Oblate Program at Belmont Abbey, NC

Pray Often and Read Often

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Monk_praying_webFor those who practice it, the experience of lectio sacra sharpens perception, enriches understanding, rouses from sloth, banishes idleness, orders life, corrects bad habits, produces salutary weeping and draws tears from contrite hearts . . . curbs idle speech and vanity, awakens longing for Christ and the heavenly homeland. It must always be accompanied by prayer and intimately joined with it, for we are cleansed by prayer and taught by reading.

Therefore, whoever wishes to be with God at all times must pray often and read often, for when we pray it is we who speak with God, but when we read it is God who speaks with us. Every seeker of perfection advances in reading, prayer and meditation. Reading enables us to learn what we do not know, meditation enables us to retain what we have learned, and prayer enables us to live what we have retained. Reading Sacred Scripture confers on us two gifts: it makes the soul's understanding keener, and after snatching us from the world's vanities, it leads us to the love of God.

Smaragdus of Saint-Mihiel
Commentary on the Rule of St. Benedict

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