Knowles, David: The Benedictines
What then, are the particular aspects--moral and intellectual--of the full Christian life that are emphasized by Benedictines in the form of the life they lead? It is an objective form of life, sane, strong, unchanging from year to year, a life of work and liturgical prayer which can be seen and heard, lived in conditions which aim at representing all that is best in the basic family life of Christianity, aided by all human courtesies, reverences, and affections. It is nothing secret or esoteric, nor an impossibility, but an ordered form of ordinary life. It is a religious life which is free from all that is doctrinaire or experimental. It is the Christian life writ large for all to see, with all the non-Christian elements removed that are normally interwoven with the devout life as lived in the world. The message of Saint Benedict is simple and direct. Work, obey, keep silent, praise God in common, and if you wish to pray to Him alone, enter the church, and pray.