What Is Monastic Life For A Catholic Monk?
What does monastic life for Catholic monks look like? Using Chapter 48 of his Rule as a guide, St. Benedict outlines the daily schedule of prayer and work for his monks. The monastic horarium, or schedule, is the heartbeat of the monastic community. It is the structure in which the monastery functions as an institution and punctuates the specified times for giving thanks and praise to God. The schedule is the rhythm of our daily life that gradually forms us into what Christ has called us to be, which is men seeking holiness and constant conversion towards God. It can be overwhelming at first if someone is not used to a schedule. Even after many years living the monastic life, it can still take an effort to get out of bed and praise happily. Like everyone else, monks go through periods where they are excited about prayer and times when they are not.
Monastic life for a Catholic monk at Conception Abbey is quite routine.
At 5:40 am the day begins, leading up to 6:00 am Vigils, followed by Lectio Divinaat 6:45 am and Lauds at 7:15 am. Breakfast is at 7:45 am then work at 8:30 am. Eucharist starts at 11:45 am, followed by lunch at 12:25 pm. Daily prayer is at 1:05 pm, then back to work at 1:30 pm. Vespers begins at 5:15 pm, followed by Lectio Divina at 5:45 pm. Supper begins at 6:15 pm, followed by recreation at 6:45pm. At 7:15 pm there is Compline.
Monastic life is all about community. Brothers see each other every day. Learning humility, and living together in harmony is important in the monastic life. Monks can come from all kinds of backgrounds and cultures, so offenses can quickly happen. This practice of brotherly love keeps the monks from being distracted, so that God can really mold them into saints.