The Rule of St. Benedict: Chapter 8
Chapter 8 begins thirteen straight chapters of instruction regarding prayer in the monastery. For the purposes of my reflections here, I will not be concerned with the particulars of times for prayer and the number and order of the Psalms to be used as our Father Benedict lays them out in these chapters. My reflections will touch on the spiritual and practical underpinnings of St. Benedict's instructions about prayer with the hope of providing support for those who have undertaken a contemplative practice.
Sr. Joan points out that the chapters on prayer follow our Father Benedict's treatise on humility. She writes,
Prayer is, then, the natural response of people who know their place in the universe. It is not designed to be a psychological comfort zone though surely comfort it must. . . . It is an act of community and an act of awareness.