Spaces and places
Spaces and places
Let the oratory be what it is called, a place of prayer; and let nothing else be done there or kept there. When the Work of God is ended, let all go out in perfect silence, and let reverence for God be observed, so that any brother who may wish to pray privately will not be hindered by another's misconduct. (RB 52,1-3)
The Church and the Oratory are the Benedictine heart of the monastery, the point of arrival and departure of the community: they are the places to which you are constantly brought back and from which to start over again in everyday monastic life.
Each place in the monastery has its own meaning.
The architectural design and the structuring of the monastery spaces are designed, as far as possible, in a symbolic and functional optic, which purpose is to make them places where "ora, labora et lege” can be practised.
Although in a partial way, the images of some of the places inhabited every day by the nuns want to tell something about the lifestyle of our community.
GOING THROUGH THE SYMBOLIC SPACE
The oratory is characterized by emptiness: totally open to the Presence. Some signs point you to: the Eucharist, the Book, the Risen Crucified; but also the stone, the light and plants.
The altar is the central point of the entire church, It represents Christ among us. It defines two spaces: one with vertical dynamic sign of the grace and the other with horizontal dynamic, the aisle: path of the community. These are joined in the omphalos.
The Word of God is proclaimed from the ambo, reference to the empty tomb which led to the first announcement (so the icon). The place of the proclamation is placed in dialogue (diagonal) with the lectern, from which the word of the Church, interpreted and prayed, becomes answer.
The praying community is convened by the bell in the statio, place that gathers from various dispersions, to proceed united behind the Lord in a begging motion toward the altar.
The Cloister preserves the meeting between God's faithfulness and the obedient efforts of man, visible in the inseparable union between nature and culture: the garden and the architecture. Centre of all the daily activity, it circumscribes and expresses it in unity; reference to the garden of resurrection, it anticipates its novelty.
The library is the space for the prayerful encounter of the monk with the Word of God, in his humble fatigue and laborious research, the studium.
The refectory, in its sobriety, is the place where conviviality is lived and the fraternal agape begun with the Eucharist is strengthened.