NOVICE:

Every believer’s attitude is expressed in their prayers to God.  In each prayer, regardless of the believer’s confession, the person who is praying articulates on the one hand what they are asking or thanking God for, while on the other hand they worship God. In the case of Christians, it is Jesus who provided the example of how to pray. He sometimes prayed all night, more deeply before suffering, and taught his disciples the art of prayer, commanding them to pray in order to avoid temptation. Prayer therefore reflects the believer’s basic attitude to God – without it there is no living faith. For a person who has consecrated themselves to God, prayer is even more important since they have decided to serve God by means of prayer and an ascetic lifestyle. The praying that we carry out is called the “Liturgy of the Hours”. The instructions for service to God that are given to us in the Rule of St. Benedict were summed up by the Rule’s interpreters in the saying “pray and work” (in Latin “ora et labora”). At specified hours the monks pray, and at the other times they work. Work gives way to prayer, and vice versa, at a balanced rhythm during a monk’s day, but prayer takes priority. According to St. Benedict, nothing is more important than the liturgical office. A man cannot truly become a monk if he is not convinced that he will cause his mission to succeed by the means of prayer, even if that mission is pastoral.  A monk, worshipping God by prayer, expresses thanks as well as beseeches Him, raises himself up to God, progresses spiritually, and at the same time ministers to the whole of God’s people, to the Church. In this service to the Church, Moses provided a good example, assuring by prayer a victory for his men against the Amalekites. St. Benedict instructs monks to always keep their hearts close to the Lord, whether at work or not.

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