CHAPTER 18 - The Order of the Psalmody

Let us hope that we, lukewarm as we are, can achieve the full Psalter in a whole week. RB 18:25

The firmness with which Benedict demands the recitation of the hundred and fifty Psalms in one week could seem restrictive.

He alludes to a story of desert wisdom known well to his monks and to himself. The text is from the systematic Greek collection translated by a roman deacon, future pope Pelagius I: A senior went to see one of the master teachers. The later cooked a small dish of lentils and said: "Let us perform the work of God before we eat." One of them said the whole Psalter, the other recited the two major prophets from memory. When morning came, the senior who had come on a visit went off. They had forgotten to take food. (Vitae Patrum V4.57)

This story recounts an uncommon happening which probably took place once. We see an occurrence which Benedict mentions in order to draw attention to the folly of luke-warmness of the monks of his day.

What might Benedict say to us - the monastics of this day?