
The Liturgy of the Hours
At the heart of the Liturgy of the Hours are the psalms, those 150 ancient but ever new expressions of human longing for God. Singing and reciting the psalms prepare the monk for hearing the Word of God in readings from the Bible and spiritual authors, culminating in prayers of petition and praise.
Lectio Divina is the most distinctive form of Benedictine prayer. In lectio divina, monks read, ponder and pray with Scripture. In his Rule, Saint Benedict set aside the best part of the day for the brothers to engage in this practice. Monks today are still expected to do their lectio daily. Helping a newcomer learn how to do lectio is a major element of initial monastic formation.
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