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The Benedictine vocation

A life of prayer

The life of prayer in a monastery is first and foremost anchored in prayer in communion with the whole Church. This liturgical prayer attains its summit in the celebration of the mass, the true core of the monastic day. From this core radiate the traditional “hours” of the Office, according to the daily schedule of the monk.

A life of work

Besides the time spent in the church, in private prayer or reading theological works, whether this be study, specialist work or general tasks in the normal running of the community. At Saint-Wandrille a fine art restoration workshop, a book-binding workshop, a brewery and a shop help the monastery to provide for its needs.

A life of study

Prayer can pour forth spontaneously and freely at other moments too. The monk in the peace of his cell dedicates hours to the activity that traditions calls lectio divina (reading about God). This involves reading and re-reading Holy Scriptures, their commentaries, or the works of the spiritual writers of the Church, slowly and with contemplation, to allow them to permeate into one’s spirit, and especially into one’s heart, in the conviction that God’s living presence is there, initiating a dialogue with the soul ready to listen and respond.

The monks’ apostolate

Every Christian is called to be an apostle: "As the Father sent me, so I am sending you" (John 20, 21).

Every Christian is called to reflect the image of Christ through our daily lives, monks more so because of their vocation. In the same way, a monastery must bear witness to the omniscience, omnipotence and omnipresence of God and the relative unimportance of anything that does not lead to God. This is the reason for existing and is the aim of the abbey of Saint-Wandrille.