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Sunday, 19 July 2015

The Footsteps of St. Benedict-Framing Prayer 28

St. Benedict's footprints dot the landscape of Europe and America. One can hardly imagine the West without the great abbeys, monasteries, schools, even ruins, which attest to the greatness of this saint's vision.

Behind all the accomplishments lie the footsteps of prayer. One is aware of the Hours kept by all Benedictine monasteries, and there is one example below. Most days in various monasteries are similar, And, remember, it is almost impossible to become holy without a schedule of some sort.

Schedules allow time for God.

Rise: 4:50 a.m.
Matins: 5:15
Lauds: 6:15
Low Mass: 6:50
Prime: 8:00
Lectio Divina: 9:00
Terce, High Mass: 10:00
Study or Work: 11:15
Sext: 12:50 p.m.
Recreation: 2:00
None: 2:35
Manual Labor: 3:00
Vespers: 6:00
Silent Prayer: 6:30
Lectio Divina or Conference: 7:00
Compline: 8:25


Now, what may not be obvious, is that the Benedictine prayer continues throughout the day.  One reason for silence during most of the day is to allow the prayer of the Hours to continue within one while one is working, either cooking, cleaning, gardening, or whatever.
I experienced this in Cobh and in London at Tyburn.
What I find is that the laity seem to clutter their days with too much noise which is not necessary. I do not mean the soft chatter of children, or the noise created by work.
I refer to the television, the radio, or just too much unnecessary talk.
Learning to be more silent can be a challenge for a family, but it is not impossible. Our house growing up was a quiet house. No one yelled from room to room, no one ran in the house, and most of us read at various times during the day.
Ceaseless activity cannot be seen as Godly. One must come to the realization that ceaseless noise comes right from the devil. He wants us to be distracted so that we cannot remain in prayer.
I suggest that the real mark of a prayerful house is that it is muted. 
Pray for this in your families. If you are single, do not waste time.
Learn to carry prayer into every action of your day.
On more on the Benedictine approach to prayer tomorrow.