A new community is formed through the guidelines set in The Holy Rule of St. Benedict, one made for monks to fit into and to follow its rules strictly. The monks are held to high standards of prayer, work, and selfless service to God and their brothers in the monastery. These standards are encouraged through degrees of humility, strict prayer and song schedule, enforced selflessness and harsh yet fair punishments for those who defy the rules. These values play a role in every aspect of community life down to where they sleep and with whom they converse; there is no minuscule detail of a Benedictine monk’s life not touched by The Holy Rule of St. Benedict. Every facet of the monk’s lives are tinged in some way by these rules, most noticeably in the amount of time they are required to sing and pray. How prayers and songs are executed is choreographed down to the day, there is very little room for individualism. A majority of the monks’ time during the week is spent in prayer or song. There are specific prayers and songs for each day, season and occasion and a monk must say each prayer and sing 150 songs every week. The time taken to sing these songs and execute these prayers reinforces the central value seen in this text that the monks serve God “in order that He who hath been pleased to count us in the number of His children” (Prologue pg. 2). Their time is not their own, it is an honor to have these songs to sing and their prayers are made not to better their own lives but those of others. The songs and prayers are a way to remind the monks over and over again that they are servants of God and are a used to praise God and thank him for the gift of their life and their opportunity to serve. Should a brother presume to go against the rules laid out in this text, there is harsh punishment laid out. It is not to say that the rules are unfair, “the degree of excommunication or punishment ought to be meted out according to the gravity of the...
Cited: Saint Benedict. "The Holy Rule of St. Benedict." The Holy Rule of St. Benedict (n.d.): n. pag. Documenta Catholica Omnia. Cooperatorum Veritatis Societas, 12 Dec. 2011. Web. 15 Oct. 2014. <http://www.documentacatholicaomnia.eu/03d/0480 0547,_Benedictus_Nursinus,_Regola,_EN.pdf>.
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