Old Monk on the Three Duties
Work is Prayer. Prayer is Work. Reading is Work. Reading is Prayer.
Lectio Divina, or Holy Reading, is a wonderful, monastic contribution to spirituality. It combines two aspects of the threefold Benedictine life of Work, Prayer and Reading. When we participate in Lectio Divina we pray and read. We read and pray. The essential idea is that we read the sacred Scriptures not critically or even to gather information, [...]
One of the gifts of the Benedictine tradition is the form of prayer called Lectio Divina or Holy Reading. In a world where speed reading is expected, skimming is required and glancing through summaries is de rigueur the monastic tradition is a contradiction. Lectio diving requires us to slow down and read the text meditatively. There is a technique. The first [...]
I was introduced to one of the great treasures of English medieval spirituality (sadly neglected by most Catholics) the Revelations of Divine Love by the anchoress and mystic Julian of Norwich when I took a course in the fourteenth century mystics at Blackfriars in Oxford. Fr Simon Tugwell OP was the brilliantly witty and erudite lecturer. The Lady Juliana was born about [...]
Idleness is the enemy of the soul, and so monks should be occupied at some times with manual labor, and at certain times with holy reading. — Rule of St Benedict I've written here on the importance of reading and study for the spiritual life. As a consequence, a few readers have asked me [...]
Following my blog posts on the role of reading and study in the Benedictine monastic tradition, I've had several readers ask for me to supply a reading list. This is very difficult for varied reasons. Firstly, the number of books and the availability of books is greater than ever. Not only are there a vast number [...]
Medieval Monastic Library From the beginning the monastic way of spirituality has emphasized the importance of reading and study. Here's why: studying the old books safeguards your spirituality from being merely a subjective, emotional and ephemeral experience. Knowledge ground prayer in reality. The old books are the ones that have stood the test of [...]