Monday, August 03, 2009

Rule of St Benedict Reading for August 3, 2009

Chapter 52: On the Oratory of the Monastery

Let the oratory be what it is called, a place of prayer;
and let nothing else be done there or kept there.
When the Work of God is ended,
let all go out in perfect silence,
and let reverence for God be observed,
so that any sister who may wish to pray privately
will not be hindered by another's misconduct.
And at other times also,
if anyone should want to pray by herself,
let her go in simply and pray,
not in a loud voice but with tears and fervor of heart.
She who does not say her prayers in this way, therefore,
shall not be permitted to remain in the oratory
when the Work of God is ended,
lest another be hindered, as we have said.

Some thoughts:

I wonder when we lost the concept of the church as a sacred, holy place where we are to shut up ourselves and listen to God. When did we begin to think of the time between sitting down and our pews and the beginning of the service as a time to socialize? When did that cease to be a time for prayer? Do you want the silence before the service back as much as I?

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  • At 12:55 PM, Blogger marla said…

    yes, I miss silence before church. I miss being able to talk to G-d without being interrupted or being distracted by others talking. I miss sitting in the presence of G-d in contemplative meditation and waiting for G-d to talk to me. Does such a place exist? signed a grateful recovering Catholic seeking healing in the Episcopal Church.

  • At 1:12 PM, Blogger Gloriamarie Amalfitano said…

    It is fascinating to me how a shift in view about the nature of the Eucharistic elements effects behavior in church. I was raised Roman Catholic myself and the idea that Jesus Himself was on the altar led to quiet in the church.

    Welcome, Marla, to the Episcopal Church. I hope you will come to love it here as much as I do.

    Over the years, I've come to appreciate it that TEC requires me to take responsibility for what I need for my spiritual walk. Doing so has required me to understand that it is God who gives me what I need.

    Having said that, oh how I long for peace and quiet.

    I have an email list called Mere Benedictines ( as in the sense of merely) at

    If you would like to chat with others who try to walk this road, have a look and join if you like.


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