Fridays with Benedict: Chapter 52, A Quiet Space

Chapter 52 of The Rule of St. Benedict--"The Oratory of the Monastery"--gives directions for keeping the oratory free of noise so that the brothers can use it as a quiet place of prayer throughout the day and night:
2After the Work of God, all should leave in complete silence and with reverence for God, 3so that a brother who may wish to pray alone will not be disturbed...4Moreover, if at other times someone chooses to pray privately, he may simply go in and pray...
This is one of the things I love about Catholic churches, how they are open during the day, and often into the evening, for you to enter and pray. Protestant auditoriums--and let's call them what they are, auditoriums--are generally locked up.

Whenever I visit a new city, I love, when I see a Catholic church, popping in to look around and even to pray. You know the door is going to be open and that inside will be a sanctuary, this holy and quiet place. And the change is often startling. And profound.

In a second, crossing the threshold, you are transported from a busy, loud and chaotic street to this quiet sanctuary of peace and prayer.

It's one of the great gifts of the Catholic church, and I've enjoyed it countless times.

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5 thoughts on “Fridays with Benedict: Chapter 52, A Quiet Space”

  1. How sadly true of the Protestants. "Good stewardship," I guess...the irony slays, doesn't it? qb

  2. Indeed! I also like how most Anglican Churches have morning and evening prayer for anyone to attend.

  3. Occasionally you come across a person who has a similar effect. Passing through the valley of Weeping they make it a place of springs. May we create such spaces in our encounters with others.

  4. The Catholics keep the Blessed Sacrament in the church and believe Jesus is present there. That is why it is different in a Catholic church.

  5. Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!,Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!! Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!

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