I spent Pentecost Sunday with the monks of the monastery of St. Benedict. This is a photo of us praying the office of readings at 4:15 am in the crypt where St. Benedict and St. Scholastica were born. The monks chant the Psalms in Latin. It was hard to follow along at first, but by the middle of the day I could hold my own in Latin. Most of the brothers are from America, but there are a few from Asia. Being with the monks reminded me of the importance of the Liturgy of the Hours and the sanctification of time, and it consoled me to think that there are men who are brave enough to lay down their lives to help save the world by constant prayer.
Pentecost Mass with the monks in the main basilica. They celebrated Mass on a beautiful altar. The crucifix was large, the candlesticks heavy, with thick candles of graded height, sloping up toward the cross. The red liturgical color of the day; a sweeping chasuble; the chalice, rich, simple in its lines, with a broad cup. I found it difficult to leave the basilica. I felt at home there. I saw clearly how we are led to God, brought close to him, by the liturgy of the Catholic Church.
– Ryan O’Neill