The Holy Rule tells us “to prefer nothing to the love of Christ”. For us, this is expressed first of all in prayer – in the Mass, in the Divine Office, and in the personal prayer of each Sister. In fact, St Benedict is even more emphatic when he says, ‘Let nothing be preferred to the Work of God’. We gather five times a day for the Divine Office in choir, as well as for Adoration and, in keeping with our Marian identity, for corporate recitation of the Rosary. This is balanced with lectio divina, manual labour, the service of one another, and the common life.
We serve, in our monastery, under the Holy Rule and under a Superior, whom we call Mother. It is said in the Rule: “He [the Abbot, or Superior] is believed to be the representative of Christ in the monastery”. That Christ-centred emphasis is at the heart of all our life, individually and together.
The Benedictine Vow Formula
Stability – Conversion of Life – Obedience.
Monastic Stability involves both stability of heart – rooted in Christ and in the Community – and stability of place; that is, in our monastery.
We maintain constitutional enclosure, which means that we remain in this place, going out only for necessities and with the permission and blessing of the Mother.
We do not maintain an external apostolate, but are in the monastery to pray, and to exercise hospitality to all who come to the monastery.
At our profession, we also promise conversion of life – that is to say, our life is one of continuing conversion. This part of the vow also includes the evangelical counsels, including lifelong consecrated celibacy.
Obedience to the Superior, to the Holy Rule, and to one another is a key part of Benedictine life. It is also, as stated in the Rule of St Benedict, the first degree of humility: “The first degree of humility is obedience without delay. This becometh those who hold nothing dearer to them than Christ”.
To conclude, the monastery is described as a ‘workshop’ in which ‘we shall diligently execute all these tasks’.
May He lead us all together to life everlasting.