At Saint Vincent Archabbey many of our monks are involved in our College Apostolate. Some serve as Professors in departments such as Theology, Philosophy, Mathematics, English, Science or Business, while others work in the Library or Campus Ministry. Needless to say, our Benedictine Heritage influences the way that we educate our students as a WHOLE human person, Body, Mind, and Soul.
Thus, this series of posts will focus on the 10 Hallmarks of Benedictine Education.
Benedictine monasteries cultivate attentiveness to the multiple ways in which God is present in creation. The primary way for doing this is through the daily rhythm of a monastery's liturgical prayer. Benedict calls this the "Work of God" and directs that nothing is to be preferred to it (RB 43.3). Daily community prayer is supported and deepened by individual spiritual reading, a practice that Benedictines call by its Latin name, lectio divina, in order to differentiate it from reading that is done to gain information or knowledge. Lectio divina is the slow meditative reading of Scriptures and other sacred texts with the intention of discerning how God is at work in the world right now and how God is calling within the individual's own heart. For monastics the daily movement between common liturgical prayer and lectio opens up new space within for the development of compassion, integrity and courage.
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Benedictine educational institutions cultivate a similar attentiveness. It is important that the thinking of all members - students, faculty and staff - is shaped by movement between shared engagement with ideas and close personal reading of "texts" (whether written, aural or visual). It is our intent to ground teaching and learning in a commitment to God's presence in all truth and to ensure that connections between what one studies and how one lives are cultivated by all. When important decisions are to be made, we attempt to provide ample time for shared discourse and attentive study, reflection and listening by all.
for more on the Second Benedictine Value: