Our Daily Work
Sustaining Our Life of Prayer and Study
We also encounter the Lord in our work. Again in chapter 48, of the Rule of St Benedict, explains that “Idleness is the enemy of the soul” and stresses that each monk should apply himself to the work he is assigned.
Christ himself sanctified work by his carpenter’s trade. Our daily work and duties unites us to Christ. If work is carried out in accordance with the Rule, it does not distract us from God’s constant presence. On the contrary, it fosters silence, humility, “Obedience” and charity. Working relationships helps us to build up the community’s unity. Work also maintains our own psychological balance. Since we are enclosed, we have a special need to expend our energy and devote ourselves to some sort of activity which fosters each monk’s gifts and the ability to use them within the structure of our vocation to serve God.
All activities, work and assignments are made by the “Counsel” and in acoordance to the monk’s abilities. Both intellectual and manual – enabling the monastery to earn its living. The Rule of St Benedict paints a demanding portrait of the monk’s assignments. The “Counsel” must be like a father to the community, although not undertake anything without the Abbot’s consent.
The work detail ” (laundry, tailor’s workshop for making and repairing clothes, linen room, shoe repair shop, print shop, workshops for painting, equipment and building maintenance, the central heating system, electricity, etc.) limits our need for outside tradesmen.
The farm and the animals, the gardens both for fruit trees, vegetables and organic study. Our apiary farm and many more areas that need daily attention.
Most of our income comes from the monastery gardens, farm, honey products and the seasonal Maple Syrup collected from our Maple Trees . Our Monastery Gift Shop is an online based store which represents not only our products but products from monasteries, of men and women from around the world. We also depend on donations to help us maintain our daily life and the growth of our monastic community, maintaining the expansion of our buildings and the care that is required in their upkeep.
“For the Knowledge of God Is Received in Divine Silence” — St. John of the Cross
A monk is always studying and the works and writings of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church have a never ending breath of the Church’s Tradition along with the writings and lives of the Saints . Lecitio Divina throughout each day is also a moment of intimacy with God and time spent listening to God’s word which comes to us through the Bible, Holy Scripture. Also in the Church’s Traditions the word of God reaches us in the history of of her foundation by Christ Himself.
God speaks to us and wants to enter into dialogue with us is a source of wonder. We try not to miss any of these life-giving words by opening wide the ears of our mind and heart. In chapter 48 of his Rule, St Benedict lays down that his disciples should devote themselves to Lectio Divina at specified periods every day. Here at our Community of Saint Benedict these times of study are at early morning and evening afternoon.