Our life is wholly ordered to contemplation. We dedicate ourselves to the worship of God through a hidden life of prayer and joyful work.

We seek God and follow Christ in a stable community that is a school of charity.

Since we strive to be of one heart and one mind, we hold everything in common. Bearing one another’s burdens, we fulfil the law of Christ and participate in his sufferings in the hope of building the Kingdom of God on earth and entering the Kingdom of Heaven.


Santa Maria nel Silenzio is a school of the Lord’s service, where Christ is formed in the hearts of the sisters through the liturgy, the abbess’ teachings, and the fraternal way of life.

Through attentiveness to God’s Word, we are trained in a discipline of heart and action to be responsive to the Holy Spirit, and so attain purity of heart and a continual mindfulness of God’s presence.


Listen is the first word of the Rule.

We listen for God's word  in our celebration of the Liturgy day by day, in our lectio divina when we ponder and pray on the words of scripture, and in our obedience to the Abbess and to one another.


We listen to how God is addressing us in a particular text of scripture. The Spirit of God speaks to us through the text and in our hearts (cf. 1 Cor.3:16: our bodies are the temples of God and the Spirit of God dwells within us). The early monks read scripture aloud so they were actually listening to it. They would then choose a phrase, or a sentence at the most, that impressed them. They would sit with that sentence or phrase without thinking of stages or following some predetermined schema, but just listening, repeating slowly the same short text over and over again. This receptive disposition enabled the Holy Spirit to expand their capacity to listen. As they listened, they might perceive a new depth to the text or an expanding meaning. A particular insight might also be singularly appropriate for them in their particular life situation or for the events of the coming day. According to scripture, the Spirit speaks to us every day. "If today you hear his voice, harden not your heart" (Psalm 95).

The external word of God in scripture awakens us to the interior Word of God in our inmost being.


Here is our monastic way of doing lectio divina: - reading in the presence of God; - reflecting in the sense of ruminating (not in the sense of discursive meditation); - responding with spontaneous prayer, and resting in God beyond thoughts and particular acts of the will.


One's attentiveness to God expands into the sheer awareness of the divine presence. The ripe fruit of the regular practice of lectio divina is assimilating the word of God and being assimilated by it. It is a movement from conversation to communion, a movement into silence.


In the Trinity, the Eternal Word is always emerging from the infinite silence of the Father and always returning. The persons in the Trinity live in each other rather than in themselves. The Father knows himself only in the Son, the Son only in the Father and the Spirit expresses their unity, bringing together into One relationships that are infinitely distinct. The Trinity is the basis for the oneness and diversity that we see expressed throughout creation.


In our way of doing lectio, one is recognizing the presence of the Word of God in all creation  and in every occurrence, experiencing what the author of John's gospel wrote in the prologue, "Without Him was made nothing that has been made"; one is in touch with the source of all creation (transcending ourselves and our limited worldviews).

As a result, we feel at one with other people and enjoy a sense of belonging to the universe. The fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily in Jesus, according to Paul. The Divinity begins to dwell in us bodily in proportion to our capacity to receive it as we grow in union with the Eternal Word.

This process needs to be nourished both by the interior silence of contemplative prayer and cultivated by lectio Divina (in the sense of listening). The awareness of the divine presence will also begin to overflow into ordinary activity.