Ora and Labora

Ora (Prayer)

PrayerPrayer is the primary occupation for life in the Monastery. While there is a conversational component with God, essentially prayer is listening to the Word of God. It requires an attitude of openness so that God can be present in the core of our being knowing what is needful for our own healing and that of those people we hold in our hearts. If one is really detached from everything and truly oriented towards God by desire, there is no need of words. God interprets the intensity of our love and the urgency of our thirst for the good of all others. The task of prayer includes offering ourselves and all persons to God. Monks must stay facing the Lord in an attitude of prayer throughout the course of the day and night.

St. Benedict’s Rule, of course, prescribes that the entire community of monks should meet together in the monastery’s church for prayer seven times each day and once in the night. The entire 150 Psalms are prayed each week. It is on these occasions that the community acts as a member of the Mystical Body of Christ, offering prayers on behalf of the Church and all mankind. This is called the Opus Dei, the Work of God, and the description of this Work can be found as recounted in the Monastic Day schedule and in the theological and musicological discussion of the Opus Dei.

Your participation in this mission of prayer for all humankind can be assured with your kind assistance.

Labora (Work)

St. Bendict’s Rule also prescribes periods of work for the monks for “Idleness is the enemy of the soul” (RB 48.1).

The monks at Christ in the Desert are responsible for all of the work necessary to maintain the monastery and provide for the visitors and overnight guests. This work includes a wide variety of tasks that help assure the self-sufficiency of the monastery along with the support we receive from our friends and benefactors.

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"Let everyone that comes be received as Christ."

— The Rule of St. Benedict

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