Reading is an essential feature of the monastic life. At 7:30 every night, life becomes very quiet in the monastery. We don't watch television. We read. Our monastic silence makes reading and reflection possible.

People enjoyed reflecting more when the world was quieter. That's how poetry came into existence. Now the world is a noisy place, we have become a fast-paced people, and it sometimes seems that contemplative reading might be in danger of becoming a lost art. We have so many ways of gaining information - films, the Internet, YouTube - but a lot of information on the screen goes quickly, making it more difficult to reflect. Reading a book lends itself to contemplation - books are the record, the wonder, the way we come to know ourselves, our history and the great mystery of God. 
-Fr. Paschal Cheline, OSB

Monks' Reading List

"My favorite book is Leisure: the Basis of Culture. The author said we need to remember that we are human beings, not simply human doings. We need to get away from our feverish, frenetic activities and nurture the contemplative side of our nature."
- Fr. Aelred Yockey, OSB

"I like Shakespeare. He explores both the depths and the heights of the human heart and human motivations, and expresses eternal truths in a fresh, beautiful way."

- Br. Claude Lane, OSB
"I've read the entire collection of Louis L'Amour novels. Zane Grey is better cowboy writer, but L'Amour is more fun."
- Fr. Odo Recker, OSB

"The Story of a Soul speaks to my heart. The book is a written prayer about what God has done in Therese's life. I can see how powerful her faith is; I desire to have that same faith."

- Br. John Paul Le, OSB

"I love to read about archeological digs in Biblical lands. Ancient history takes me back to the beginning and helps me appreciate how little people had and yet how much they accomplished."
- Fr. Vincent Trujillo, OSB