Saturday, October 27, 2012

Prayer and Work

At the monastery we have a motto: Prayer and Work,
"Ora et Labora" in Latin. Our lives are centered around
chanting the Psalms seven times a day and manual labor.
My job this week was cleaning Gladiola bulbs. You remove
the roots in preparation for re-planting in the Spring. It's simple
stress-free manual labor, and really is just another form
of prayer.

I also worked with Brother Placid to saw up a large tree that had
fallen in a storm. He's a pretty tough 85 year old guy! I had a
hard time keeping up with him. And this was with hand saws,
no chain saws!
Brother Placid


  1. Dear Dan:

    This will surprise you but I fully understand the exercise. There are times when the mechanical motion of the hands leads to a release of the soul. I never learned the psalms but occasionally rely on something similar — the Rosary. It was explained to me that the Rosary was a substitute for the psalms, as the common man was most often unable to learn them by heart.

    I have seldom, if ever, thrown my leg of the saddle of a BMW without a Rosary in my pocket.

    Fondest regards,
    Twisted Roads

  2. I agree, the Rosary is a great meditation and helps clear the mind. I also normally have one in my pocket. It's effect is similar to the chanting of eastern religions like Buddhism, but with the meditations centered on Christ.

    I don't actually have the Psalms memorized, except night prayer (Psalms 4+91). We have large Psalm books in front of us (old guys need big print!). You can hear our night prayer on their web site:

    Thanks for your thoughts. Always good to hear from you!


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