“I beg you, meditate each day upon the words of your creator, discover the heart of God in the words of God” St Gregory the Great.
The scriptorium for one, the “cell” for another, such are the places where each day the nun devotes time to studying the Word of God and the contents of her faith.
According to monastic tradition, the cell is not simply a place for rest. As a kind of cloister within the cloister, it is also the room where, having closed the door she prays in secret, it is a place conducive to “lectio divina”, meditation and study Dominican constitutions.
The cell is a haven of peace…“The closed door is not a hiding place but a place of retreat” William of St Thierry.
Lectio and study are a vital and joyful necessity, sometimes arid but always fruitful.
It is a form of reading which isn’t simply intellectual but also loving, “prayerful, peaceful and diligent”, “directed towards a true encounter with God”. “Read again this word in your heart, remain there in spirit, let it become as sweet as honey on the lips, meditate, live with the word so that the word dwells with you and in you forever” Jordan of Saxony (first successor to St Dominic).
It is then necessary to feed the heart and the mind to move forward on the path to God : “We must search for God with all our might in order to find his great gentleness” St Augustine, “bring nourishment to the mouth by reading… taste it through prayer” Guigo II, carthusian monk.
“What, then, is the hallmark of good Theology ? It leads to prayer, adoration, joy and an authentic interior liberty” (cf. Timothy Radcliffe op).
“Those who devote themselves to the contemplation of Truth are happiest in this life” St Thomas Aquinas.
Origin of monastic life
The other pillars of monastic life :
Personal and communal prayer
Silence and Solitude