48. The Daily Manual Labor

Idleness is the enemy of the soul. Therefore, the brothers ought to be occupied at fixed times in manual labor, and again at fixed times in lectio divina.

And so, we believe that the times for each should be arranged in this way: that is, from Easter to the first of October, they will set out in the morning and work from the first to about the fourth hour at whatever needs to be done.

From the fourth hour until the time when they have Sext, let them be free for lectio. Then, after Sext or when they rise from table, let them rest on their beds in all silence, or perhaps if someone wants to read, let him read in such a way that he will not disturb anyone else. Let them have None somewhat earlier, at the middle of the eighth hour; then let them work again at whatever is to be done until Vespers.

If, however, the needs of the place or poverty requires that they themselves be involved in gathering the harvest, let them not be sad, for then they are truly monks if they live by the work of their own hands, as also did our fathers and the apostles. Even so, let all things be done with measure on account of the weak.

10 From the first of October to the beginning of Lent, they should be free for lectio through the end of the second hour. 11 At the second hour, let them have Terce, and until the ninth hour, all should work at the job which has been assigned to them. 12 Then, at the first signal for the hour of None, each one should set aside his work and be ready as soon as the second signal strikes. 13 After the meal, let them be free for their lectio or for psalms.

14 Now during the days of Lent, they should be free for their lectio from morning until the end of the third hour; then, until the end of the tenth hour, they should work at what is assigned.

15 During these days of Lent, let them all receive separate books from the library, which they should read straight through in their entirety. 16 These books should be handed out at the beginning of Lent.

17 Moreover, let one or two seniors be appointed to go around the monastery at these times when the brothers are free for lectio 18 to see that no brother is found bored—spending this time for himself in idleness or talk instead of being focused on lectio, and so he is not only useless to himself but also distracts others. 19 If, God forbid, you discover a person like this, then correct him a first and a second time; 20 if he does not change, let him be subject to the correction of the Rule so that the others may fear. 21 Moreover, no brother should associate with a brother at unspecified times.

22 On the Lord’s Day, all should be free for lectio, with the exception of those who are assigned to various duties. 23 If indeed anyone has become so careless and idle that he is unwilling or unable to study or read, let him be assigned some work that he can do so that he is not idle.

24 As for those brothers who are sick or fragile, let them be assigned some work or craft so that they may be neither idle nor oppressed and driven away by the pressure of the work. 25 The abbot should take their weakness into consideration.



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