If you’ll recall from one of my earlier posts, Benedict lived in the 5th and 6th centuries. Well, I’m pretty sure that to make the experience more realistic, they let me sleep on Benedict’s original bed last night.
At 5:30 I learned why so many monks have short hair – it allows them to sleep that much later and make the first prayer service (Vigils) at 6:00. It is probably also easier for them to get ready, since they have to choose between wearing their black robe or their black robe.
After Vigils, we had breakfast, which was entirely silent, followed by the second prayer service of the day, Lauds. Vigils is set up to prepare the monk for the day – to remind him to be vigilant against temptation and sin and to look for the presence of God. Lauds, is about praising God for the day He has given us and for His continual presence in our lives.
I think that Benedict was wise in setting up the morning as a silent experience. I think he knew that some people get grumpy in the morning, so it’s better to follow mom’s advice and if you can’t say something nice, well, don’t say anything at all!!