American-Cassinese Congregation

The Constitutions and the Directory


Part I: Matters Pertaining to the Individual Monasteries

Chapter IV: Fundamental Elements of Monastic Life

Article 2: Lectio Divina

C 72. An essential element in the monk’s life is lectio divina. The reflective pondering of the word of God aims at giving the monk an awareness of God’s presence, a consciousness of the immersion of his life in the mystery of God’s activity as revealed in sacred history. Not only the Scriptures but also the Fathers and spiritual and ascetical writers of every age provide the nourishment without which the life of prayer is inevitably retarded in the promise of its growth.

C 73. The life-long formation of the monk must include an adequate schooling in lectio divina, and the ordering of his day must permit the time and conditions conducive to regular prayerful reading.

Article 3: Silence

C 74. Silence in the monastery is essential under two aspects. As a means of growth in self‑discipline and consideration for others, it has for the monk an ascetical and penitential aspect. But its deeper and more positive aspect is that of being a necessary habitual condition for hearing and responding to the call of God.

C 75. Recollection is a bulwark against the enerva­ting dispersion of oneself and the consequent loss of a clear identity and vision of one’s life. It is also a reminder and witness to a world that often attempts to forestall confronting itself and its problems by escaping into frenetic activity and noise.


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