Prayer Podcast

The School of St Benedict

13/03/2015 11:57 am

Fr Stephen Horton, Benedictine, Prinknash Abbey

In this podcast for our 'Schools of Prayer' series we take a closer look at Benedictine prayer and spirituality.

We travelled to the heart of the Cotswolds, to Prinknash Abbey in Gloucestershire, to speak to Fr Stephen Horton OSB, Prior and Novice Master at the Benedictine monastery. Prinknash is a monastic community of men, who live in the spirit of the Rule of Saint Benedict.

"St Benedict, in his Rule, is very specific about what we do during the day - it's sliced up, if you like, into prayer, work and meditation...

"We need to keep a balance in our lives - don't over do one thing to the detriment of another. For St Benedict, the balance is between psalmody, the Book of Psalms in the Bible, which is the staple of a monk's day, seven times a day we go into choir and we chant the psalms from one end of the book to the other. But also manual work, because we are not disembodied angels, we are like en-fleshed spirits - flesh and blood - and we have to realise that part of the reality of being human is to make our own living.

"Here at Prinknash we do that principally by making incense and we have other little industries. But in the end we are called back to choir. We go from work to choir, to eating, to choir, to bed - and that is the delicate balance.

Fr Stephen goes further:

"St Benedict is always insistent on coming back, coming back, coming back to the mid-point. There are no extremes in the Benedictine way because extremes can lead to spiritual insanity."


Listen using the player to the right of this article. You can download the MP3 using the link below:

School of St Benedict 6.42 MB

Duration: 10m 9s


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Official website for Prinknash Abbey
This podcast series is a joint Bishops' Conference and Clifton Diocese production.