Holy Annunciation Monastery
403 West County Road
Sugarloaf, PA 18249
Since prayer is a friendly conversation with God who speaks to us as to friends and who remains with us in order to admit us to communion with Himself, progress in the life of prayer is not possible without sufficient knowledge of God’s Word. St. John Paul II stated that the Word of God is the “first source of all spirituality.” For that reason we must continually keep the Word of the Lord in our minds and hearts.
The excellent monastic practice when God’s Word is read, or heard and pondered upon, must become for a nun a source of prayer and a school of contemplation, where she speaks heart to heart with God. For this reason we devote a fitting amount of time each day to sacred reading, which is a prayerful reading of Scripture to nourish prayer and to enter into communion with the mystery present in the biblical text and in this way to strengthen our faith in God.
It was the monasticism that over the centuries has been a guardian of the lectio divina- sacred reading. St. Bernard expounds sacred reading as a certain means to union with the Word: “The soul must be nourished unceasingly with the Word of
God: ‘In this land of my pilgrimage I have accustomed myself to nourish my soul on the law and the Prophets, and on the Psalms which speak so beautifully of you (the Word); I have run through the pleasant fields of the Gospels and I have sat at the feet of the Apostles.”
“When a community is faithful to Liturgy and Sacred Reading the monastic tradition is alive and has a communitarian dimension to its mode of (monastic) theologizing. It is not an individual endeavor… as much as the creation of a climate of corporate meaning… The emphasis placed on monastic theology is on love over knowledge…love is also a source of understanding;…knowledge with its concern for objectivity can be divisive both of subject and object and also of brothers (sisters) living together. With love paramount understanding has a greater potential for being shared around.”
~ Father Michael Casey, OCSO