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Why you should pray at a monastery if you live near one

Benedictine monks praying

Javier Ocampo Zuluaga | Cathopic | Altered by Aleteia

Philip Kosloski - published on 03/07/24

Monasteries and convents are special places where the rhythm of prayer can also help lay people who live nearby. Often their chapels are open to the public.

While not everyone is called to be a monk, nun or religious brother or sister, it doesn’t mean that ordinary lay people can’t reap the spiritual benefits of praying at a monastery.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church encourages lay people to pray with monks and nuns whenever possible:

In regions where monasteries exist, the vocation of these communities is to further the participation of the faithful in the Liturgy of the Hours and to provide necessary solitude for more intense personal prayer.

CCC 2691

Most monasteries abide by a set daily schedule of prayer, praying the Divine Office, more commonly known as the Liturgy of the Hours.

This type of prayer focuses on the Psalms of the Bible and distributes them throughout the day, helping monks and nuns to “pray without ceasing.”

However, the Liturgy of the Hours is not reserved for only monks, nuns and priests. It is a prayer that is for everyone, even lay people.

While certain monasteries are cloistered and lay people are not allowed to see the monks or nuns, the chapels they have are typically open and you can still hear their melodious voices chant the Psalms.

This means that a lay person who lives near a monastery can still participate in their prayer life and reap many spiritual benefits.

Unfortunately, monasteries are not as numerous as they once were and are more spread out, especially in the United States.

Being near a monastery is a gift. If you happen to live near one, take advantage of it and make it a point to soak in the special graces.

CCC PrayerPrayerVocations
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