Happy the sons of St. Benedict who are all together with him ! Happy the secret disciple from whom shines forth, without word, as though from aon who says 'Yes', the consent to peace. Happy is he who harbours God in his heart ; whose every thought reverts to him seven times throughout the day joining thus the monks in choir.
PAUL CLAUDEL, HYMN FOR SAINT BENEDICT
After prayer and work, the third characteristic element of our life is its community dimension. To become a monk is to become a brother among brethren, in a life-long community to which a person engages himself forever by the vow of stability. It is within this context of brotherhood in a specific monastery that we are invited to grow in the gift of ourselves to God in obedience, poverty and chastity. Such a life necessitates a deep renunciation of oneself, but this freely accepted renunciation leads to joy. Down the generations monks have loved to make their own the words of the Psalm : "How good it is and how pleasant for brothers to live together."
Elected by his brethren, one of the brothers accepts the responsibility of Abbot. As spiritual father of the community, the Abbot holds the place of Christ in the monastery. He is careful to maintain the unity of brothers who are all very different, to stimulate and inspire among them the life of fellowship and of sharing. He receives each of them personally, listens to them and entrusts to each his specific task for the service of the community.