Our Daily Life
The framework which supports monastic prayer, the dialogue of listening and response, is the opus Dei or the Liturgy of the Hours. The “Hours” are those fixed times during the day and night when the monks gather to give voice to that inner song of God’s praise found in every human heart. In ancient times there were no clocks or digital watches. The different hours of the day were more like moments which rooted the monks in the “now” of their day. At these “still points,” the voices of the community bring to consciousness this inner song.
The format of the various hours is uniform and simple: an opening verse asking God’s assistance in prayer, a hymn appropriate for the day or liturgical season, several psalms from the Old Testament, a reading from Scripture and a concluding prayer. For the two hinge hours of the day, Lauds and Vespers, a response to the Scripture reading is sung, as is the Canticle of Zechariah at Lauds and the Canticle of Mary at Vespers. Thus God’s Word takes flesh in our human words so that we in turn might become the word of God.