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Benedictine Life

Rule 49

On the benchesBenedictine life is seeking God and responding to Him in a life of prayer. This inner dynamism is really a whole way of life ordered from beginning to end to facilitate habitual union with God. It is not simply a matter of praying from time to time, alternating prayer with other activities, but of directing one's whole life to this end. His sensitivity to God's presence leads the monk to gaze with wonder and gratitude upon the gracious deeds God has wrought, not only in history, but also in his own life. It is the monk's primary duty to seek God.

Everything a monk does is meant to be a prayer, a communion with God. Formal prayer, however, is a primary means of achieving this union. His day is centered around three vital elements: the Conventual Mass, a communal celebration of the Eucharist; the Liturgy of the Hours, the Church's singing of psalms to consecrate the morning, mid-day and evening; and lectio divina, the ancient monastic practice of meditative reading of Sacred Scripture and other writings from a rich spiritual tradition. Lectio, which derives from one of the earliest forms of Christian prayer, is a spring refreshing the monk in his daily quest for God and reinvigorating the zeal with which he approaches his work.

The man who consecrates his life to God as a Benedictine monk finds holiness in all tasks, transforming his job into his prayer. Virtually every monk at Saint Anselm Abbey has some type of involvement in the work of Catholic higher education. At Saint Anselm College, monks work in teaching, counseling, publications, maintenance, and administration. Indeed, the Benedictine presence endows the College with a distinctive family atmosphere.