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The Monastic Hours of Prayer

Sister Benedicta Ward SLG

Sister Benedicta Ward SLG entered the Community of the Sisters of the Love of God in 1955. She teaches spirituality in the University of Oxford and is an Emeritus Fellow of Harris Manchester College. She has written a number of books on early monasticism and on the Middle Ages, and is one of the world’s leading writers on the legacy of the Desert Fathers. Her published works include books on the Desert Fathers, the Venerable Bede and St Anselm, and on miracles and relics in the Christian tradition.

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The heart of monastic prayer is based in the psalms. In these essays, Sister Benedicta Ward examines the origin and development of the use of the Psalter in the daily worship of monks. She demonstrates that the traditional description of this activity as Opus Dei should be understood as God’s work in us, not our ‘work’ of prayer. The Psalter offers both monk and non-monk prayers of great intimacy and, in the context of the Offices, a way to reorder our understanding of time. She presents ‘an example of the possibility of a unity of life and prayer here and now in time’. This study makes a noteworthy contribution to the literature on monastic history and spirituality and the Christian life of prayer.


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34 pages

140 x 210 mm

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