Besides the various liturgical encounters with the Lord and working time, there are many other activities. This includes two community meetings in the chapterhouse: first in the morning, after Prime, with a commented reading of a short passage of the Rule of Saint Benedict, and in the evening, before the last office, a ‘family meeting’ in which the superior announces news of interest for all and intentions of prayer which have been communicated to us. There are also classes for the novices and young monks preparing for priesthood, and spiritual lectures.
Meals in the refectory, with prayers, and are all taken in silence except for the reading: at lunch, a general interest book (world or regional history, teachings of the popes) and in the evening, generally the life of a saint. Following the letter of the Rule of Saint Benedict, we abstain from meat all year round; but eggs, fish and cheese are not absent from our table, and we all appreciate the savoury and substantial monastic cooking. Guests and retreatants have their meals with the community.
On Sundays and feasts, activities are suspended so the monk has more time to read, meditate or healthily relaxes under God’s look.
We do not share ‘leisure’ time together daily, but we walk together once a week, between None and Vespers, talking freely about all sorts of topics (books that have been read out in the refectory, literature, political and religious events…), in a relaxed mood and with good humour.
C’est aussi l’occasion de découvrir le beau coin de terre qui nous a accueillis et faire un brin de causette avec les habitants au hasard des rencontres. Plusieurs fois par an, c’est toute la journée qui se passe au grand air, depuis l’aurore jusqu’au coucher du soleil, les offices étant chantés en pleine nature ou dans les églises de campagne.